Following on from my point on daily postural deficiencies affecting your golf posture and swing in my last article here, I thought I’d expand on the issues created by bad posture: in this case sitting.
Sitting has been blamed for a lot of ‘modern’ musculoskeletal conditions and poor posture we see today, and rightly so. Having this posture all day is an absolutely terrible way to treat your body and your golf swing.
Sitting like this all day has numerous effects that limit you your golf posture and your golf swing:
– Posterior pelvic tilt
– Crappy T-spine mobility (particularly extension)
– Weak anterior core
– Forward cervical spine position (aka forward head position)
– Tight hamstrings, glutes and hip flexors
Posterior tilt will limit mobility and stability in your hips and ultimately reduce your ability to make a proper hip turn. Limited t-spine mobility will radically reduce the amount of shoulder turn you are able to make, and therefore power you are able to create in the golf swing. Core strength is essential for efficient power transfer and maintaining good posture, in the swing. Whilst a forward head position will limit shoulder turn and appropriate firing of postural muscles in the upper back.
Note: These are of course generalisations, you should most definitely get assessed for your own particular postural deficiencies and not assume.
So, what can you do about it?
I have a standard operating procedure (SOP) for dealing with clients that display postural deficiencies:
1) Modify daily posture habits (i.e. sit/stand differently)
2) Hammer neutral spine with appropriate motor control exercises
By appropriate I mean that great saying by PGA and LPGA tour coach Martin Hall, ‘feed what you need’. If you have anterior pelvic tilt you should use exercises that promote posterior tilt and vice versa if you have posterior tilt, use exercises that promote anterior tilt. Here are a couple of examples:
These exercises are great to include in mobilisations and warm-ups. Strength exercises such as romanian deadlifts, good mornings and single leg RDL’s also do a great job of promoting anterior tilt.
3) Encourage more thoracic extension in your daily life
Extensions on a foam roller are a great way to get this done.
4) Avoid more flexion (particularly loaded flexion in the gym)
Don’t feed into your existing dysfunction with flawed training approaches by doing exercises such as sit-ups, crunches, weighted crunches, etc .
5) Work on core strength
Exercises that promote anterior core strength and don’t involve spinal flexion are your best bet. Barbell rollouts or suspension trainer fallouts for example:
6) Get strong!