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The Body-Swing Relationship

The Body-Swing Relationship

Written By: Paul Kochoa, PT, DPT, OCS, CGFI

So you find yourself on the golf course, or at the driving range, hitting some golf balls. You observe that you keep swinging, hitting the ball solidly, but it doesn’t travel very far, or it keeps veering off to the right. It’s inconsistent. You try and try again, thinking, “If I hold my club this way”, or “If I swing it on a slightly different angle”, you can fix it. But inevitably, the ball keeps doing things that it shouldn’t. Despite your best attempts, you become frustrated and think that this will be the last day that you play golf, forever to give up the sport.

Hold on, wait a minute, there. Haven’t you heard of the body-swing relationship?

In my previous post, “An efficient golf swing is all about decelerating”, I mentioned the proper kinematic sequencing and how it can lead to consistency and accuracy with your golf swing. This is only half of the answer. Once you know what the sequence is, the other important part is being able to do it.

Various swing faults can be directly correlated to physical limitations. These limitations can be observed with a thorough movement screen (see my previous post: “What’s a movement screen?”).  After determining where the deficits are, a golf fitness instructor, like myself, can fix them using various exercises and drills to develop the proper coordination through motor learning (retraining the body to move in a certain, repeatable, way).

We can even make certain assumptions regarding your golf swing based solely on the movement screen, without even seeing you swing a club. This is the body-swing relationship. Certain swing faults are directly related to specific physical causes. Let’s take a look at one deficit that affects a third of amateur players: C-Posture.

The C-Posture occurs when the shoulders and back are rounded at “address” ( the name for the position when a golfer is standing over the ball getting ready to hit it).

cposture

The person on the left is exhibiting the classic C-Posture, the person on the right is in a more neutral, straighter spine. The ideal position is neutral. A neutral spine, especially the middle part (thoracic spine), rotates easily. A rounded thoracic spine is very poor at rotating. When a player has a rounded thoracic spine, they will be severely limited in their ability to do a full shoulder turn. So no matter how many times the swing coach says it or how many times you tell yourself, “Turn your shoulders”, you can’t and you’ll end up with an inconsistent, inefficient swing because you’ll start using your arms more to compensate for your loss of shoulder/torso rotation.

All these compensations can result in various swing faults, which can lead to pain and injury. The physical therapists at Professional Physical Therapy and Training are very adept at identifying and correcting these movement faults and addressing any injuries you may have.

How can you address it? Well, you can have a certified golf fitness instructor do a golf fitness screen on you to find out if you have this problem, and you can read my next post.

Up next: Upper Crossed Syndrome or “I sit at a desk all day” Syndrome

If you would like more information or would like to schedule a golf fitness screening, please call Professional Physical Therapy and Training at 973-270-7417.  Our offices our located within the YMCA locations in Madison and Summit, NJ.  You do not need to be a member of the YMCA to visit with us.  

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