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Get Golf Fit: Promoting Posture

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Article by Kevin Dishon, PT, DPT, TPI level 2 Medical and Fitness Professional – kevin@thegolfdpt.com

Posture is vital to the golf swing and position at address; however, it remains overlooked by many amateur players. Golfers become concerned about their position at the top of the back swing, forgetting that if you don’t set up properly, then you will struggle to hit the ball consistently. 

There are three typical positions a player can be in at address, and all of these positions can ultimately affect the outcome of the shot. Not only will poor posture rob you of distance and power, it may also put you at risk for lower back pain. The three positions at address are: C Posture, S Posture and Normal Posture, all of which have different effects on your swing.

C posture is where there is an abnormal forward bend in a player’s mid-back. This could be caused by range of reasons, such as clubs that are too short for a player or someone having general poor posture. C posture becomes an issue for golfers when they are at address because it stops the thoracic spine (one of the two main locations for rotation in the golf swing). This results in a player having less of a turn in their swing, which ultimately leads to a loss of power. 

In S posture, the golfer addresses the ball with too much of an arch in their low back. According to studies performed by the Titleist Performance Institute (TPI), this posture has a high correlation to a reverse spine angle at the top of the back swing, which is one of the most common causes for low back pain in golfers.

C and S postures both have negative effects on a player’s game and health, however, neutral posture is ideal. In neutral posture, the golfer has a nice flat back, without too much arch in the back, or too much bend in the mid-back. This posture allows golfers’ thoracic spine to optimally rotate and keep the lumbar spine out of an extended position, keeping their back in a safer position during the swing.

Simple drills can help you improve poor posture. To begin, put down a mat and lie on your back with your hands under the arch of your low back. First, try to arch your back as high as you can while keeping your hips on the mat. After that, try to flatten your back as much as you can by pushing your low back into your hands. Make sure when you do this to keep your hips flat on the floor. Next, arch your back again as high as it can go. Finally from here, bring your back midway between the two extremes of being fully flat or arched. Hold this position for 5 seconds and note the position. This is your neutral pelvic position and is the position you should be in while addressing the ball. 

Once you learn where your neutral pelvic position is, you should practice staying in it at address in your golf swing. It may feel uncomfortable at first, but once you are able to do this, then you can expect to see more distance in your game and reduce any symptoms of back soreness or tightness.

If you have any further questions in regards to golf-specific physical therapy or golf specific performance training, feel free to reach out to me at Kevin@thegolfdpt.com or visit my website www.theGolfDPT.com. Also please check out my instagram, where golf-specific exercises are posted regularly! @thegolfdpt