Most golfers enter the off-season looking to increase distance and move better leading into the next golf season. Here in Buffalo, NY we have a long off-season, which is the perfect time to fine-tune all aspects of your game. As a medical and fitness provider that specializes in working with golfers, the problem that a majority of the golfers have is the inability to rotate from one of the 4 main rotational centers of the body. These are the neck, thoracic spine, shoulders, and hips which if they don’t move well will severely limit your ability to swing the club correctly and limit your ability to increase speed due to the inability to stay in posture.
The cervical spine (neck) rotation is a movement in the golf swing that many people have difficulty visualizing because the neck is actually staying in place as the body rotates underneath the head. To test this, we look at your ability to rotate your head to the left and right at least 80 degrees. If you are able to perform the 80 degrees of rotation, we then have you flex your head to contact your chin to your clavicle. Due to the posture many of us are in throughout the day while working on a computer, looking at a phone, or poor sleeping postures leads to a possible motor control dysfunction. This means that your actual mobility in the cervical spine is there, but your postural muscles limit your ability to achieve full rotation of the cervical spine.
To correct a motor control dysfunction of the cervical spine, we utilize active muscle contraction in a position where gravity doesn’t have an effect on the cervical spine, which is by lying on a table or floor. By performing a banded pull apart, you engage the posterior postural muscles, which will then allow you the ability to perform the necessary cervical rotation. To progress this movement we move from the floor/table to tall kneeling or half kneeling and perform the banded pull apart, followed by moving to a standing posture, and finally in the golf posture set-up.
The ability to stay in posture once you complete this exercise will allow you to improve your game! Move on to the next post to see how to improve the rest of the rotational centers of the body to ensure you can play your best golf for years to come.