Sometimes we have to remind ourselves that even the professional golfers are flawed, and they too have trouble fixing mechanics. This point was proved over the past weekend when last years’ Masters winner, Jordan Spieth, cracked under pressure and gave up a substantial lead to pave the way for the 2016 champion, Danny Willett. These golfers know that one of the biggest components of improving their game and playing consistently is learning how to correct mechanical errors. ‘S posture’, a big arch in the lower back, affects golfers of all levels and ages; the misalignment puts the golfer at a high risk for injury, and it can also have a negative impact on the athlete’s performance on the course. Depending on the severity, ‘S posture’ can limit the golfer’s hip rotation, decrease power of the swing, and reduce overall accuracy.
Dennis Borg, an Injury Prevention Specialist at The Micheli Center who also has his TPI Level 2 Certification, said that “something that really affects our golfers is ‘S posture’… That means you have an anterior pelvic tilt which limits how much internal rotation you are going to have with your hips, the backswing of the back leg, and the downswing through the lead leg.”
Below are four tips for golfers to eliminate that S posture and maximize their game.
Stretching the hip flexors to get rid of a pelvic tilt
½ kneeling hip flexor stretch
- Start in a ½ kneeling position
- Straight line through ear, shoulder, hip and knee that is on the mat
- Pull toes up on leg that is on the mat
- Lock in a posterior pelvic tilt position by squeezing the glute
- Hold for 30 seconds each leg
Setting up in a proper swing position using the golf club
We’re going to put a slight bend in the knees, and we’re going to use your club to help you take that arching out of your lower back. The golf club will make contact with the lower back, in between the shoulder blades, and the head all at the same time. We’re going to get a posterior pelvic tilt to take away that arch, and then hinge at the hips. You will have increased range of motion in your hip internal rotators.
Activating the glutes with a resistance band
The idea here is to get stability in the hips, so when you shift your weight onto your back leg as you’re rotating during the backswing, you’re able to stabilize and not let your hip kick out over to the side…then the same thing when you shift your weight onto your lead leg during the downswing. You will be able to post up through that leg.
Band resisted marches
- Get into an athletic stance (head and chest up, feet shoulder width apart, kneecaps aligned with second toe)
- Put two bands on legs: one right above the knees, one around the ankles
- Externally rotate right leg 8x, left leg 8x, then both legs at the same time 8x (it is important to feel the glutes during this)
- Make sure the feet and knees stay shoulder width apart: band march 10yds forward, then 10yds back
- Make sure the feet and knees stay shoulder width apart: side-step with band to left 10yds, then to the right 10yds
*During this set of exercises, it is important that the feet do not spin out
Engaging the core with dead bugs
Dead bugs with the stability ball
- Keep the lower back flat against the ground
- Lower opposite elbow and opposite knee (this really works the core), while holding the ball between the other leg and arm
- Move the leg and arm simultaneously in opposite directions from each other (even more core activation while squeezing the ball
*During this exercise, it is important that the back stays flat to help relieve ‘S posture’
Incorporating these exercises into your golf routine may help keep you healthy and happy on the course this year. Good luck, golfers!