If you’re an avid golfer, you may want to consider a training program for the gym that’s designed specifically for improving your game.
Your golf swing maybe affected by the tightness in your shoulders and upper thoracic spine – the area between your shoulder blades. Throughout our day we do many activities in front of us that causes us to have tight chest muscles, weak back muscles and a rounded shoulder posture. Activities such as work on computers, drive, eat or read all have affects on our chest and back muscles. This posturing does not allow you to maximize your golf swing. By improving your thoracic extension your golf game will improve and you will reduce the risk of injury and strain on your shoulders and low back.
Try theses activities three times per week for 4 weeks to improve your thoracic extension. Click the link for YouTube videos demonstrating some of the exercises.
1. Shoulder setting/ “Shine your Gold Medal”
Draw your shoulder blades down first towards your back pockets then together. Hold for 5 -10 sets and repeat 10 times. This helps you to “set” your blades onto your rib cage and support your core for upper extremity use. Another way to incorporate this activity is to “set your shoulder” or “shine your gold medal” every time you walk through the doorway.
2. Wall Angel
While “shining your gold medal” raise a broom stick above your head and lower behind your head and shoulders. Hold 3-5 seconds then push broom back up. This helps to increase your thoracic mobility and stretch out your chest muscles and anterior shoulder. You can also complete this exercise with your back up against the wall which helps to reduce the chance of over extending the lumbar spine during the activity- see video.
3) Thoracic Spine extension with Foam Roller
This exercises will help to mobilize your thoracic spine. The activity is done while lying on your back. Place the roller perpendicular to the tight area of your thoracic spine keeping your buttocks on the floor to disengage your abdominal muscles and slowly extended your spine over the roller. You can start with hands behind head to support your neck and then progress to lifting arms above your head or as in the video using weight.- see video
Article Written by Laura Doyle, Registered Physiotherapist BHSc (PT), B.Ed., B. KIN
As a registered physiotherapist, Laura works at McMaster Family Practice. She sees patients while promoting healthy living and aging along acute and chronic health conditions. Laura is a Member of the Momentum community who makes time at lunch to workout. She is passionate about moving every day to maximize function and fitness throughout the lifespan.