Bet­ter up­per back pos­ture

Inside Golf - - Fitness - Richard Niziel­ski www.golf­fit­so­lu­tions.com Richard Niziel­ski is a Bris­bane-based golf fit­ness ex­pert and the Direc­tor of Golf Fit So­lu­tions. A three-time Olympian and medal­list in the sport of short track speed skat­ing, Richard is a qual­i­fied sports and

TOO of­ten lately, I am see­ing clients with up­per back pos­ture is­sues.

More of­ten than not, this is due to a lot of time spent in a hunched for­ward po­si­tion, such as when us­ing the com­puter or tablet.

Of­ten the tho­racic ex­ten­sion can be im­proved through pos­tural aware­ness and spe­cific ex­er­cises.

Pos­tural aware­ness, both in golf and in daily ac­tiv­i­ties is im­por­tant for main­tain­ing op­ti­mal func­tion.

Ex­er­cises, which ac­ti­vate and strengthen shoul­der blade (scapula) re­trac­tion as well as regular stretch­ing of the mus­cles of the chest and the front of the shoul­ders (an­te­rior del­toids), will help with al­le­vi­at­ing the round­ed­ness of the shoul­ders and de­vel­op­ing bet­ter pos­ture.

Main­tain­ing the pos­tural aware­ness can be dif­fi­cult with­out con­stantly be­ing re­minded to keep the shoul­ders back and down.

It is all too easy to slump and round the shoul­ders while per­form­ing ac­tiv­i­ties such as driv­ing the car and work­ing at the com­puter.

To help with de­vel­op­ing bet­ter pos­tural aware­ness, try this.

Take two ten­nis balls and tape them to­gether, so they end up look­ing like a peanut.

To help with pos­tural aware­ness, when sit­ting at the com­puter or in the car, place the ten­nis balls ei­ther side of the spine just be­low the shoul­der blades.

Re­tract or drop the shoul­der blades down and back and ex­tend the spine.

This sim­ple pos­tural ad­just­ment will help with ac­ti­vat­ing the scapula de­pres­sor mus­cles and re­mov­ing some of the round­ness in the up­per spine.

The two ten­nis balls can also be used to as­sist with tho­racic ex­ten­sion.

Place the ten­nis balls on the floor. Lie on your back on the floor with the ten­nis balls po­si­tioned ei­ther side of the spine.

Start at the lower end of the tho­racic spine ( just above where the ribs join the spine) and re­lax, let­ting the spine ex­tend.

Ev­ery few min­utes, move the ten­nis balls up the spine by one or two ver­te­bra and stay there for a few min­utes.

Adding in a few ex­er­cises, such as the stretch band re­verse fly ex­er­cise, which ac­ti­vate the mus­cles be­tween the shoul­der blades, will also help.

To do this ex­er­cise:

Stand in a golf pos­ture, hold­ing the stretch band in both hands (as shown).

Keep the shoul­ders down and back, ac­ti­vate the mus­cles be­tween the shoul­der blades to take the arms out­wards and back­wards.

Hold at the ex­tended po­si­tion for a mo­ment and re­turn to the start po­si­tion.

Re­peat for 12 rep­e­ti­tions.

If you have tho­racic stiff­ness, which is af­fect­ing your golf swing or any of your other daily ac­tiv­i­ties for that mat­ter, then it may re­quire more in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

In some cases, up­per tho­racic stiff­ness and pos­ture prob­lems may re­quire ther­a­peu­tic ma­nip­u­la­tion by an al­lied health pro­fes­sional. There are a va­ri­ety of meth­ods and pro­fes­sion­als which of­fer dif­fer­ent meth­ods, all of which can help.

Some of the choices in­clude; sports phys­io­ther­a­pists, masseurs and os­teopaths.

It is best to speak with the al­lied health pro­fes­sion­als first and de­cide just what is the best op­tion for your par­tic­u­lar case.

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