FITNESS: THE CORE
Find out if your posture is affecting your swing.
If you’re sitting down as you read this, check your posture. Do your upper-back muscles feel stretched and your chest muscles feel relaxed? This hunched-over position is known as Kyphotic posture or C-posture, because it gives your back this concave look ( near right) when viewed from the side. Staying in this position for long periods of time can make it difficult to maintain good posture when you swing a club and can lead to pain and injury.
“Most people don’t even realise they’re doing it,” says Golf Digest fitness advisor Ben Shear. “Desk jobs promote it. So does riding in a cart. Even practising your putting for long periods causes it. The deck is stacked against you.”
You need a posture reboot, Shear says, and he will show you how. “When you’re in this C-posture for long periods, your back muscles are locked in an elongated position while the muscles on the front side of the body are locked in a short and tight position,” he says. “You need to unlock them from these positions and then strengthen them when they’re back to normal.”
1 UNLOCK THE BACK MUSCLES
Lie on a foam roller so it’s resting in the middle of your back – any lower and you could crack the unprotected bones at the bottom of your rib cage. Lift your arms into a bent position with your elbows nearly touching. From this starting position, slowly and repeatedly move your body up and down along the foam roller from mid back to the shoulder blades. Do this for a few minutes and then change your body position so the foam roller is now under the side of your trunk, resting against your latissimus dorsi (“lat”) muscle. Again roll your body up and down for a few minutes. The more sensitive the area feels, the more you should do this. Flip sides and repeat.
2 UNLOCK THE FRONT MUSCLES
Rest on a large physio ball so it’s under the small of your back. Now lie back and extend your arms over your head so your upper body bends backward and covers the ball. Stay in this extended position for a minute or two. Sit up and repeat the exercise once more.
3 REINFORCE YOUR NEW POSTURE
To help prevent future postural issues, strengthen the muscle groups in your back that are responsible for better posture. Holding two lightweight dumbbells, bend forward from the hip joints, keeping your back flat. In one fluid motion, extend your arms out to your sides and raise the dumbbells towards the sky with your hands in a thumbs-up position. Raise them as far as you comfortably can, hold for a second and then lower the dumbbells. Do two sets of 10-12 repetitions.
Average hours per day that people sit.
DO THESE A FEW TIMES A WEEK