FIT­NESS: THE CORE

Find out if your pos­ture is af­fect­ing your swing.

Golf Digest (South Africa) - - Contents 2/ 15 - – RON KASPRISKE

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

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