It’s the best time of year for golf here in Austin, and it’s time to get both our clubs and our bodies ready. Read on for some tips on how to get your golf swing up to par.
One of the most important elements in having a good golf swing is shoulder flexibility. Poor shoulder flexibility can interfere with your swing and cause “hooking” and “slicing” on the course. As we age, our flexibility decreases unless we continue to stretch and work it out. Follow the simple shoulder flexibility test below to help you determine if your shoulder flexibility needs improvement.
WARNING! Do not strain or force your body at any time during this test, as this defeats the purpose. You are trying to determine the baseline of your shoulder flexibility.
- STEP 1 – Assume the yoga “child’s pose.” For those non-yogis – kneel on the floor, drop your buttocks down towards your heels and then lean forward with your arms next to your ears with palms down.
- STEP 2 – Turn your palms up and try to lift your right arm up off the floor. You should be able to lift it up off the floor at least 4-6 inches without changing your body position.
- STEP 3 – Do the same with your left arm.
If you can lift both arms off the floor, congratulations! This means you have good shoulder flexibility, and that’s not one of the reasons for your “hook” or “slice.” If you have one shoulder that passes the flexibility test and one that does not, then that means you have incomplete flexibility, and you need to work on the flexibility of the shoulder that failed. If neither shoulder is flexible, it would be wise to start some shoulder flexibility activities soon. Consult a physical therapist at a St. David’s Rehabilitation facility for additional exercises to improve your game.
Sue Miller, PT, Certified Titleist Golf Instructor
St. David’s Rehabilitation Hospital
Spine and Sports Therapy