A Strengthening exercise to help you maintain your spine angle through the golf swing
By: Jan Fourie (Biokineticist)
In a previous article, we discussed the technical aspects of performing an effective “Dead Lift”. The movement where you come back up into an upright position in the Dead Lift is called spinal extension, and activates spinal extensor/ erector muscles.
One of these spinal erector muscles is the Multifidus. It spans all the way from the Sacrum, at the bottom of the spine, up to the Axis in the neck. It lies deep to the other spinal erector muscles and is also a very important stabilizer muscle. As a stabilizer it enables you to maintain your spine angle when standing in a bent-over position, even while performing movement through the hips, shoulder blades or arms.
These spinal erector and stabilizer muscles are very important for a sport like golf where you will be standing in a bent-over position for a long period. And when you add the force generated by the golf swing, it makes it even more difficult to maintain the spine angle during the swing.
Let’s have a look at one exercise you can do to strengthen these muscles. I call it the Low Trapezius Extension:
- Activate your pelvic stablizers by sucking in the belly button, to get the pelvis and lumbar spine into a neutral position.
- Shift your hips back and bend at the hips to come over forward with the upper body into a position just lower than your putting posture.
- Keep the sternum up to make sure the shoulder blades stay in position, and to activate your spinal erector muscles.
- Extend one arm to the front just wider than your shoulder width, with the palm of your hand facing up.
- Make sure you maintain the spine angle and don’t come up or get the spine in a rounded shape when extending the arm to the front.
- Bring the arm back down, and extend the other arm. Do 15 repetitions on each arm.