Is your Posture Hamstrung?

Most every golfer knows that if your address posture is poor then there is a strong possibility that your golf swing will have some flaws as well.  In fact, most golf pros rate posture at address as one of the most important elements of a good golf swing.  Consequently, it is very important to be aware of the physical characteristics required to achieve a good golf posture at address. 

One of the big muscles of the body that becomes tight in most golfers are the hamstrings.  They are the muscles behind the thighs that start from the hips and attach down below the knees.  The primary purpose for the hamstrings is to bend the knees during activities like walking and running but they also have a function of controlling how much your pelvis and spine can bend forward during the address position.  If the hamstrings are too tight, you will not be able to bend forward enough from the hips.  This can then either cause you to address the ball with your knees too straight (see picture #1) or your spine overly rounded (see picture #2).

If you know you have tight hamstrings or if you know your posture at address looks like one of the examples above, try the following hamstring stretch so you can achieve the ideal posture at address (see picture#3) and minimize many of the full swing flaws that might be influenced by your current posture.

C-PostureBarstool PostureGood Posture
Picture 1Picture 2Picture 3

Hamstring Stretch

Hamstring StretchTo begin the hamstring stretch, find a corner of a wall in your home where you can lay down and place your right foot up against the wall and your left leg flat on the floor (see picture #4).  Position yourself appropriately before beginning the stretch by placing a small towel roll under your lower back for support and choose a distance from the wall that will not create an excessive, painful amount of stretch to the back of your leg when you reach your leg up the wall. 

Begin the stretch by gently contracting your lower abdominal muscles to flatten your lower back into the towel roll, gently squeeze your right thigh muscle to comfortably straighten your right knee and bend your right ankle down toward you so you feel a gentle stretch in your right calf.  If your are properly positioned away from the wall, this stretch will create a comfortable pulling, stretching sensation to the back of your knee, upper and lower leg in the hamstring and calf muscles.  If you feel too much stretch, move farther from the wall and try again. If you don’t feel enough stretch then move closer.  When you have found the right distance from the wall then hold the stretch position for 3-5 minutes or until a complete release of the stretch feeling has been accomplished.  Then switch legs and repeat the stretch.

You can advance the stretch when you are ready by gradually moving closer to the wall and sliding your leg farther up the wall. Try this exercise at least 3 days per week for 2-3 weeks and you should begin to notice a big difference in your ability to achieve good posture and enjoy the results of a much better swing.

If you would like more information about this subject, have other questions related to golf health and fitness training or are interested in locating a FitGolf Performance Center near you, please call: 1-888-FIT-GOLF (348- 4653) or go to Find a Center

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