This is part 1A of a 4 part series examining different phases of the golf swing. These phases include the set-up, back swing, transition into the downswing, and weight shift and rotation to impact. Most know that each phase is important into achieving and consistent and powerful golf swing. What this series will provide are simple exercise interventions to make each phase easier for the amateur golfer to execute. Today I will be discussing set-up and posture.

In many instances, flawed and inefficient movement throughout the swing stems from incorrect posture at address. Poor posture at address may also lead to low back and shoulder pain and stiffness that many amateur golfers experience throughout a round of golf. The most common mistake is made by bending from the wrong area of the body. Many amateurs tend to forward bend from the mid-back (thoracic spine), which is called setting up in C-Posture (due to the rounding of the spine into a C-shape). Those who sit at a desk for work or log a lot of hours in the car are more susceptible to setting up with C-posture due to muscular imbalances the sitting position promotes.

C-Posture limits the amount of space your spinal joints have to rotate in the back swing. This will prevent you from having a smooth and complete turn into the back swing which can ultimately cause a loss of posture in the form of a sway or reverse pivot. In other words, setting up with bad posture makes it extremely difficult to achieve consistent ball striking. Because poor posture at address causes poor movement throughout the rest of the swing, the back and shoulders are placed under abnormal stress which may lead to pain and stiffness. To simply summarize, setting up in poor posture can ruin the swing before you even pull the club head back.

 

It is easy to see and feel if you are set up in bad posture, but can be challenging to correct it. First, golfers must have a combination of sufficient flexibility, strength, and coordination to put their bodies into an ideal address poition and to be able to do it on a consistent and comfortable basis. Second, they must have a strong understanding on how to initiate the movements necessary to consistently and safely put them into the correct position. Here is a great drill to learn the movement necessary to get into perfect address posture:

Club Behind The Spine Drill:

Stand tall and place a golf club behind your back with the club face pressed against your tailbone and the grip pressed against the back of your head. Next, flatten your back so your low back is firmly pressed against the club. Now, bend forward and push your butt back ensuring the club shaft stays pressed against your head, tailbone, and low back THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE MOTION.  Bend forward enough for the shoulders to get in line or slightly forward of your toes.  This is the ideal positioning for posture at address.

This is a drill you can take out to the range today. In part 1B I will discuss other exercises you can use at home or at the gym to make this drill and setting up correctly easier.

If you use this club behind the spine drill to practice getting into an ideal address posture, it will surely help improve all phases of the swing and the consistency of your game.

Download (PDF, Unknown)

Download the Club Behind the Spine Exercise here.

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