3 Shoulder Solutions for Golf
Your shoulders are more important than you think in the golf swing. They’re certainly not the primary driver of your swing like the hips. They are very close to the connection between your body and the golf club though, so they must move properly. Here are three problems (and solutions) that can be addressed in your shoulders that can affect your golf swing.
One of the most common address position issues that we see is a rounding of the upper back. This position will actually decrease the amount of rotation that you’re able to create without coming out of your posture. A straighter upper back at setup will lead to a more consistent swing path because you won’t have to change your body position to make a backswing. A more consistent swing path will lead to more consistent contact.
The key to performing this exercise properly is to keep your elbows locked and think about pinching your shoulders together to move your arms. Start with your arms out in front of you, both hands holding a resistance band. You want to start with a little tension on the band and maintain tension throughout the set. Pull your hands apart by squeezing your shoulders together
Lack of External Rotation
While you don’t necessarily NEED it, it sure helps to have it. If you stand with your arms down by your side and rotate your palms out as far a possible, that’s external rotation. When you go into your backswing, your ideal position is to keep your elbow into your side and create a “waiters tray” position. If you can’t externally rotate from the shoulder then your elbow will fly out to the side in a “flying elbow” move. This can promote casting or an over the top move in your downswing. The other problem that a lack of external rotation can cause is a “chicken wing” move with the lead elbow in the downswing. The good news is that there is a remedy for both of these.
Band External Rotations
Set up a resistance band so that it is providing resistance across your body. Start by standing tall with your core tight and your elbow into your side and bent at 90 degrees. With the band providing resistance, rotate your forearm and hand around your body. The movement should be seen at the forearm and hand, but actually feel like it’s originating from the shoulder joint.
Injury Prevention (Golfers/Tennis Elbow)
Our body is a chain and each link effects the other links in the chain. Often when a golfer suffers from golfers elbow or tennis elbow it is not actually their forearm that is the root cause of the problem, it’s actually instability in the shoulder. Dynamic movements like the golf swing require a great degree of stabilization/control from the rotator cuff muscles. This is something that can be trained in a controlled setting to help prevent injury to the shoulder and forearm.
90/90 MB Wall Dribble
Stand facing a wall six inches away from it with a medicine ball in your hand. Your elbow should be bent at 90 degrees with your upper arm parallel to the ground as if you’re about to throw the ball. Begin dribbling the ball against the wall with your fingertips, maintaining control of the ball and keeping your arm in the same position.
Steve Zarriello is a Certified Strength and Conditoning Specialist, TPI Certified coach, and the owner of Olympia Fitness and Performance, located in Cranston, RI. He has been training clients of all different ages, abilities and backgrounds to help them reach their specific goals for almost 15 years. His primary focus is on working with golfers to help improve their ability to play the game and keep them pain free.