Golf Fitness by SwingFit: Lower Back & Shoulder Pain – Test | Mobilize | Strengthen

With Evan Bett, SwingFit Golf

Do you suffer from lower back pain while playing golf? Have you developed any shoulder injuries or impingements? It’s not a lower back issue and it’s certainly not a shoulder problem, it’s a bi-product of limited rotation! 

It’s nothing you haven’t heard before, thoracic rotation is key to an efficient golf swing. Good separation between the upper body and lower body is critical for developing speed and maintaining a good posture during the golf swing. Limited thoraco-lumbar mobility causes compensation patterns in the swing. In the backswing, you’ll see golfers stand up straight and lose the integrity of their postural angles, some will get really flat with their shoulder plane, some will extend and tilt their spine towards the target. Whatever the tendency may be, in order to get the feeling of the club getting up and around the body in the backswing, golfers with a lack of thoracic rotation will place excessive rotational stress on the lumbar spine or misuse/overuse their shoulders to compensate. Play enough golf with this underlying issue and you can bet the onset of these pains/injuries are knocking on the door. 

25% of amateur golfers have less than 45 degrees of thoracic rotation compared to the PGA average of only 9%. If the standard for hip rotation in the backswing is about 45 degrees and the standard for shoulder turn is 90 degrees, that extra 45 degrees of separation is critical to achieve that sense of coil every golfer desires. There’s a reason why the professional players make it look so easy – they can rotate! 

Check out the video below to test your degree of thoracic rotation and use the recommended mobility/strength exercises to fix your faults.

Train with purpose and swing healthy folks!

Evan Bett

PGA of Canada Associate Professional

TPI Golf Fitness Specialist

CHEK Golf Performance Specialist 

CHEK Holistic Lifestyle Coach

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