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May 24 2012

5:41 PM

Golf Fitness: Improve shoulder turn

By Sean Cochran, Golf Fitness The shoulder turn is an integral part of the golf swing as it pertains to the generation of power, creating efficiency in the transfer of speed to the impact position, and in the development of an efficient kinematic sequence. We also know if the golfer is lacking a good shoulder turn a number of swing faults will most likely occur as it relates to the swing plane due to changes in posture, poor sequencing, or compensatory patterning. Outside of instruction, what the golfer must recognize is the shoulder turn requires certain levels of joint mobility, muscular flexibility, and segmental stability in order to execute in an efficient manner. Specifically, good hip mobility, thoracic spine mobility, flexibility in the muscles surrounding the hips and a strong core are needed to execute the shoulder turn. The process of developing the aforementioned physical components can occur via golf fitness training. For example, if a golfer was lacking in both hip and thoracic spine mobility we could utilize Windshield Wipers, and Kneeling Club Rotations to improve these two physical components. On the other hand, if core strength was the culprit of a poor shoulder turn we could look to Kneeling Chops as a way to improve the golfer’s core strength. EXERCISES Windshield Wipers (to improve hip mobility): Position yourself on the floor, back flat, knees bent at 90 degrees, hands between both knees, feettogether, and head resting on the floor. Slowly separate your feet keeping the knees bent at 90 degrees. Create the separation of the feet through rotation at the hip joint. Separate the feet as far as possible while keeping the knees and hands in contact with one another. Return to the starting position and repeat for 10-15 repetitions. Kneeling Club Rotations (to improve thoracic spine mobility): Begin this exercise by positioning the lower body in a kneeling position with the right knee in contact with the floor. Grasp a golf club or dowel rod with both hands and extend the arms straight overhead. Position the torso upright with the eyes looking forward. Slowly rotate the upper body to the right while keeping the arms overhead. Rotate as far as possible the right while keeping the torso upright and arms overhead. Pause slightly at the end point of the rotation and repeat to the left, alternate rotating left and right for 10 repetitions and repeat the exercise with the left knee on the floor in a lunge position. Kneeling Cable Chops (to improve core strength): Begin this exercise by attaching a bar or rope to a cable attachment and lock in the highest position of the cable column. Position yourself in a kneeling position 2-3 feet away from the machine with the left leg forward and perpendicular to the cable machine. Grasp the bar with the left hand at the top of the bar with the thumb pointing down and position the right hand at opposite end of the bar. Maintain an upright torso position with the eyes looking forward. Begin the exercise by pulling the left hand to your left shoulder allowing the right arm to extend in front of you. Pause briefly  and then simultaneously push the left hand toward the floor in front of your torso as the right hand moves upward to the right shoulder. Pause at this end position, reverse the sequence of movements returning to the starting position of the exercise and repeat for 8-15 repetitions. Repeat the exercise with the right leg forward in a kneeling position and right hand at the top of the bar or rope. Over time the inclusion of these types of exercises will improve hip mobility, core strength, and thoracic spine mobility,  allowing the golfer to swing with a good shoulder turn. To learn more about Sean Cochran and his golf fitness training exercises and golf fitness programs go to http://www.seancochran.com/
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