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July 26 2012

2:57 PM

Fitness: 2 moves to increase mobility

By Sean Cochran, Golf Fitness

Mobility and flexibility are terms associated with the execution of an efficient golf swing. We are well aware the modern day swing requires the golfer to draw the club through a large range of motion during the backswing, downswing, and into the finish position.

In order for the golfer to achieve this requirement of the golf swing, certain levels of joint mobility and muscular flexibility are needed within the body. If the golfer is lacking these physical components, the ability to execute a proficient golf swing can easily be limited thus resulting in the development of compensation patterns in order to overcome these physical limitations.

A biomechanical analysis of the golf swing indicates certain segments (i.e. joints) of the body must be mobile in order execute a proficient golf swing. In general, the ankle, hips, thoracic spine (area between the shoulder blades), shoulder, and wrist require operation through a large range of motion to execute the athletic actions associated with the golf swing.

Two very common areas of limited mobility affecting the golf swing are the hips and thoracic spine. Both of these segments of the body are integral in executing the rotary components in the backswing and downswing. That being said, limitations in either the hips or thoracic spine can easily limit a golfer’s ability to efficiently rotate.

Two very good golf fitness exercises to assist in developing mobility in the hips and thoracic spine are Stork Turns and Kneeling Club Rotations. Stork turns are a dynamic mobility exercise addressing the hips where as Kneeling Club Rotations focus on the rotary aspects of the thoracic spine.

Stork Turns (Hip Mobility and Separation) stand perpendicular to a wall, post, cable column, or golf club, feet closer than shoulder width, torso upright, and hands on wall. Hook the right foot behind the knee of the left leg.

Slowly rotate the hips left and right while keeping the shoulders parallel. Increase the speed of the hip rotation as you become comfortable with the exercise. Perform 10-15 repetitions and repeat the exercise with the left foot hooked behind the right knee. Keep your foot planted firmly on the floor and shoulders stationary throughout the entire exercise.

Kneeling Club Rotations (Thoracic Spine Mobility) position 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 sequence with the left knee in contact with the floor. Keep the arms extended overhead throughout the entire exercise.

Segmental mobility is a key component in the execution of a proficient golf swing.

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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