In light of our upcoming golf seminar, I would like to address the importance of adequate mobility in injury prevention. Swinging a golf club demands a great deal of mobility from a multitude of different joints throughout the body. If we lack mobility in one region, we can increase our risk of injury in two ways. First, we can possibly overload a joint that has insufficient motion. Second, a joint with excessive motion can be overloaded by the need to compensate for other, less mobile, joints. In order to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of our swing it is important to ensure that we have adequate mobility throughout. One of the areas that is often lacking mobility and is extensively involved during the golf swing is the Thoracic Spine.
For those unfamiliar with the thoracic spine, this is the area of the spine between the base of the neck and the lower back. We will be focusing on improving thoracic extension and rotation as these motions are involved in the golf swing and are often lacking mobility. Below, I will discuss two simple exercises that can be done at home and can be done in a seated position. The simplicity of these exercises and the supportive position in which these exercises are performed make them applicable not only for recreational golfers, but also for members of the general population.
The first exercise will work on thoracic extension and can be performed using a chair and a rolled up towel. In order to perform the exercise, sit in a chair with firm back support with a rolled up towel between your middle back and the back of the chair as pictured below. Arch your upper back as if you were trying to curve your thoracic spine around the towel roll. Make sure to minimize the degree to which you arch your lower back, as we are trying to emphasize the thoracic spine. You can perform this exercise for 20-30 repetitions holding for 1-2 seconds at the end range and can be performed 1-3 times daily. Make sure that you are performing the exercise in a pain free range.
The next exercise will focus on thoracic rotation. In order to perform this exercise, we will sit in our chair, however, will move approximately 1-3 inches toward the front of our chair so that our back is not supported by the back of the chair. Next, cross your arms and while sitting upright as tall as you can, rotate towards one side until a restriction in motion is felt. Hold for 1-2 seconds, then rotate towards the opposite directions and repeat. Each sequence of rotating in both directions counts as 1 repetition and you may perform 10-30 repetitions 1-3 times daily. Make sure that you are performing this exercise in a pain free range.
When working on mobility of the thoracic spine, it is useful to perform these exercises in a seated position. When seated, we minimize our lumbar spine motion and focus on improving our thoracic mobility. These exercises provide an avenue for improving our mobility in a simple and safe matter regardless of functional level; making them useful for all members of Physical Solutions, not just our Golfers!
To learn more, join us for our upcoming golf seminar! Here we will discuss thoracic mobility in further detail in addition to hip mobility, rotator cuff strengthening, and LE strengthening; all aiming towards improved performance.
The Golf Seminar will take place:
Wednesday, March 20th at 5:00pm in our Mineola Office with Nicole Strk
Friday, March 22nd at 5:00pm in our Bethpage Office with Clara Vargas
All images taken from HEP2Go.com