Golf Better By Improving Your Posture – Part 1
Posture is the habitual position that people hold themselves in, whether they are sitting, standing, active or sedentary. The aim of good posture is to maintain the natural curves of the spine, this will minimize stress through the joints, ligaments and discs of the spine, as well as position muscles in ways that will facilitate their action. Good posture will therefore make all movements more efficient and is essential to any athletic activity, including golf. If a golfer adopts poor posture in the address position, then all subsequent movement becomes a compensation to account for the less than ideal starting point. This will place the golfer at increased risk of injury, as well as make them less consistent and affect performance.
The habitual posture that anybody, especially an athlete, adopts will have significant influence over their movement patterns. In this way,what you do when you are doing nothing will influence what you do when you are doing something! In other words, if the golferʼs habit is to sit in front of a computer screen with shoulders sagging, chin poked forward and back slouched, then when they go to the golf course they will address the golf ball with shoulders sagging, chin poked forward and back slouched … not a good start. The body will very quickly adapt to the postures held in daily activities, resulting in stretched muscles becoming weak, tight muscles becoming stronger and faulty movement patterns being the consequence. It is essential therefore that good postural habits are learned and practiced so they become second nature. This will carry over to improved postural habits on the golf course and improved performance.
The following guidelines can be used to develop good postural habits.
When sitting the golfer should:
• roll their pelvis forward so they are sitting on the bony prominences in the buttocks, the “sit bones”
• imagine that there is a string pulling through the top of the head, making them taller
• let their shoulder blades sit back and down
• have their feet flat on the ground, thighs parallel and hips slightly higher than their knees
When using a mouse on the computer, as well as the above points, the golfer should also:
• have their arms by their side
• bend their elbows to 90°, where their hand falls, that is where the mouse should be
• have the screen of the computer directly in front of them, screen slightly below eye level
When sitting the following commonly seen poor postural habits must be avoided:
• slouching into the back rest of a chair or couch
• rolling back to sit with weight through the flat bone at the base of the spine, the sacrum, rather than through the “sit bones”
• crossing 1 leg across the other, or crossing the ankles
• using a cordless mouse that is placed well in front of the golfer