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Posture Perfected!
By Mark Blackburn

Posture is a crucial factor in determining your golf swing’s overall efficiency.  Many of the so called “classic swing faults” are predisposed to golfers through poor posture at address and during the swing.  The human body works most efficiently when muscles, ligaments and joints are in neutral alignments.  Such alignments are crucial to golfers generating power and developing accuracy.

However, the day to day wear on our bodies through work and play often makes it very difficult to maintain neutral body alignments. In fact, many people sustain overuse injuries during their daily routines, which can then become chronic conditions and eventually lead to arthritis.   Ultimately, this restricts the body’s ability to move into and through neutral anatomical alignments at address and during the golf swing. 

With this in mind it is extremely common for players with physical limitations to set up incorrectly to the golf ball. The instructor must recognize these limitations and then set that golfer up to the ball with the posture that is a close to neutral as they are physically able.  This then increases their chances to make a good swing consistently.  For those individuals who can naturally implement neutral golf posture, you have a fantastic advantage in swinging the club effectively. 

Often golfers don’t understand how to setup correctly in neutral posture, even if they are physically able.  Fortunately, using a simple physical screen, golfers can now learn the positions and range of motion necessary to achieve neutral golf posture.   The “Pelvic Tilt Test” shows golfers the difference between the two extremes in golf posture known as “S” posture or excessive anterior tilt, and “C” posture or excessive posterior tilt.  Usually these extreme postures are adopted by a golfer based on their body’s physical condition and can lead to injury.  Thankfully, between these two extremes is the all elusive neutral golf posture. 

“S” posture is caused by a player creating too much arch in their lower back.  We’ve all been told to “stick our butt out “at address, yet when over exaggerated it impinges the spine and the body’s ability to rotate, which is essential to producing effortless power in the swing. Conversely, “C” posture is where the shoulders are excessively rounded and slumped forward at address and the curve continues down to the tail bone forming the spine into a letter “C”. A person’s regular working position at a desk or computer generally promotes golfers towards “C” posture. Often “C” posture can cause narrow short backswings reducing the golfer’s ability to generate a powerful pivot.

Neutral golf posture falls in the middle of these two postural extremes.  It is achieved when the upper back and shoulders are straight, and by bending forwards from the hips without arching your lower back.   The pelvic tilt test moves golfers from excessive anterior through posterior tilt and back to neutral.  Once golfers feel the extremes it is much easier to understand and apply a neutral golf posture.

To perform the “pelvic tilt” screen adopt your normal five iron address posture, then cross your arms across your chest.  Maintaining that position stick your butt out and arch your lower back, you’re now in “S” posture or anterior tilt.  From this position now tuck/pull your pelvis underneath you removing the arch in your lower back.  Forming a forward curve in your lower back and shoulders you’ll finish in “C” posture or posterior tilt.  Neutral posture is between these two extremes.  To achieve neutral posture you must move from the “C” posture by beginning to pull your shoulders back, to straighten the rounding you created.  Then begin to arch the lower back until it is flat and stop.  Your back from the shoulders down to tail bone should now be flat and you are bent forward at the hips, in a neutral golf posture.

If the test was hard to complete, with shaky and vibrating movement from “S” to “C” posture known as “shake and bake” you should perform the screen frequently and adopt some strengthening exercises for your core muscles. Being able to perform the test easily in a smooth motion will be a great asset in producing an efficient swing. Adopting this neutral address posture may feel awkward and or difficult but it will relieve pressure and stress on your spine.  In the long term, once the spine can rotate freely through the swing you will start to play golf with more power and precision.  Perfect posture is the key to your most efficient swing yet!!!!!!!!!!!!


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