- When you participate in a golf fitness program at Golfstretch Therapies, there are several, common themes you will discover throughout your journey: increase power, reduce injury, and improve mobility.
- There are many things an avid golfer can do to improve their golf game, but one of the most important things includes mobilizing their thoracic spine.
- In this blog, Golfstretch CEO Adam Swanson explains how patients can increase thoracic mobility with assisted reach backs.
There are a number of ways golfers can increase power in their golf swing. Last week, I demonstrated internal oblique dips for a stronger, more solid core, which helps protect your lower back when generating power for your shot. Today, I’ll be explaining the benefits of assisted reach backs, a unique exercise that boosts thoracic mobility and thoracic turn. Ultimately, the goal behind this simple stretch is to promote a solid rotation in your shoulders and abdomen without your hips following through. This will help reduce your risk of injury to the lower back and hips.
So, why is it important to have spinal mobility for golf? Allow me to explain. Spinal mobility, specifically thoracic mobility, seems to be a forgotten aspect of golf flexibility. While younger golfers generally don’t have an issue with spinal mobility, the same can’t always be said for older golfers. Many golfers over the age of 50 have major backswing flaws because the degree of rotation in their upper thoracic spine is limited.
If this issue is not addressed, pain and injury to the shoulders, hips, and lower back can arise, which would put an unwelcome “pause” on your golf game. Now, just because this problem is more common in older adults, does not mean golfers under the age of 50 shouldn’t be focusing on their thoracic mobility. In fact, performing exercises like assisted reach backs at a younger age can help prevent poor golf swings in the long run.
Before explaining the exercise, I do want to mention that patients with limited thoracic mobility should consider purchasing a foam roller to help break up adhesions in the spinal joints. Moving the foam roller back and forth on your lower back can promote natural lubrication in the joints, which can help with mobility. Now, onto the exercise:
Assisted Reach Backs
To perform this stretch, you’ll need a resistance band with a loop on one end and a handle on the other. To begin, you’ll want to wrap a portion of the tubing around your right foot while kneeling on the ground. Stretch the handle-end of the resistance band in front of you several inches with your right hand. Next, you’ll want to bring the loop-end of the resistance band around your upper back and securely fasten it around your left shoulder. Once the loop is in place, prop yourself up so you’re on all fours. Take your left hand and place it on the back of your neck. When you’re ready, rotate your shoulder and core so that your left elbow meets your right hand. Continue this movement about 10-15 times.
To see how this move is completed in real life, watch the video below!
Golfstretch is a sports performance and rehabilitation center located in Scottsdale, Arizona. Utilizing a combination of therapies, the team at Golfstretch helps clients achieve their health and fitness goals. To learn more about golf fitness, stretch therapy, corrective exercise, and more, call 480-269-1119 to schedule a consultation today! We look forward to hearing from you!
The advice and information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.