Better Posture = Better Golf

BY David Chettle

It is pretty simple really – the better your posture is at address and through your swing, the better and more consistent your swing will be. There are many exercises that will help you improve your posture. In this feature, we will investigate one of the best exercises that you can add to your current program.

The Bent-Over Barbell Row is a fantastic exercise that strengthens the major muscles of the upper back while concurrently enhancing your postural strength. It is an intermediate gym exercise that requires a certain amount of postural awareness and understanding of where your body is in space and time. By strengthening the musculature of the upper back through proper shoulder blade control, we can help to keep your arms “quiet” throughout your swing.

The objective of the exercise is to maintain neutral spine posture throughout, while pulling the barbell in towards the abdomen (belly button to be precise). Make use of the mirrors in your gym to check that your posture is correct to begin with and also that it is maintained throughout each set.

During each repetition, the focus should be on drawing the shoulder blades in together rather than just bending your elbows using your biceps. You are actually trying to feel the lower points of your shoulder blade squeezing together moreso than the upper portion – this can be best felt by ensuring that the bar is pulled low towards your belly button and not to your chest.

Always keep your back straight throughout the exercise – rounding of your upper spine will often result in discomfort (not to mention no strength training benefit). If you have a noticeable strength imbalance of your upper back musculature, you may notice that, when completing this exercise, you feel the muscles across the top of your shoulder and neck region doing too much work (even after technique correction). If this is the case, you should refer to the seated row article as an alternative exercise.

The pictures below show the start and finish positions from side and front views. As a part of your program, you should aim to complete 3 sets of 10-15 repetitions with a challenging weight 2-3 times per week. Avoid any bouncing movement of your trunk – if you can’t keep your trunk still, chances are that the weight is too heavy for you.

Improved postural strength is not only crucial to improving your golf, but also to improving your daily function and health of your spine. Be sure to ask for assistance from a suitably qualified exercise specialist when learning this exercise.

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    About the Author: David Chettle

    David Chettle is a Director of The Golf Athlete and Under Construction Personal Training. He is a consultant to Women's Golf Australia, Queensland State Men's & Women's Teams, QLD Academy of Sport, Schools of Excellence in Golf (Kelvin Grove & Hills International School) and the PGA of Australia.


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