Not only is good posture important in everyday life, but it also plays a vital role in the golf swing. In a perfect world, we would all exhibit a neutral spine position 24/7. However, due to jobs, stress, injury, and just day-to-day activities, we all lack the perfect posture that our moms tried to instill in us during childhood. Unfortunately, poor posture can translate into our golf game by interfering with the golf setup. These two posture flaws are known as S posture and C posture.
S-Posture is excessive curvature of the lower back, and is the number 1 cause of lower back pain in golfers.
It can occur in golf posture or in everyday standing position. During the TPI screening, we test for S posture during the Pelvic Tilt Test and the Glute Bridge Test. This excessive curvature of the lower back puts high stress on muscles in the lower back and inhibits abdominal muscles. This lack of activation in the core can cause a golfer to have unwanted swing characteristics, such as loss of posture or reverse spine angle. These series of events puts your lower body out of position in the downswing.
In most cases, S posture is caused by Lower Crossed Syndrome (LCS). LCS is caused by a series of muscle imbalances that can lead to major injury. The muscle imbalances typically occur with four parts of the body: glutes, hip flexors, abdominals, and lower back. Often we see a client suffering from Lower Crossed Syndrome that has tight hip flexors, a tight lower back, weak glutes and weak abdominals. How do we correct LCS? In order to reverse LCS, we need to loosen the lower back and hip flexors while strengthening the glutes and core.
Unlike S posture, C posture deals with a C shaped curve occurring from the tailbone to the shoulders.
This posture can limit a golfer’s thoracic spine mobility. As a result, it reduces the player’s ability to rotate in the backswing, which is something we never want. This posture can sometimes be fixed by tweaking the golfers setup, but in the majority of cases it is due to a muscle imbalances. The muscle imbalances that occur in C posture are referred to as Upper Crossed Syndrome (UCS). Upper Crossed Syndrome is due to tight muscles in the pecs, trapezius, latissimus dorsi, and weak muscles in the serratus anterior, neck, and lower trapezius. We can test for this during the Overhead Deep Squat test, Lat Test, and Toe Touch Test.
Hopefully now you can see how important posture is in the golf swing. It is important that you get together with a TPI professional to make sure your golf game is the best that it can be. The majority of the time the only way to address these muscle imbalances causing the bad posture is by addressing these limitations in the gym or with a TPI certified professional.