Get Golf Fit: Learn how to build backswing power, poise and posture with this simple exercise
At a fundamental level, the golf backswing asks us to swing our arms up into the air without changing the tilt of our upper body. That might sound simple, but it does place demands on the muscle groups that help our arms stretch upwards.
Here we are, looking at the latissimus dorsi (or lats) – the large muscles that span the entire back and insert onto each arm. If your lats are tight, you risk restrictions in that upward motion that can severely compromise your technique. Here's how to check their flexibility... and what you can do to improve it.
1: Back Against The Wall
Form a half-sitting position against a wall. Your feet should be shoulder width apart with heels under knees. Place a shaft behind your lower back and make sure you apply enough pressure to keep it pinned into the wall. Stretch your arms in front of you, elbows locked and thumbs up.
2: Raise Your Arms
Now lift both arms up, as high as they will go. We need to see how close you can get your thumbs to the wall without your arms bending, your back arching (keep that club in place!) or creating pain. Note your range of movement might be different for each shoulder. When you reach your limit, you will fall into one of four camps:
➤ Below 120 degrees
Top of the arm below the nose
➤ Equal to 120 degrees
Top of the arm covers the nose
➤ Between 121-169 degrees
Top of the arm between nose and the wall
➤ Greater than 169 degrees
Touches the wall