Mid-back rotation is key to a powerful and accurate swing. Mid-back flexibility also helps protect the low back from too much twisting. Unfortunately mid-back stiffness – and along with it weak muscles between the shoulder blades and tension in the tops of the shoulders – is extremely common, especially among those of us who spend hours every day working on computers. As a result, I see a lot of hunched over golfers when I look out of the office window down at the driving range.
This does not have to be you! If you would like to have a nice upright set-up like this golfer, check out the exercise below!
Do not force this exercise. You should feel no pain during or after, and you should be able to breathe normally throughout.
Grab a bath towel and a club. Roll up the towel and lay it on the floor. Have another towel or a pillow ready to support your head if necessary.
Lie down on your back, so that the towel is lengthwise under your spine, from your head to your tailbone. If the towel is too short, or your head is tipping back, use a pillow for your head. Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the floor.
Now grasp the shaft of the club with both hands as far apart as possible. Letting gravity help you, bring the club over your head as far as you can comfortably go.
Do not force the arm movement. Go as far as your flexibility allows you to comfortably go. It will improve with time and practice!
Keep the tops of the shoulders relaxed, and do not let the low back arch up away from the towel as the arms rise.
Stay here for one full breath, then return to the starting position.
Repeat ten times.
If that was super easy, you can add in a bit of abdominal work. Lie directly on the floor, without the towel. Straighten the right knee, but keep your thighs parallel. You will have to tighten your abs a bit more to keep your back from arching. There should be no spine movement at all during this exercise. Now perform the arm movement ten more times. Switch legs and do ten more reps.
- No arching in the low back
- No tension in the tops of the shoulders
- No pain anywhere
- Breathe normally
That’s it for now. Work on this for a while. Soon enough it will feel easy, which is a good thing. What comes next will build on this exercise.