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Shoulder Mobility Correctives 

Last week we went over one of the mobility screens for the shoulder.  The ability to obtain adequate external rotation, and maintain it, is crucial for staying in posture during your backswing.  We want to be able to externally rotate past your spine angle.  If you are unable to reach that position in either posture you may have a mobility problem with your shoulder.  If you are able to rotate past your spine angle in the upright position but lose range of motion when in your golf posture you may have a stability issue around your shoulder blade (scapulothoracic region).

 This screen is great at identifying that there is a limitation but it doesn’t tell us WHY you have that limitation.  Further assessment is needed to determine the best correctives but here are a couple of exercises that can generally help improve mobility or stability.

One of our favorite exercises to use in the office for mobility (and some stability) is shoulder circles with assistance.  If you don’t have bands you can also perform the exercise without the bands.  The idea is to try to reach farther each repetition.  We do the exercise in a half kneeling position most of the time but you can do it seated, kneeling, or standing.  Start with your arms extended out away from your body.  Bend one elbow so that your hand reaches over top of your head and try to touch the top of your opposite shoulder blade.  At the same time, bend your other elbow and move your arm/hand behind your back and try to touch the bottom of the opposite shoulder blade.  Once you’ve reached as far as you can return to the starting position and repeat in the opposite direction.  Perform 3 sets of 10 repetitions.

shoulder_circles_startshoulder_circles_1 shoulder_circles_2
A primary reason we see instability around the shoulder blade is an imbalance in the trapezius muscle.  Typically the upper trap becomes a lot stronger and more active than the lower trap.  This can lead us to get in a posture where the shoulder blade is elevated and possibly rounded forward, which causes instability.  The low trap pulldown is a great exercise to work on this muscular imbalance.  The exercise is very similar to a lat pulldown but we setup with a very narrow grip and pull down straight to your chest.  This exercise can be performed with bands or a cable pulley system.  As you pull the handles down concentrate on squeezing your shoulder blades down and back.

 low_trap_start low_trap_finish
If you would like additional exercises or a more detailed assessment please contact me at curryns@gmail.com and I would be happy to send you additional exercises.  Be sure to also follow our social media pages (@swingrxgolf).

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