Fitness

How To Check Your Joint Range of Motion

It is important in a good golf swing to be able to move with freedom and speed. Having a body that is capable of this type of movement means that more power can be generated and a more consistent and reliable swing can be created. One important part of having a free and powerful golf swing is to make sure that your body has normal range of motion in its joints. Range of motion is how far you can move individual joints in different directions and it is important that your movement is in the normal range for each joint. If your range of motion is not in the normal range you need to stretch the particular joint to increase the movement. This will move you back into the normal range and, as well as making it easier for you to swing, will decrease the likelihood of you being injured.
As I have mentioned in previous blog posts the best way to determine if your joint range of motion is an issue is to go and visit a golf specific physiotherapist or trainer and have them assess your body and design a training program for you. I also understand that sometimes this is not possible for a number of reasons. One reason that I faced as a coach was when I was coaching in China. Golf is a relatively new sport in China and with the language barriers I faced and the lack of golf specific specialists I did my own research and designed my own evaluation and stretching program. Below is a video of one of my Chinese students completing all of the range of motion tests that I was using when coaching there. As you can see there are a number of tests and I will explain some of the tests that I feel are most important below.

Spinal Rotation Test:
As a golfer if you have restricted movement in your spine you will find it difficult to make an effective golf swing. Lack of flexibility in this area may result in incorrect or reduced rotation as well as making it difficult to swing with an effective swing path.
The Test:
Lie on your back with your knees in the air. Slowly lower your legs to one side. If you have normal range of motion in your spine you should be able to lay your legs on the ground while keeping your opposite shoulder on the ground. Repeat on the opposite side.

Stretches to Improve Your Range of Motion:
Trunk rotation stretch
Apley Scratch Test:
This test is to assess if you have adequate range of motion in your shoulders. This test will assess both internal and external rotation of the shoulder joint. Tightness in these joints can have an influence on your backswing and follow through as well as making it difficult to swing on plane.
The Test:
Reach over your shoulder and attempt to touch the top inside corner of your opposite shoulder blade. Then reach behind your back and attempt to touch the lower part of your opposite shoulder blade. The first test measures your external rotation while the second test measures your internal rotation. The further you are from your shoulder blade the less range of motion you have.

Stretches to Improve Your Range of Motion:
Medial shoulder rotator stretch
Lateral shoulder rotator stretch
Arm Raise Test:
This test is used to measure two common issues in golfers, tight latissimus dorsi muscles and a tight thoracic spine. Problems in this area will also make it difficult to complete an effective back swing and follow through and may result in swing plane compensations.
The Test:
Stand with your heels approximately one foot from a wall with your butt, back and head touching the wall. Have a partner check the amount of lower back curve you have and then raise your arms in the air. You should be able to move your arms back towards the wall while keeping the same amount of lower back curve. If you can’t do this, chances are you have tight latissimus dorsi muscles. If you are unable to keep your head against the wall whilst completing this test there is a chance you have thoracic spine tightness.

Stretches to Improve Your Range of Motion:
Latissimus dorsi stretch
Foam roller mobilization
(Note: if you test positive for tightness in the lower spine, please see your doctor to check for spinal arthritis before starting any stretching exercises. Mobilization exercises with spinal arthritis may result in fracture of the spine and serious injury and pain.)
These tests and exercises would be a good start for all golfers as it is important to understand that even if you have normal range of motion in your joints now, it would be wise to develop a stretching program to maintain your flexibility levels. Good flexibility will assist you in making a good golf swing as well as reduce the likelihood of injury from playing golf.

Until next time,
Brent

Links for stretches

Trunk rotation stretch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MuuZalrYoQE

Medial shoulder rotator stretch: internal: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MpC3hlOL2i4

External: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eMR66UZito0

Lateral shoulder rotator stretch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z95rp-mKfR8

Latissimus dorsi stretch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5yjGtlJ6NSg

Brent Davis

Brent Davis

PGA Professional

Training & Education Coordinator
PGA Centre For Learning Performance
Melborne, Victoria, Australia

Email: brentdavis@pgamember.org.au

 

Fitness Archives

Fun In Fitness Training

Fun In Your Fitness Training If you have been following my blog posts on this website, you are probably getting the message that fitness training for golf is important. Well, I will emphasise here again that it is very important, both to your golf and your general...

read more

Golf Fitness, Is It For You?

Golf Fitness, Is It For You? There has been a lot of coverage lately in the media and on social media about golf fitness and the training that certain tour players complete. Some of the comments made have been negative towards fitness training for golfers and I...

read more

TEAM MFG BLOG

Sand Green Golf

Sand Green GolfI grew up in regional Australia and I was visiting my home town over Christmas and I took a drive around all the golf courses I had played as a junior and amateur golfer around my home town. In Australia...

The Search For Your Golf Ball Shortens | Rule 18-2

The Search For Your Golf Ball Shortens |  Rule 18-2 As you all know by now, there has been a major revision to the Rules of Golf.  After an extensive review, the R&A and the USGA have modernized the Rules of Golf...

Golf Match Play-Think A Different Way

Golf Match Play-Think A Different Way   Playing match play golf has been around for centuries.  With a handicap system to equal the field, just about anyone can beat anyone on any given day. That's what makes it...

Dustin Johnson Victorious Despite Rules Controversy

  After several near misses, Dustin Johnson finally closed the deal and won the 2016 US Open at Oakmont Country Club.  Added to the pressure of trying to win the US Open was a possible penalty lingering over his...

Does Your Ball Marker Size Matter?

Does Your Ball Marker Size Matter? A current fad in golf is to mark one’s golf ball with a poker chip or a poker chip sized ball marker. This brought up an interesting question with regards to “size” or “type” of...

What Is A Caddie’s Responsibility Under The Rules of Golf?

In this post we discuss what a caddie's responsibility is under the rules of golf.  Rule 6, The Player, is one of the Rules that deals with a players responsibilities during a stipulated round of golf.  Rule 6-1...

The Origins of The Masters Theme Song

The Origins of the Masters Theme Song So where did the Masters theme song come from?  That iconic music you hear every year around Masters time.  So soothing and peaceful. Makes you think of azaleas, beautiful green...

Anchored Stroke

For those using the anchored putting stroke, it is getting to the end of the line for you to use this type of stroke. As you may remember, when golf's ruling bodies, the USGA and R&A, announced the ban on anchored...

Better Distance Control On Wedge Shots

Better Distance Control On Wedge Shots   One of the things I am often asked is:  "How do I get better distance control on wedge shots?" At Boyne Mountain Resort we have installed Northern Michigan's first Wedge...

Play Faster Golf

Play Faster Golf   A movement across America in the last several years has been finding ways to play faster golf.  One of the main reasons why golf has been on the decline lately is because people don't feel they...

Refusal To Look For Original Ball

While working a stroke play tournament this summer I was called over by a  player to make a ruling.  At a par - 4 hole, Player A hit his second shot into a dense thicket behind the green.  Since the ball may be lost,...

Use The Tee Drill For Better Chipping

Better Chipping |  Use The Tee Drill   In this video Mike Fay shows you a great drill to help you with your short game.  This video was featured on Mike Fay Golf Live. Bad short game shots could be the most...

Hitting The Center Of The Golf Club Face

Hitting The Center Of The Clubface   Until the past several years we really didn't know how important hitting your golf ball on the center of the golf club face really was.  Through the magic of technology, we now...

Club Replacement & Normal Course Of Play

Club Replacement and Normal Course of Play During the second round of play of the 2015 WGC - Cadillac Championship a frustrated Rory McIlroy hurled a golf club into the water in anger, playing the remainder of the...

How To Take Relief From Immovable Obstructions

How To Take Relief From Immovable Obstructions In the Rules of Golf an obstruction is a movable obstruction if it can be moved without unreasonable effort, without unduly delaying play and without causing damage. ...

The Use Of The Provisional Ball Rule

  The Use Of A Provisional Ball This is the next in the Playing By The Rules Video Series.  Mike and Frank discuss the proper way of using a provisional ball.   We discuss what the rule states and how to go about...

What Is Meant By Testing The Conditions of a Golf Hazard?

In this latest article Frank discusses the dos and don't when pertaining to golf hazards.  Rule 13-4 Ball in Hazard; Prohibited Actions states: "Except as provided in the Rules, before making a stroke at a ball that is...

Where Does The Term Birdie Come From?

Where Does The Term Birdie Come From? We all love making birdies.  Who doesn't right?  But did you know the origin of the term?  Well, in golf history standards the term birdie isn't that old at all. Atlantic City...

How To Repair A Ball Mark

How To Repair A Ball Mark   The USGA has released a great video about repairing ball marks we wanted to share with you.  In the following video, find out why it's important to fix a ball mark and why doing it...

Subscribe

Never miss a new post, article, or video!
Subscribe to our newsletter Chip Shots!

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Follow Us

Providing golf instruction, lessons, lesson, group lessons, private junior golf lessons, adult, kids, professional, learn, learning, winter golf coaching, and to Mackinaw City, Pellston, Cheboygan, Indian River, Alanson, Harbor Springs, Petoskey, Charlevoix, Boyne City, Boyne Falls, East Jordan, Traverse City, Gaylord and the surrounding areas in Michigan. Best Golf Teacher in Michigan.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This