golfProper posture is essential for golf performance, which is the reason why professional golfers spend so much time correcting and practicing their posture and setup. Without proper posture, a golfer cannot get into the proper setup positions needed to consistently keep the club on its proper path.

One of the most common postural problems in golfers is the â??C-posture,â? or rounded shoulders. The C-posture occurs when the upper back is too rounded. Vladimir Janda, a Czechoslovakian physical therapist, noticed the same pattern of muscle imbalances in so many individuals that he began calling the pattern â??Upper Crossed Syndrome.â?


Although the majority of the adult population deals with some form of rounded shoulders, women are especially prone to this problem because of the lack of developed muscles in the shoulder and shoulder blade area. It is often the result of the chest muscle and the front part of the shoulder being too tight in comparison to the back part of the shoulder and the muscles surrounding the shoulder blade. Also to note, extreme tightness in your pectoral or chest muscles will also cause you to have rounded shoulders in your setup.


The C-posture causes decreased ability to rotate around the spine, a loss of posture and an inconsistency when trying to square the club face upon impact. When the spine becomes rounded, it restricts the movement. What this means to a golfer is that in order to get adequate shoulder turn, one of two things will happen. Either the lower body will also have to rotate, or you will lift up in your backswing due to the lack of rotation. The over-rotation of the lower body creates a loss of power at impact. The lack of rotation causes a loss of spine angle, which results in difficulty squaring the club face at impact. Both of these movements increase the risk of injury. The need for understanding this comes into play in maximizing performance for the golfer.


C-Posture Set-up

C-Posture Set-up

Correct Posture Set-up

Correct Posture Set-up

Although muscle imbalances are the direct causes of the C-posture, other daily activities can contribute to this problem â?? such as sitting at a computer, reading a book or driving a car. These are prime examples of daily activities that create a rounding of the spine and shoulders.








In order to correct the imbalance of rounded shoulders, you need to use a combination of exercises and stretching. The following are a few simple exercises to create stability and help maintain good posture:

Dumbbell rows: Great for working the lats with heavier weights, but you can challenge the lower back by doing them with both arms at the same time. You may need to use a lighter weight than with one-arm rows, and remember to keep the knees bent to protect the lower back. If you feel any back pain, go back to one-arm rows where you can support the back with the non-working arm. When doing dumbbell rows, do not rotate the torso in an effort to throw the weight up. The torso should be close to horizontal. Positioning a supporting knee and/or arm slightly forward or back will allow for proper leveling of the torso. The torso may be positioned lower to allow for a heavier dumbbell to make contact with floor, if desired.

Cable rows in a lunge position: This is a good exercise for developing the thickness of your middle back area. It is done on a low cable machine with a flat bench attached and foot plates to set your feet on. Do not mistake using momentum with proper form in this exercise, as is the temptation. This will reduce the workload on the target muscles and can lead to injury.

Cable rows from a seated position: Sit slightly forward on a platform and grasp the cable attachment. Place your feet on the vertical platform. Slide hips back, positioning knees with a slight bend. Pull cable attachment to waist while straightening lower back. Pull shoulders back and push chest forward while arching back. Return until arms are extended, shoulders are stretched forward, and lower back is flexed forward. Begin with a light weight and add additional weight gradually to allow your lower back adequate adaptation. Do not pause or bounce at the bottom of the lift. Do not lower your weight beyond a mild stretch. Full range of motion through your lower back will vary from person to person.

Prayer stretch: Kneel down on the ground and sit your back into your heels. Put both hands on a Physioball and slowly roll the ball straight out in front of you until you feel a big stretch in your upper back. Stop if there is any pain.

Pectoral stretch: Kneel down on the ground with a Physioball next to you. Place your elbow on the ball at a 90-degree angle and press down into the ball until you feel a stretch in your chest. Repeat on the other side.

Most imbalances can be fixed by taking the right corrective measures. The risk of injury will decrease, the body will become more stable and an easier, more consistent golf swing will be achieved.

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Corey Taylor

Author Bio: Corey Taylor is a (TPI) Certified golf performance coach based in Louisville, KY. Corey trains some of the top players on the PGA and LPGA tours, but also works with local golfers who are simply looking to improve their game through the use of golf fitness training. Trained under Steve Swanson, Head Biomechanist at the Institute for Sports, Science and Medicine in Salt Lake City, Utah where he gained first hand knowledge of training elite athletes including Olympic and Professional athletes. Corey also enjoyed a 6 year Professional Football career playing in the NFL Europe and the Arena Football League.