The CSGA Links Volume 6 Issue 4 August 2018 - Page 32

FITNESS HOW’S YOUR GOLF MOBILIT Y ? By Ron Kaspriske Illustrations by Brown Bird Design I f you’re off to a bad start this golf season, struggling to hit the ball the way you want, it’s natural to think the cause is a fault in your swing. “But sometimes the fault isn’t the cause, it’s a symptom,” says Golf Digest fitness advisor Ben Shear. Sometimes poor shots are the result of a physical dysfunction that causes poor swing me- chanics. The symptoms: poor contact with the ball even when you’re consciously trying to hit it solid; struggling to swing the club through the impact zone without straightening up; and routinely pulling shots left of your target or slicing them right of it—or both. If any of these describe the state of your game, stand with your back to a wall and take these three physical screening tests to see if you lack the muscle function necessary to hit great shots. TEST NO. 1 Stand with your upper body against a wall and your feet angled about 12 inches from it. Make sure your pelvis is tucked under your torso. Extend one arm so it’s perpendicular to the wall, and raise it over your head without bending it. The goal is to touch the wall while maintaining the body’s other contact points. Repeat the test with the other arm. Reprinted with permission of Golf Digest 32 | CSGA Links // August 2018 IF YOU FAILED The inverted triangular-shaped muscle of your upper back, known as the latissimus dor- si or “lat,” is too tight. This causes your swing to be short and narrow, resulting in thin and fat shots and/or slices. To improve mobility, lie on your side, leaning back slightly on a foam roller. Roll from hips to armpits for three minutes a few times a week. Also, stretch your upper-back muscles before you play.