Many golfers struggle with back pain at least once during their playing tenure. Coincidentally, most amateur golfers struggle with a slice.
There are many causes of back pain with which I don’t want to bore you. However, I am going to address one of the most common causes, which falls into the technique category: The Sway!!
In order to turn into your right hip (for right-hand golfers), there are several physical parameters that must be developed. The most important is right hip internal rotation, if the body is not able to turn around the right hip due to joint or muscle restrictions, then lateral movement will occur. Secondly, the ability to separate your upper body from your lower body allows you to make a shoulder turn without swaying. Limited spinal mobility is the main cause of this physical restriction. Finally, the ability to laterally stabilize your right leg during the backswing is directly proportional to the strength and stability of your glute muscles. This muscle helps prevent the right hip from elevating and shifting laterally during the backswing.
A majority of golfers struggle with the sway, however, most do not know that the sway is the beginning phase of the dreaded Slice. In trying to correct the slice, most will try to influence the grip and address posture which is important.
You’re probably asking by now how does the Sway create the Slice and be a causative factor in causing back pain?
If you sway, there is no stable foundation to drive your weight off the right foot during the transition into the downswing. You will lose power and a breakdown of the kinetic sequence will occur.
To understand this further, your head and upper body will tilt toward the target, creating a reverse spine angle. This will put a tremendous amount of undue stress on the left side of your spine. This leads to initiating the downswing with the arms, creating an over–the–top move and outside-to-inside swing path — the signature ingredient for a slice.
Additionally, in the follow-through, another reverse spine angle occurs creating a “crunch factor” that can cause right low back pain. None of this, of course, is good for your game or your back!
I highly recommend you seek out the GOLFFOREVER Fitness app. You will be assessed for imbalances, limitations and weaknesses and it will provide you with a specific treatment/training program to rid of the dreaded sway!
See you on the links,
Troy Van Biezen, DC, TPI-CGFI
Trainer and chiropractor to PGA Tour Champions including Scottie Sheffler, Jordan Speith, Zach Johnson, Ryan Palmer and many others.
Golf Digest Top 50 Fitness Instructors
WORKOUT WITH DR. TROY
PGA TOUR Trainer, Dr. Troy Van Biezen, takes you through one of three exercises he does with Justin Thomas before he plays a competitive round to get his glutes firing.