A White Collar Office Worker's Golf Workout
The biggest mistake made by many corporate golfers is to rush straight from the office out onto the course. Too frequently, they will hit their opening tee shot into trouble (either into the trees or outof-bounds) and wonder where it all went wrong. Often, it sets the mood for the entire round.
What they don’t realise is that they’ve adapted their body into a bad posture from sitting behind a computer screen, and they’ve taken that fixed, rounded posture into their setup for the golf swing (above). That flexed foetal position shuts down a lot of your performance muscles and causes a reduction in the rotation that is essential for the golf swing.
It also puts a lot of pressure on your spine. Many golfers assume that a back injury occurs from hitting too many balls. Actually, it stems from working in that sedentary, fixed posture up to eight hours, five days per week. The muscles at the front of your body get very tight. That is, your pectorals and upper abdominals get overactive and don’t allow you to rotate properly. And because you’re unable to set your shoulders correctly in the address position, it will have a detrimental effect on your swing
Circuit Breaker No.1 – Pectoral Massage for the Computer Hunch
The following exercise will correct the imbalance in your body caused by hunching over a computer screen. To reduce the kyphosis – which is fixed, rounded posture – I thoroughly recommend self-massaging your pectorals with a ‘spiky ball’ (which can be purchased from your local physiotherapist). By doing the pec massage, you will break up the tightness at the front of the body and release the tension in the pecs, which will open up the chest and reduce the kyphosis.
Holding the spikey ball in your right hand, place it just below your left collarbone on the front of your shoulder. Keeping an upright posture, apply controlled pressure through the ball and lightly massage the pectoral muscle. Rotate your body to the right for extra pressure between your neck and trunk.
Also, extend the left arm to the chair and this will completely open up the right side. You should feel the muscles at the back of your shoulder blades. (Next, counterbalance the exercise by using your left hand to massage the right pectoral muscle.)
Circuit Breaker No.2 – Angel Wings Drill for Computer Hunch
Another exercise to break up the fixed, rounded posture is an ‘Angel Wings’ drill. It will also keep the ‘feels’ in your golf muscles (which are the triceps at the back of your shoulder blades, rotator cuff, triceps and lower trapezius).
Hold your body in the Angel Wings position (top, opposite page). Note the elbows are straight in order to alleviate the bicep tension. You’re actually ‘working’ the triceps on the opposite side, which is to counterbalance the bad posture. I recommend that you do the exercise for 15 seconds every 15 minutes in the office (or for 30 seconds every 30 minutes).
Beware of the 'Telephone Crunch’
One of the most awkward postures that many people put themselves into on a daily basis is the ‘crunch’ position when using a telephone (below). This is an extremely hazardous position as it causes a lot of pressure to go Next month: Beach training for golf through the discs of the neck. It also causes the shoulder to rise up and buckle. Eventually, this posture can lead to arthritis in the neck because of the fixed, strained position. Once again, your body will conform to the adaptive posture. And so, if you’re swinging a golf club, there will be a lot of force going through the neck, particularly at impact.
Circuit Breaker No.3 – Crucifix Drill for the 'Telephone Crunch'
Golfers should realise that the neck actually moves in the golf swing – there is a slight rotation and sideways movement. The Crucifix drill will promote that movement. It should be emphasised that when you’re stuck in that flexed posture of a telephone crunch, you’ll be unable to get that necessary sideways movement during your golf swing. Once again, that can lead to injury.
With the elbows tucked into your pockets, press your shoulders back so that you can feel the muscles at ‘work’. Hold for 15 seconds every 15 minutes. This relieves that upper strain, taking pressure off the spine. It will also give you more ‘feel’ through the shoulders when you set up to the ball.
These three exercises are simple, but I assure you they will make a significant difference for the white-collar golfer who is prepared to sacrifice a little time.