Stop Your Slice with Better Posture
Odds are that you used your right hand to click the link to this article. Earlier, while you were out running errands, you used your right foot to operate the accelerator and brake in your car. You play golf right-handed and use your right hand to toss or throw anything, from a baseball to a set of keys. You live in a right-side dominated world. Most of us do. And while using your right side allows you to complete a litany of tasks each and every day, it's having a disastrous effect on your game.
Over-using one side of your body causes the muscles on that side to become tighter than muscles on the other side. As a result, your body rotates in the opposite direction, creating an imbalance in your posture and exerting undue stress on your joints. Moreover, it forces you out of your natural design. Ideally, your shoulders, hips, knees and ankle should stack on top of each other, like the rungs on a ladder. This allows your body to perform efficiently and powerfully. With rotated posture, the ladder breaks down, forcing you to compensate to execute even simple athletic tasks.
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You know you have rotated posture if your body's right side is forward and ahead of your left (check your profile in a full-length mirror). Another strong clue is that your right hand and shoulder are noticeably lower than their left-side counterparts. Because you're already rotated to the left, you subconsciously aim to the right. Since this doesn't feel correct when you make your swing, you adjust by coming over the top (hello, slice!). Also, because your left side is so much weaker than your right, it can't accept weight. Instead of shifting laterally on your downswing, your left hip spins out early.
Easy fixes are to pull your right foot back and square up your left foot at address. Trying to hold your right shoulder back a bit longer on your downswing should also limit your tendency to swing across the line (what usually happens when you set up open). These corrections, however, will only take you so far. If you're serious about making lasting, positive changes to your game, click the link below for a posture restoration program designed to "get the rotation out."
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To get started, try the "crocodile twist," which is designed to help you reestablish the balance in both sides of your body. Lie on your back and place your right foot on top of your left. With your shoulders flat on the ground, rotate your hips and legs to the left as far as they can go. Hold for 60 seconds. Repeat with your left foot on top of your right and rotate to the right. After a few sessions your shoulders should be lined up and level and you should feel more balanced.
For more information on Rotated Posture and for a personal posture rehabilitation program, visit Fredericks' website here.
Golf fitness pioneer Roger Fredericks has worked with more than 70 Tour players, including seven Hall of Famers. His DVD, "Roger Fredericks Reveals the Secrets of Golf Swing Flexibility" is the best-selling golf fitness DVD of all time.