Golf – The shoulders
BJ T.J. TOMASI
Things you should know about your shoulders:
1. The shoulder is one of the most sophisticated and complicated joints in the body with the largest range of motion.
2. The wide range of motion comes at the expense of joint stability. With the odd angles and high stresses it’s easy to wear out your shoulders, so here’s an exercise to protect them:
Choose a light weight (I use two 7-pounders) at waist level, and stand with legs bent and a tad wider than shoulder-width. Keep your elbows slightly bent and raise the weights to shoulder level in front of you. Do three sets of 12 to 15 repetitions at least twice a week.
3. A healthy rotator cuff is a staple of your best golf, but it’s the deltoid muscle covering the top of your shoulder joint that gets the most use. Even though it shouldn’t be used in the golf swing (unless you like cutting across the ball), most general shoulder exercises overwork the deltoids, so you need special exercises for golf to train your rotator cuff muscles.
4. The shoulders don’t turn “around” the spine; they are attached to the spine, so they turn “with” the spine, which is the hub of your coil.
5. Research shows that the shoulders account for about 8 percent of the total work output of all the segments of the body.
So while they are not major power producers, their action is a key in the sequential passing along of energy from the ground up. Don’t try to swing your shoulders fast, but do allow them to keep pace.
6. Your shoulders can move independently of one another
— i.e., the front can turn under your chin while the back hunches upward. So you need to practice a two-shoulder turn where your front shoulder swings under your chin, while the back shoulder goes behind your neck. You accomplish this by coiling your spine.