S-POSTURE, HIP FLEXORS, AND BACK PAIN

Bob Forman
Certified Golf Fitness Instructor
MS Exercise Physiology

You see it more often in women, especially younger women, and young men.  It’s characterized by an arching of the lower back while standing over the ball at address.  The S-posture, as it’s commonly called, places a great deal of stress on the lower back.  It can also disrupt the golf swing sequence due to a concomitant relaxation of the abdominal muscles, resulting in swing faults like reverse spine (a leaning back of the spine toward the target at the top of the backswing). 

One of the primary factors in the S-posture is a tightness of the hip flexor muscles in the front part of the hip.  This often occurs in combination with weak abdominals and weak glutes (butt muscles), a condition known as the lower cross syndrome.    

Having a sedentary lifestyle where you sit a good part of the day can produce and/or enhance this condition, as can wearing heels often, being pregnant, or having a beer belly.  The latter three shifts the center of gravity forward thereby causing the individual to arch their back a bit to prevent them from falling on their face.  Over time, the body adapts to the posture.   

Hip flexors attach to the hip bone and are responsible for raising the thigh up toward the upper body.  If tight, they may rotate the hip bone forward, resulting in a swaying of the lower back.  Short term affects are discomfort and pain, which often times are exacerbated by the explosive, one-sided nature of swinging a golf club.  Much more serious is the potential damage the excessive curvature of the spine may have on the discs in the spine. 

If you have a swayed back, naturally or while getting ready to hit a golf ball, chances are your hip flexors are tight and you’ll need to get into a consistent stretching program to loosen them up.  A good stretch is called the knee hug.  Lie on your back on the floor with legs flat.  Bring one knee up toward your chest, grab behind the knee, and hug your knee into your chest till a gentle stretch is felt.  Hold for 30 seconds, switch the legs, and repeat.  Remember to breathe normally.   

If the thigh of the extended leg comes off the floor while hugging the opposite knee, you’re hip flexor to that side is tight.  A progression to the knee hug is to perform the stretch while lying on a flat surface such as a bench or solid coffee table (see photo below).  Sit on the edge, lie back and let one leg hang down toward the floor while you hug the opposite knee.  This will provide more of a stretch to the front hip of the extended leg. 

A little bit of patience and a regular stretching routine can anatomically help the back discomfort associated with tight hip flexors and the often related S-posture.  Practicing your posture in the mirror will also help.  Strive for a nice straight spine when addressing the ball with no arching of the lower back.  Your golf professional can help as well.  

hip flexor stretch

EXERCISE OF THE MONTH

Quad-Hip Flexor Stretch

This is a progressive stretch for the quad-hip flexor area.  Be cautious as you lean back on the bench as it will challenge the knee if the quads are tight.  Avoid this stretch if you've had knee replacement.  Tight quads/hip flexors will impede hip mobility and that may rob you of power and distance.

 

 

Check with your physician before starting any type of exercise program.

IMPROVE YOUR GAME

GOLF FITNESS
ASSESSMENT & TRAINING


A quality, customized golf fitness program will. . .
  • Enhance swing efficiency
  • Increase distance
  • Improve playing performance and satisfaction
  • Identify and correct golf-specific injury triggers

    All for much less than what another brand new driver that's going to "fix my game" would cost
     
click here for details

  


The golf exercises are going great.  I am hitting the ball the best I have ever hit it.  My back pain has gone away also. 
 
David R. 

more testimonials

HOST A WORKSHOP

If your Club or organization would like to host an informative golf fitness workshop, contact Bob at bob@golfitcarolina.com or 336-509-4610.

Bob came to my club and did a hour long session on the basics of his teaching and philosophy of fitness and how it relates to the golf swing and its performance.  My members thoroughly enjoyed the hour and wanted more.  I was impressed with his content and explanation.  My members were floored with his Q&A and his personal adaptation to their issues.  I was impressed with his interaction with attendants of the seminar.  If you are looking for someone to integrate your fitness program with the golf program, Bob is the guy to do it!  We will be booking Bob to come back to our club next spring.
Shannon Howell, PGA Head Golf Professional
Country Club of Sapphire Valley, Sapphire Valley, NC


"Bob Forman was fabulous!  He is a great presenter who shared some extremely valuable information related to how anatomical deficiencies such as: poor posture, flexibility, and balance impact our golf swing.  He not only shared what they are and how they impact the swing, but also demonstrated exercises to help correct them."
Ellen Gregory
EWGA-Wilmington, NC chapter

“Westchester is one of the Country’s largest private clubs with a membership that has high expectations for service and performance.  Bob Forman’s seminar on golf specific fitness and flexibility was extremely well received and motivated many of my members to begin a program of evaluation, exercise and follow-ups.  I highly recommend Bob for his knowledge, energy , and ability to connect with amateurs concerning golf fitness.” 
John Kennedy, Director of Golf
Westchester CC, 
Harrison, NY

Bob has a fantastic ability to understand and combine his expertise of the physical complexities of the human body with the PGA Professional’s trained eye with respect to the complexities of the golf swing.  Bob offers a refreshing angle that most amateur and professional golfers can understand and embrace.  Many times, a golfer will have physical limitations that prevents him or her from moving the way the PGA Professional is trying to instruct.  Bob can take the golfer’s weakest physical traits and focus a training program to better overcome those obstacles and allow the golfers to ultimately improve their swing. 
Dennis Nicholl, PGA Head Golf Professional
The Dunes Golf & Beach Club, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

IMPROVE YOUR GAME

Functional Golf Fitness Training is a comprehensive player improvement resource for golfers of all ages and levels, teaching professionals and coaches.  
A great manual for golf teams as well.  

Dedicated chapters on:
- the common physical deficiencies most golfers have, how to detect and correct with over 40 golf-specific exercises and drills
- preventing/alleviating the #1 injury in golf, low back injury
- how to fix the more common swing faults 
- how to put together an inexpensive home gym

Amazon reviews:

"Very clear explanations of causes and fixes for main physical deficiencies affecting golfers. Easy to follow instructions. While other books may give a whole laundry list of exercises that end up not being used, Forman has selected a few for each issue and puts together a program that doesn't take long to do"

"This book not only tells you what to do but also why you need to do and what results you can expect.
I have every book in print about golf fitness and this book is by far the best."


Available in print at TheBookPatch

TheBookPatch.com Buy Now style 1 button
or as an ebook on Amazon

Go to
http://www.amazon.com/Functional-Golf-Fitness-Training-ebook/dp/B00FH88Q0Q

SWING FAULT PHYSIOLOGY

Swing mechanics are often influenced by physical deficiencies in the golfer's body.  Below are some of the more common swing faults, their physical causes and how to correct.

GOLF POSTURE

S-POSTURE AND LOW BACK PAIN

EARLY EXTENSION

SWAY & SLIDE

REVERSE SPINE

While correcting the deficiencies, you also need to rewire the brain-body connection in order to break out of the inefficient swing pattern.  

REWIRE THE BAD SWING HABIT

RADIO / PODCASTS

 

 
June 22, 2017
(go to 1:10:00 into the show)
golf posture, muscle imbalance, improving distance, stretching, hydration, Tiger and specialization, Rory and weight lifting



March 14, 2015
(go to 1:08:00 into the show)
fitness vs. golf fitness, strength training and slowing down the aging process, C and S-postures,  


August 28, 2014
We talk about Shan's golf fitness assessment results

 


June 26, 2014


scroll down to 9/9/2013
(go to 23:15 into the show)
back injury