The purpose of the pelvic tilt test is to determine if the golfer's anterior or posterior pelvic tilt is limited. There can be limitations found in one direction or both. If your golfer is limited in one direction then he/she may lose their posture or balance in their golf swing. If they are limited/frozen in both directions, then they will have difficulty transferring energy from their lower body to upper body during the golf swing.
The purpose of the side lying windmill is to improve thoracic rotation mobility. Thoracic rotation is extremely important in many of our different athletes, from throwers to wide receivers turning to catch a ball over their shoulder.
This exercise must be coached to ensure proper form. Make sure the top leg is flexed so that the low back can be locked out. Additionally, encourage your athlete to rotate at their shoulder blade. To often I will see athletes crank on their shoulders when attempting this exercise. Finally, have their eyes follow their arms as they rotate through.
As always, make sure this exercise is appropriate for your athlete. You may need to start with a less involved GH joint t-spine rotation with some of your throwers before introducing them to the side lying windmill.
The purpose of the shoulder 90/90 assessment is to look at the golfer's shoulder ROM in both neutral spine and a slightly flexed spine, that is consistent with the golfer's starting position (The Address Position). During the takeaway phase of the golf swing, the golfer should have approximately 66 degrees of ER on the trailing shoulder (Zheng, 2007). It is important that when evaluating a golfer for shoulder pain/injury that you look at external rotation in the athletic/starting position in addition to a neutral position. If you see a significant change then it will give you an indication of what to look for next (Ex: poor thoracic mobility).
Mobility: Leg Swings
Sometimes is the simple exercises that can give you the most bang for your buck. Leg swings can be a great addition to your mobility program. Its an easy exercise for opening up the hips. Make sure to watch the internal rotation tendencies at the hips in your tighter athletes, as well as the inversion that is a common substitution at the ankles.
Quadruped T-Spine Rotation
Working on thoracic spine rotation is often overlooked in a training program and/or rehabilitation program. Decreased t-spine mobility can contribute to shoulder problems and cervical problems. Increasing t-spine rotation can assist in improving proper movement.
There are multiple exercises that can be used to improve t-spine rotation but one thing is clear: The rotation must not come from the lumbar spine. Don't just take my word for it though, many other professionals agree. As Mike Reinold states: "Mobility must come from the thoracic spine and NOT the lumbar spine". Additionally, Shirley Sahrmann has said in her book Diagnosis and Treatment of Movement Impairment Syndromes: "The thoracic spine, not the lumbar spine should be the site of greatest amount of rotation of the trunk… when an individual practices rotational exercises, he or she should be instructed to “think about the motion occurring in the area of the chest." (pg 61-62)
So why the quadruped? Well, putting your hips in a position of flexion can help aid in decreasing the motion coming from the lumbar spine. Note that if your like me and lack some hip flexion mobility then this is an exercise you will have to ease into, as I still substitute slightly.
Deadlift Assisted Bar Exercise
As physical therapists, strength coaches, or athletic trainers, we commonly see patient's performing the deadlift incorrectly. Sometimes verbal cues aren't enough. That's where an exercise like this one can be useful. Using a bar placed at the head, t-spine, and sacrum can give the patient a tactile cue for proprioceptive input to properly perform the hip hinge movement, necessary in the deadlift.
The Conventional Deadlift
This week's exercise is the conventional deadlift. While most of us do not have access to barbell's and weight plates in the clinic, it's an exercise that is a staple in most athlete's training programs. When done correctly, its an extremely beneficial exercise. However, it is often screwed up horribly.
While not all inclusive (different grips, sumo vs conventional deadlift, etc), this video should serve as a good starting point.
Key points to remember: 1. Flat sole shoes or no shoes (we don't want heel lift!) 2. Think about the hip hinge, not hips up and down (it's not a squat) 3. Push through your heels 4. Snap your hips forward with glute activation at the top of the movement 5. When lowering the bar, begin by pushing your hips back (like a stiff legged deadlift)
Banded Pushups are simply another way to increase resistance for this common exercises. Additionally, it is a great way to further condition the serratus by performing a pushup plus (protraction).
With a band wrapped around your upper back, assume the pushup position. Descend and pushup. At the top protract your shoulders.
I really like this exercise to help increase hip mobility while really blasting the legs. The Bulgarian split squat by itself is tough enough but by performing this exercise from a deficit you can get additional benefits. Look closely at the range of motion the hip can go through to complete the movement when your squat leg is on a step.
One way you can progress this exercise is to use dumbbells in each hand, which would requite additional muscle activation and stabilization. However, a unique way to progress this exercise is to add a light dumbbell to the support leg side. What this does is it encourages your hip external rotators and abductors to work harder eccentrically while the hip flexes to counterbalance the internal rotation and adduction that the hip want to go into due to that weight.
Anti-Extension Core Rollout
When we think of core strength or stability I think there is a general misconception that everyone has a flexed posture. While it may be true very often, I have had a few athletes and patients who exhibit that excessive lumbar lordosis posture. You can typically see it with their standing posture but it often becomes more evident when you get them exercising. Anti-extension core exercises can be a way to correct this deficiency.
Many low back injuries can occur as a result of uncontrolled extension, rotation, or flexion. Therefore we must consider thinking about core training in these 3 realms. When working with your athletes or patients, consider if they are too lordotic or too flexed. Furthermore, consider if rotation is something that is inhibited or uncontrolled. Core training is about motor control and increasing hip mobility and lumbar stability together so that a complicated movement can occur fluently.
To perform this exercise take a stability ball or ab wheel. Instruct the athlete or patient into neutral spine to begin. Cue them to keep that neutral spine or "flat" back throughout the exercise. When they begin to substitute the rollout ends. We want to work on controlling that lumbar extension in this exercise.