Posture in Golf | Connect to Your Core For Power

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Published: February 16, 2014

The second phase in "Five Minutes to the Perfect Setup" is what has been referred to as "getting in the box." That's a great phrase because it's a simple explanation of what, exactly, we're trying to do when trying to achieve perfect posture in golf.

Connecting To Your CoreConnecting To Your Core for power and perfect posture in golf

As you can see in the anatomical diagram, the shoulders, chest and upper torso can be described as a horizontal, rectangular area, while the lower abdomen is more of a box-shaped region.

Get in the Box

When we talk about getting "in the box," she's referring to that lower abdominal core area.

It's a simple way to describe the feeling of getting connected to your core, while the shoulder blades remain in neutral alignment.

Shrug and ReleaseShrug and release helps you identify the rectangle area

The phrase, "get in the box," will remind you that being in the area described by the rectangle is bad.

We have a very simple exercise and drill to help you understand what that means, and how to do it.

Shrug and Release

Begin by standing with normal posture. Stand straight up, then shrug your shoulders straight up toward your ears.

When you do that, you will feel that you're activating all the muscles in your neck, upper shoulders, and the whole rectangle region.

This is what we mean by being "in the rectangle."

Now pull your shoulders straight down like you're trying to plug your fingers into the ground.

As you pull your shoulders down, you'll feel the muscles in your back and your lats start to engage.

Don't overdo it; pushing your shoulders down so hard that you're tight won't do you any good either.

We're looking for neutral posture with just a small amount of engagement, versus being up in the rectangle where it's all tight.

A Common Problem

Backswing in the RectangleThe rectangle is bad news for your swing and your health

When we look at other golfers, we see this all the time.

They go to the top of the backswing, and they're already naturally in the rectangle because their shoulders are slumped forward.

As they swing the golf club back, they lift up with that left arm and their chin is buried in their shoulder.

A golfer with that posture is completely in the rectangle, which creates all kinds of issues.

Apart from the swing issues, poor posture in golf can lead to health issues, with potential shoulder impingement and other types of physical damage.

As a result, it's very important not to work from the "rectangle" area in your golf swing, which is a common cause of many golfers' over-the-top movement issues.

You want to use your core - the big muscles in the "box," for power in the golf swing.

It Starts at Address

Correcting this problem has to start at address.

Nobody we've ever seen has started out heavily in the rectangle, made a really rectangle-y, upper-torso driven golf swing, and then somehow all of a sudden pulled it back down in. Lorena Ochoa probably comes the closest.

We will correct the problem and get back into the box by learning to feel and recognize what good posture is.

We will work to stabilize our spine throughout the golf swing, and making sure that we're in the box will help achieve that.

Try the Drill Yourself

Do this drill five times, with your eyes closed. Shrug your shoulders straight up to your ears, then pull them straight down.

You should feel that you are in a "military" posture, and your chest and belly will want to pop out a little bit.

Remember that the "box" describes your whole core, front and back. It's not just your back, your trap and lat muscles; it also includes your belly.

Don't let gravity pull you out of the boxDon't let gravity pull you out of the box

As you start to pull your shoulder blades down, your chest and your belly will tend to pop out a little bit, but you should pull it in.

You will feel a lot of extra curve in your lower back, compressing the vertebrae in your lumbar spine. You'll compensate by pulling your belly button in as you pull your shoulders down.

Now you should have a nice neutral, golf posture. That is "getting in the box."

Don't Let Gravity Bring You Down

More importantly as you get into your postures, which we'll be discussing later, you will find that gravity wants to pull you out of the box. Your shoulder blades will want to roll forward.

If you get lazy with it, you'll find yourself completely disconnected from your core. To get great posture in golf, make sure your shoulder blades stay down and in.

Get in the box, and you'll have great posture.

Checkpoints for Practice

  • The "rectangle" area includes the neck and upper shoulders
  • Core abdominal muscles form the "box" area
  • Shrug your shoulders up to feel "rectangle" muscles engage
  • Drop shoulders down and pull belly in to achieve correct posture

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