Many golfers need help with correcting their golf swing path. Many times, this can be rectified through golf instructional lessons. However, it is likely that some golfers are not physically able to get themselves into position to have a neutral swing path, which can become frustrating. In today’s blog, we will discuss what physical limitations may be causing you to swing incorrectly and how physical therapy can improve golf swing path.
What is a Golf Swing Path?
“Swing Path” is the club’s direction as it makes contact with the ball. While many recreational golfers may not achieve a neutral club path with each swing, a club path of zero degrees is considered ideal for a golfer to hit a straight shot. Excessive in-to-out (a positive number for a right-handed golfer) or out-to-in (a negative number for a right-handed golfer) swing paths can create an inconsistent swing, causing golfers to compensate elsewhere during their swing in order to hit the ball straight. An out-to-in swing path (commonly referred to as Over The Top) is the most common golf swing path flaw and often leads to slicing the ball.
What Physical Limitations Create Swing Path Flaws?
A common physical limitation that creates an over-the-top swing path (out-to-in) is a restriction in your trail-side shoulder rotation, specifically “external rotation.” If you struggle with coming over-the-top with your swing and cannot seem to fix it, it is possible you have a restriction in your shoulder external rotation (right shoulder for a right-handed golfer). To correct your golf swing path without compensating elsewhere, you must improve your shoulder rotation. Restrictions in the hips and upper back may also lead to an over-the-top swing path, which may or may not be accompanied by pain.
How To Improve Your Golf Swing Path
Once it is found that your swing path “flaw” is caused by a physical limitation, we can begin working to improve the reason for the issue. In general, most physical limitations are caused by either a muscular restriction (tight or weak muscles), a joint restriction (arthritis, immobile joint, etc.), or both. Both types of restrictions can be improved through golf physical therapy and an individualized workout program. In most cases, people will benefit from early hands-on manual therapy to loosen up tight muscles and increase joint movement, followed by supervised strengthening to increase stability and strength in that area.
If you’re swinging over-the-top, for example, but have no apparent restrictions in mobility, you would likely benefit from a golf lesson. All golfers are different, and it’s crucial to go through an in-depth evaluation to assess how your body is moving and examine your golf swing technique to determine what approach each individual would benefit from.
If you or someone you know struggles with the golf swing and think a physical limitation might cause it, click here to schedule a FREE strategy call with us and begin playing better golf this upcoming season.