The Silent Killer of Your Golf Swing
I hate the phrase "swing faults." I really do. Maybe it's me being picky and biased but that's fine...I can admit that.
To me, "fault" means that there's blame to be cast on something or someone for something they've done intentionally. And that's just the problem...most of the things that we do "right" or "wrong" in our swing are not intentional.
That's right. Your swing is primarily the product of what your body is or isn't able to do and what you want to do to the ball. That's it. "Reverse spine angle" definitely meets this description.
So when we talk about "Reverse Spine Angle" today, please keep in mind that this is something that is rarely done intentionally. It is more the result of what your body can or can't do. And with that in mind, it becomes all the more important that we analyze the body, the swing CHARACTERISTICS (not faults), and how it's affecting your outcome...pain or no pain, distance or no distance, ball going where you intended or not.
The "Silent Killer"
So reverse spine angle is what I've determined the "silent killer" of your golf swing. Mostly because of the double whammy potential it has to create pain in the body but also reduce distance potential, swing path consistency, and swing repeatability.
Our 3D animation above does a good job of detailing what Reverse Spine Angle looks when it's obvious. It also demonstrates an improved version after focusing on some things that cause reverse spine angle.
Why is Reverse Spine Angle so "Bad"?
From a pain/body standpoint, the lower back, hips, ribs, potentially even shoulders don't always agree with a spine that goes from neutral to largely extended and rotated and then back to flexed and rotated the other way. It is often present in many of the golfers we work with who have low back pain.
From a golf performance standpoint, there is a significant loss of power and energy transfer when we go into the backward bend or lean at the top of the backswing. Our "core" becomes deactivated and we are less likely to load through the hips properly and these two will become a killer for power production. Also, reverse spine angle causes dramatic challenges with swing path consistency because our body loses the original posture lines that we set up in.
Imagine trying to swing your club standing up tall and straight. It will be very difficult to generate power and it will also be very difficult to not want to swing the club like an axe.
Testing for Reverse Spine Angle
Some of the common causes of reverse spine angle come from an inability to separate the upper half from the lower half or what we call disassociate the trunk from the pelvis. You can attempt those tests here...
The other (among many others) most common cause of reverse spine angle is inability to rotate into or load into the hips. Test yourself here to see how you stack up...
If you feel like you're struggling with lower back pain, loss of distance, or inconsistent swing patterns, then feel free to give us a call where we can do a phone or online consult. Or we can get you in the Motus Rx Swing Studio and get you in the K-Vest to determine what might be happening with you. Call or text: 920-540-2344, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Move Well and Golf Often,
Dr. Eric Wallace
Golf Rehab and Performance Physiotherapist
Titleist Performance Institute Certified Medical Practitioner