WHY GOLFERS SHOULD OWN A FOAM ROLLER
One of the most important movements involved in a golf swing is rotation through the thoracic spine. [The thoracic spine is the part of the spine that has ribs attached to it, between the neck and the lower back]
If thoracic spine rotation is limited, it will restrict the length of your backswing and follow through, affecting your ability to generate power and causing you to “use your arms” more which will cause more inconsistencies in your swing.
With so many of our jobs now involving sitting at a desk or hunched over a computer, a stiff thoracic spine is becoming more and more common place.
Here are three great stretches using a relatively cheap piece of equipment, a foam roller, that will keep your thoracic spine nice and mobile.
1) Thoracic extension over the foam roller
Place the foam roller perpendicular across your thoracic spine around the height of your shoulder blades. Put your hands behind your head and gently extend backwards over the roller until you feel a gentle stretch in your thoracic spine between your shoulder blades. Ensure your bottom stays on the floor. Hold this position for between 20 to 90 seconds.
2) Foam roller chest stretch
Lie with the foam roller running up the centre of your spine. Take your arms out to 90 degrees with your elbows bent. Relax and let your arms fall gently towards the floor. You should feel a stretch across the front of your chest and shoulders. You should not feel pain in your shoulders- if you do modify your arm position until you find one that is pain free. Hold this position for between 20 to 90 seconds.
3) Thread the needle stretch
Start in a 4 point kneel position and foam roller alongside you on one side. Take the arm on the opposite side to the foam roller and poke it through the gap between your opposite arm and hip, reaching it as far through as you can by rolling it along the foam roller. You should feel a nice stretch in the middle of your back as you extend/reach out. Make sure you have your hips over the top of your knees or even more towards your ankles. Hold each stretch for 5 seconds and repeat 10 to 15 times on each side.
Start all of these stretches small and build up to the longer holds/higher reps as you build your tolerance and mobility.