Golf Swing Characteristic # 8: Reverse Spine Angle

Tips From A PGA Pro 

Swing Characteristic #8: Reverse Spine Angle    

A Reverse Spine Angle is defined as any excessive upper body backward bend or excessive left lateral upper body bend during the backswing. This swing fault makes it very difficult to start the downswing in the proper sequence, due to the lower body being placed in a position that usually limits its ability to initiate the downswing. This swing fault is also one of the prime causes of lower back pain in golfers. When the lower body can’t start the downswing or has a limited ability to initiate the movement, the upper body tends to dominate the swing which will eventually create path problems and limited power output. This swing fault puts excessive tension on the lower back due to a forced inhibition of the abdominal musculature during the backswing.

Causes of Reverse Spine:

In order to maintain your spine angle during the backswing several physical characteristics must be developed.

  • First and foremost, the ability to separate your upper body from your lower body allows your shoulders to rotate around your spine without going into backward bend or excessive left lateral bend.
  • Secondly, right hip internal rotation for a right-handed golfer is paramount for full rotation into the right hip without any lateral movement.
  • Finally, the ability to stabilize your spine angle during the backswing is directly proportional to the strength and stability of your core musculature (your abs and glutes). This fault can also be caused by the following:
    1. Too much pelvic tilt at address which can cause you to have an S curvature in your lower spine. If this does not return to neutral as you swing back it can cause the Reverse Spine Angle fault.
    1. No rotation of the forearms going back with the arms being lifted into position as the player takes the club back.
  1. Coordination, with no understanding of the correct position at the top of the swing and how to get there.

Joe Musser

PGA Teaching Pro

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