Just like we talked about last week with the low back taking on extra strain due to a lack of rotation in the hips, the same can be said for the upper torso and shoulders.
We create torque and rotation thru our upper torso, allowing the arms to come along for the ride.
Unfortunately, if the torso cannot create the rotation necessary to reach the top of a back swing, we will pull at the shoulders to compensate and create motion at the shoulders to reach the top. The shoulder joint itself will get strained, by forcing muscles to lose leverage and stability.
This is when everybody cries "Oh it's my damn rotator cuff again"
(The rotator cuff is usually a blanket statement for anything that hurts in the shoulder, so don't get all up in arms).
Same can happen in the follow thru if you lack the ability to rotate the other way.
Just like we did with the back, we need to unlock the torso so we can regain the rotation we need and reduce strain on the shoulder joint.
Below is a good starting exercise to start these turns. It helps dissociate the hips from the torso, this way you can focus on one thing, rathe than juggling what's going on in the hips as well.
Mainly you want to reach one arm into the ground as the TORSO rotates and NOT to lead with the arm/shoulder.
Once you can establish your side to side rotation, you can start implementing your new found mobility into a full swing.
This will help you offset any extra rotation you are trying to make up for with the shoulders, loosening them up so you can be more relaxed during the swing.
This is a starting point. You may have something more involved going on with your swing or mechanics that is causing strain on the shoulders beyond what these solutions can provide..
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Dr. Peter Dionisopoulos is the owner and founder of Dynamic Performance & Rehab. He has worked with many high-level athletes and military personnel, but his true passion is to help active adults maintain their lifestyle by providing information and potential solutions to their aches and pains so they can continue with the activities they love.