Proper golf shoulder exercises can usually correct poor golf swing mechanics. I have identified 4 common reasons that contribute to golf shoulder pain:
1. Poor posture: Having forward rounded shoulders and a slouched upper back limits shoulder motion and proper shoulder turn during your golf swing. As a result, shoulder turn during your golf swing is decreased and increased stress occurs to your rotator cuff.
2. Limited trunk rotation: Proper rotation must happen at your hips and trunk to allow proper shoulder turn and a balanced golf swing. When trunk rotation is limited it prevents proper hip and shoulder turn which can force the rotator cuff muscles in the shoulders to overcompensate resulting in pain.
Large deficits in trunk rotation results in lateral body movement which displaces your center of gravity and throws your golf swing way off balance.
Lateral deviation of your body during the backswing or downswing often results in:
- loss of balance
- reduced power
- poor accuracy
- over-slicing the ball
- topping off the ball
3. Poor shoulder flexibility: This is frequently caused by tightness in the pectoralis major/minor muscles of the chest. When these muscles are tight they limit the amount of external rotation at the shoulder which results in poor golf swing mechanics and increased stress to the shoulder.
4. Weakness in the upper and mid-back muscles: The muscles that make up your upper and mid-back are very important for healthy shoulders and a proper golf swing.
I won’t get to scientific here but basically each rotator cuff is comprised of 4 muscles that attach to your shoulder. The rotator cuff’s primary function is to stabilize your shoulder during movement. But, your shoulder isn’t the only
attachment site of your rotator cuff. Your rotator cuff muscles originate from your shoulder blades.
And, your shoulder blades are controlled primarily by the muscles in your upper and mid-back. When properly conditioned, your upper and mid-back muscles help to allow proper shoulder motion and swing mechanics. When these muscles become weak and deconditioned the deltoid muscles in your shoulder and even your neck muscles can start to overcompensate which leads to shoulder and/or neck pain.
In the video to the right I show 3 key golf shoulder exercises I’ve used for my golfing clients with great success:
- Wall Rows
- Diagonal Shoulder Patterns
- Trunk Rotations
- My 3-way doorway stretch
These can help correct golf swing mechanics and prevent golf swing shoulder pain.
Post a comment below and let me know what you thought of this post and the video.
When athletes perform skills overhead (throwing, hitting in volleyball, pitching in baseball, and even lifting weights overhead) but are unable to get extension in the thoracic region the shoulder has to do more external rotation then normal. This constant overuse and over range of motion can lead to mild to serious shoulder issues. Here are some great ways to increase thoracic extension.
Shoulder Pain Exercises says
Poor posture really affects someone in game, there are some home exercise you can use to avoid this.
Excellent video. Easy to understand. Great & very helpful.
I try to prevent shoulder pain when I practice my swing at the hitting range. I tend to have lack of flexibility in my right shoulder & on the follow-through of my swing, and then gradually a pain builds up on the upper-left side of my chest.
Is there any way that I can avoid this pain as well?
Kevin Yates says
Thanks Jason. I’m glad the video helped you. So, I’m assuming you’re a right-handed golfer, correct?
It’s difficult to give you an definite assessment of what’s happening without seeing you swing the club but I have a couple of ideas that should at least steer you in the right direction and then you can decide what you think.
1) The chest pain can be from overcompensating with your left arm (during the backswing) by ‘pushing’ the club back due to the lack of mobility in your right shoulder.
In other words, you’re trying to get some extra shoulder turn for more power into your backswing.
Keep in mind it might be due in part to a lack of trunk mobility in rotation as well. Meaning your upper body doesn’t turn well separately from your hips. When this is the case it may APPEAR to be a shoulder issue.
2) You’re simply ‘muscling-up’ on the club using too much of your upper body in which case both improving shoulder mobility and hip strength should help relieve
I used to train a client who did #2 quite a bit and didn’t realize it but he had severe elbow pain for years. As soon as we identified the cause and put a program in place his elbow pain decreased significantly.
Hopefully this helps you out. Also, for shoulder and trunk mobility work on the exercises in the video, they should help.
Any exer. or warm ups or cool downs for sore hands after practice at golf driving range and rib intercostal pain on left side of a right handed golfer ?