The Dreaded Chicken Wing

Golf is hard enough without physical limitations. The “Chicken Wing” and the inability to shallow the club can come from problems with the shoulders and latissimus dorsi. I want to talk to you today about one of the screenings from the TPI protocol, the Titleist Performance Institute, and it’s the latissimus dorsi test. This is an important thing, so for any of you that have problems with maybe the chicken wing or trying to get into that shallowed position, your shoulder motion, and your latissimus dorsi motion, and your ability to activate your lats is very important. This test, what we’re doing is we’re getting into the magic chair position (see attached video).

To do this test properly, you do need a golf club to put behind your low back, because you’re really supposed to keep your low back flat against the wall as you’re getting into this position. The reason why I call this the magic chair is you are doing a wall squat and there’s no chair. Basically, you are getting into this wall squat position with your thumbs pointing up and your arms straight, looking straight ahead. Your goal is to come up as far as you can while keeping that pole against the wall, and hopefully trying to touch that wall with your thumbs. Anything short of that position is a restriction. I’m going to go over a couple fixes, a couple things you can do to get some mobility in the shoulder and the latissimus dorsi, and work on some activation for that area as well.

The first movement we’re going to do, you can either use a dumbbell or a kettlebell, and we’re going to get into that farmer’s carry position. You want your arm straight up, you want that shoulder locked down, so you’re going to bring your scapula down. You want to maintain tone in your stomach. You don’t want over-arching in your back. You’re trying to keep that kettlebell up over your head. And what we’re going to do is simply walk back and forth, or in a circle. 60 seconds on one side, and then 60 seconds on the other side.

The second exercise is called the reach, roll and lift, and we’re going to do it in three different positions that are going to be of varying difficulty. The first position is this high position, and all we’re simply going to do is find either a chair, or a medicine, and I’m going to first reach out one arm at a time. I’m going to roll over my palm so that it’s facing the sky, and then I’m going to reach up as high as I can the back down. We’re going to repeat that six to eight times on each side.

Now, the next position we’re going to roll out a little bit further, so this becomes a little bit more difficult. We’re going to reach out again, that right arm, roll, lift up as high as I can. If you have some shoulder or latissimus dorsi restriction, this is going to be a key exercise and it’s going to get more difficult the closer we get to the ground. The last position is one of the tests in the TPI screening. What we’re going to do is we’re going to kneel back so our butt’s on our heels here. Again, we’re going to reach out one hand, roll and lift as high as you can, hold for a second, back down. And again, we’re going to repeat that six to eight times for each shoulder.

This last exercise that we’re going to do, this is another stability exercise for our shoulders. We need some kind of band to use, and you’re going to loop that band around the bottom of your feet. What we’re going to do is lay back, arms bent, you’re going to bring that band towards your forehead. That’s the first part. You want some tone in your stomach, you want to keep your back flat against the floor, and we’re going to reach out over our head. Head nice and flat against the floor, we’re going to maintain that tone in our stomach, and we’re going to hold that for 60 seconds. Then we’re going to repeat that three times as well.

I hope you found that activity helpful. If you want more information about the TPI screening, you can certainly give our office a call. It’s In8 Wellness Center in Beverly, Massachusetts. Our number is (978) 927-8466. Please stay tuned for more helpful videos to get our golf games going better this season. The season is not over, we’re looking into the fall, some cooler weather, it’s going to be awesome. Have a great day.

-Dr. Kevin

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