Last week I wrote a blog explaining what Upper Cross Syndrome is and how it affects your golf game. I now want to turn my attention to how we can fix these issues.
The first thing we must do is start to mobilize the tissues in and around the shoulders. We will start out with some foam rolling and trigger point work. (if you do not own a foam roller you can get them for around $15 to $20, you will also need a tennis or lacrosse ball as well).
After you perform some soft tissue work with foam roller you can then move on to a couple of stretches. The first is for the chest. Remember to take your time on the stretching. Hold each stretch long enough to take 3 to 5 deep breaths on each side then repeat for a second time.
After the chest stretch we will stretch the upper trapezius. Holding each side for approximately 3 to 5 deep breaths each side and repeat one more time on each.
Now that we have the stretching out of the way we will start to mobilize the shoulders. The first exercise is active stretching. This means we will be stretching one muscle while activating the opposing muscle. Wall circles are great and they are something a lot of my clients do daily to improve their shoulder range of motion.
We will continue to move the shoulders. The last exercise was in the sagittal plane (front and back). This exercise is in the frontal plane (side to side). This works very similarly to the Wall Circles you just did.
One more exercise of active stretching before we really start to strengthen the muscles that are weak and inhibited in upper cross syndrome.
I stated that the last exercise was the last before we really start to strengthen. That was a bit of a lie, because you should have felt the muscles being used in the upper back in the last few. These next few are more strength based as you will see. The first is Band External Rotations, working on the same musculature as we just were. If you don't have a band at home, please contact me and I can point you to some. Or they can be found at Target / Walmart / etc.
The next exercise works on posture and includes the core. Really focus because this can be intense if done correctly.
The last exercise is probably the hardest of them all. It helps to teach your shoulder blades the proper way to move. Every thing starts with good positioning in the shoulder blades. If they work right a lot more will too.
If you do this series of mobility/stretching/strengthening 3 to 5 days a week, you will see a serious change. Remember doing this once won't fix anything, you must be consistent and put in work to see a change. But if you are dealing with upper cross syndrome this can open up your chest allowing you to rotate more in your upper body.
Remember if you know anyone who may be dealing with this issue feel free to share this with them!