How to Use the Club-Behind-the-Spine Fitness Test
1 of 9 in Series: The Essentials of Getting Fit to Play Golf
The club-behind-the-spine test is a very helpful evaluation tool for evaluating your golf-related physical fitness. One important purpose of this test is to determine your ability to achieve and maintain the ideal, straighter thoracic spine angle at address through adequate chest and middle-spine flexibility. In addition, this test measures muscle strength tightness in your hamstring muscles (the muscles in the backs of your legs).
Stand upright while holding a golf club behind your back.
In one hand, hold the head of the club flat against your tailbone. In your other hand, hold the grip of the club against the back of your head.
Bend your hips and knees slightly (10 to 15 degrees) and contract your lower abdominal muscles.
You want to press the small of your back into the shaft of the club.
While keeping your lower back in complete contact with the clubshaft, straighten the middle and upper portions of your spine and neck.
Make as much complete contact between the shaft and the entire length of your spine and back of your head as possible.
Try to bend forward from your hips and proportionately from your knees while maintaining club contact with your spine and head.
Keep bending forward until you’re able to comfortably see a spot on the ground in front of you where the golf ball would normally be at address.
Remove the club from behind your back and grip it with both hands in your normal address position while trying to maintain all the spine, hip, and knee angles that you just created.
If properly executed, the club-behind-the-spine test positions you so that you feel comfortably balanced over the ball with muscle activity appropriately felt in your lower abdominals, thighs, hips, upper back, and shoulder blades.
You achieve a straighter, more efficient thoracic-spine angle and a neutral, more powerful pelvic position for the golf address position with proper degrees of hip and knee bend. In other words, you achieve a posture at address with the most potential for producing a safe, highly effective golf swing.