A good backswing requires a mobile thoracic spine (T-spine).

Separation of the upper and lower body helps generate speed in our swing. The bad news is that limited range of motion can create stress of the lumbar spine. It also tends to result in swing postures where the body compensates for limited range of motion — i.e. a reverse C, flat shoulder plane, early extension etc.

The fix? Try the exercise “Open Books” to improve your T-spine mobility for a better backswing and less lower back pain:

To perform this exercise:

– Lay on your side with your shoulders and hips stacked on top of each other.

– Place the knee of your top leg on a bolster. The top hip should be at 90 degrees.

– With arms straight in front of you, take a deep breath and exhale as you rotate the upper body open. Follow your hand with your eyes to promote rotation.

– Hold the stretch for a few counts and return to the start.

Try performing 6-8 reps on each side. Some additional tips:

– Keep the lower body stable by pressing down on the bolster with your knee. This will help avoid the top hip from opening up.

– Place a pillow or yoga block under your head to take tension off your neck.

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