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Upper Cross Syndrome vs Lower Cross Syndrome
Two common physical imperfections observed by instructors while working their students are upper and lower cross syndrome. Upper and lower cross syndrome can occur due to the daily social activities you are involved in. Examples of these activities include sitting at work all day, driving a car, bad posture and spending too much time watching television. This causes a muscular imbalance and when the muscles are out of balance, the body cannot have the proper motion throughout the swing.
Postural changes that can be observed to identify upper cross syndrome are hunchback, forward head position, elevated and protracted shoulders, and rotation and winging of the scapula.
In lower cross syndrome, the muscles in the anterior side and posterior side of the lower body are out of balance. As you can see in the picture below, the lower lumbar of the back and hip flexors are tight and the lower abdominal region and glutes are weak. This imbalance creates joint dysfunction at the hip. The quadriceps and hamstring muscles can also be imbalanced with the quads being tight and the hamstrings being weak and in constant stretch. This imbalance makes it difficult for the body and muscles to function effectively. Therefore it is necessary to exercise and strengthen the weak muscle groups and stretch the tight muscles.
Upper cross syndrome has the same effect on the muscles in the upper body. The neck flexors and rhomboids remain in constant stretch while the pectoral muscles and upper traps and scapulas remain tight. The chest and anterior side of the shoulders need to be stretched out while the posterior side of the upper body needs to be strengthened. Remaining in that constant stretch is one of the reasons why you develop knots in your back.
See my Workouts and Stretches page for exercises that will help you get your body in golf shape and working properly. Remember that the goal is for the muscle groups to be in balance and work together, not against one another. In order for you to swing consistently, avoid injury, and increase the longevity of your game, you must be aware of what kind of shape your body is currently in and take care of it.