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Health & Fitness

Fitness Friday: Save those chicken wings for tailgating

Editor's note: Every week my colleague Ron Kaspriske, Golf Digest Fitness Editor, presents Fitness Friday on the Instruction Blog. He gives you an unbeatable health and fitness tip or an exercise or stretch to get your body warmed up for the weekend. This week he shows you how to eliminate the ill-fitted chicken wing. Remember to follow me on Twitter @RogerSchiffman.

Roger Schiffman
Managing Editor
Golf Digest


Here's Ron: Shoulder mobility plays a huge role in swinging a golf club correctly. Without flexibility in this region--which is essentially a ball-and-socket joint--you're going to struggle to maintain the width of your swing. Your arms will collapse during the backswing and will fold again as you swing through the ball.

This jutted-elbow follow-through is known in golf as a "chicken wing" and will contribute to a loss of power as well as inconsistent contact. To make matters worse, the less flexible your shoulder joints are, the more likely you are to develop tendinitis around the elbows. If your shoulder can't move the way it's designed, your elbow has to help pick up the slack and the elbow joint isn't designed for any extraneous movement. If this happens often, especially if you're swinging a club 100 to 150 times a round (including practice swings), you've got a recipe for tendon inflammation.

There are several things you can do to help increase the mobility of your shoulder joint. I spoke with several PGA Tour trainers, including Sean Cochran, Greg Rose and Randy Myers, and two exercises in particular were mentioned often. Click on the video below to see me demonstrate them and show you a pre-round stretch that will help warm up your shoulders before you play.

Ron Kaspriske
Fitness Editor
Golf Digest


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