TPI Performance Test 3

TPI Performance Test 3: Overhead Deep Squat

This is part of a series on the simple movement tests you can do that will enable a TPI golf fitness professional to determine what your golf strengths and weaknesses are.  We’ve looked at a couple of different exercises already: the pelvic tilt and the pelvic rotation.  This week, we’re going to look at the overhead deep squat.

The overhead deep squat is one of the most informative tests you can perform on a golfer.  The deep squat portion of the test is used to test the mobility of your hips, knees, and ankles.  When the overhead reaching portion is included, it also assesses mobility of the shoulders and the thoracic spine.

To do the overhead deep squat:

  • Begin by standing with feet shoulder width apart and toes pointing forward.
  •  Grasp a club or a dowel with both of your elbows bent 90 degrees.
  • Keep your grip, and stretch out your arms directly overhead, keeping the shaft in line with the head and over the feet.
  • Next, squat down as far as possible, while keeping the club as high above the head as possible.  Stop the test if you have any pain or discomfort, if you lose your balance, or if you are forced to lift your heels off the ground or move your arms forward.

What we’re looking for are these things when you’re at the bottom of the squat:

  • Your upper torso should be parallel with or more vertical than your shinbone.
  • Your femur should be below horizontal
  • Your knees are aligned over your feet
  • Your feet are pointing forward (not flared)
  • The club or dowel is aligned with your feet.

If you’re having trouble meeting these criteria, I’ll need to watch you do the exercise to see what the exact cause is.  Meanwhile, there are a few exercises you can do to increase your mobility in a way that should help you with this test:

Self Massage:

Use a massage stick, golf club, or foam roller search the back of your calves for point tenderness.  Rub up and down over the tender spot to break up any trigger points or adhesions in the muscle for up to 30 seconds.  Search for two or three spots.

Butterfly Wings:

Sit butterfly style (bottoms of your feet touching each other) with you back against the wall.  Grab the head of a club with the right hand and the grip with the left. Sitting tall against the wall, try to elevate the right hand diagonally as far as possible, using the left hand and the club to help get the hand up high.  Hold for two full breaths and release.  Repeat on both sides.

Crisscross Deep Squats:

Attach each handle of some exercise tubing to the lower part of a doorway.  You can do this by opening the door and sliding the handle behind the door on the hinge side, and then closing the door and wedging both ends of the tubing between the door and the door frame.  It should be wedged between knee and ankle height.  Flip the slack in the tubing over so that it forms a loop you can step into.  Step with both feet into the loop, so that it stretches around your legs between your knees and your ankles.  Step away from the door, and hold a club or dowel high over your head.  Now try to perform the deep squat.  You still may not be able to, but the resistance will help stabilize you and force your body to move in the way it’s supposed to.

That’s all for this week!  If you’ve found this information useful, please share it with a friend!

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: