T-spine Mobility for Golf

Not Your Average Broomstick

The TrueTurnPro is designed and engineered to enhance and protect the function of your back. Let’s gain a basic understanding of your spine and how each of the four unique sections work.
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The first section of the spinal column is the cervical spine. The upper cervical spine is the most mobile section of the entire column. These vertebrae are made for a great amount of rotation, flexion and extension of the head.
The second section of the spinal column is the thoracic spine. The thoracic spine is the largest and most dynamic. This section contains the entire rib cage which is attached to the column, with the exception of the last 2 ribs. As well, the thoracic spine protects the internal organs. The vertebrae in the thoracic section are built strong and specifically designed for rotation, flexion and extension of the torso.
The third section of the spinal column is the lumbar spine. The lumbar spine is an immobile and strong segment, built to withstand and stabilize a great amount of pressure. However, this section of the column is made for flexion, extension and side to side motion. The lumbar spine is NOT built for rotation. Common factors contributing to low back pain are: poor posture, long periods of time sitting, lack of core strength, lack of flexibility, faulty movement patterns, and obesity.
The fourth and last section of the spinal column is the sacral spine. The sacral spine is the strong supportive base of the spinal column. The sacral joint joins with the iliac bone (Pelvis) and forms the SI joint (sacroiliac joint). The sacral spine also joins with L5 of the lumbar spine to create the lumbosacral spine. This general region of the body, including the hips is the foundation of all athletic movement. Although the low back and hip components are very strong, statistics show that 85% of all people will suffer from low back pain during some point in their life.

The Science of How and Why The TrueTurnPro Works

The proprietary configuration of the TrueTurnPro allows the user to multiply and leverage kinetic energy. Kinetic energy can be defined as the amount of muscle force you can produce to cause motion. Swinging a golf club to hit a ball requires kinetic energy, as does stretching and contracting muscles to move your joints. Therefore, the TrueTurnPro allows the user to leverage this kinetic energy to safely increase your active range of motion.
Leverage is commonly defined as the exertion of force by means of a lever. Levers are used to magnify force, which assist in causing movement. The TrueTurnPro is an innovative lever designed to assist the user in increasing flexibility, strength and stability around the spine.
The configuration of the TrueTurnPro produces a rotational stretch for the thoracic spine which can help to decompress the lumbar spine. Following a proper setup and fitting, the device anatomically connects the arms, shoulders and back into a corrected and fixed position. The anatomically correct position allows you to multiply and distribute kinetic energy in opposing directions causing rotation to occur around the axis point which is your spine.
The TrueTurnPro allows you to leverage and force your shoulders to move around the spine producing true thoracic rotation. The TrueTurnPro is a simple hand held device that does not require any power other than human kinetic energy.

Thoracic Immobility and Its Challenges

A lack of thoracic mobility (rotation) will most often produce the following physical challenges and conditions for golfers.
  1. Increased pressure, load, and compression of the lumbar spine often results in troublesome issues with the disc in the lower back.
  2. Reduced freedom of movement restricts the muscle function of the core and torso.
  3. Limited thoracic mobility will often emerge as a variety of faulty movement patterns imitating rotation.
To properly swing a golf club is difficult, the complete full swing requires a combination of hip mobility, hip stability and a strong and stable lower back. However, the most critical component is the stability and mobility of the thoracic spine. Below are some examples of common swing faults which are mainly a result of poor thoracic mobility:
  • Reverse Pivot
  • Loss of Posture
  • Early Extension
  • Hip sway or slide resulting in hip discomfort
  • Produces the “over the top” swing fault
  • Produces the “arm swing” swing fault
  • Loss of Distance and club head speed
  • Incorrect Kinematic Sequence
In the photos (Fig 1 and 2) below notice how the club in both examples are set at nearly the same position at the top of the swing. The photo with the red arrows display the common and faulty swing flaw known as the “Arm Swing”, in which the arms lift the club into the top position. The arm swing produces inconsistent ball striking with loss of power and accuracy. The photo with the green arrows is a properly placed club position produced by rotating the thoracic spine into a powerful hitting position.
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Rotation is commonly compensated with faulty movement patterns which program incorrect technique and increase the risk of injury. The physical compensation shown below in Fig 3, with the red lines display the combination of lifting the arms and also lifting the chest displaying what is known as, Loss of Posture. The loss of posture is a common faulty repetitive movement pattern which is normally an attempt to position the club parallel to the ground. Along with compromising your lower back, attempting to improperly place the club parallel to the ground will likely produce a variety of errant golf shots as well as cause two other common faulty movement patterns. The first faulty movement pattern stemming from the loss of posture position starts with the transition from the top of the backswing known as the “Over the Top” move, which is a chopping motion. This swing flaw is normally a result of an incorrect Kinematic Sequence which initiates the downswing by utilizing the upper body, typically causing an incorrect swing path. The second swing fault occurs at the impact position known as Early Extension, shown in Fig 4. Notice the red lines showing how the spine and hip angles have moved into extension at impact. This faulty movement of the hips towards the golf ball causes an array of errant golf shots and is also a sure sign of a lack of thoracic rotation.

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Isolated thoracic rotation has endlessly eluded and challenged most of the golf community, thereby forcing many golfers to incorrectly position the arms and the lower back. A lack of thoracic mobility can also produce pain and debilitation, potentially leading to the compression of the lumbar spine. Hence thoracic immobility is often associated with weakness, a chronic unsupported posture, a lack of physical activity (back exercises) and excessive periods of time sitting. The (Fig 5) below is the prevalent, feeble and faulty movement pattern known as the Reverse Pivot. This physical compensation places a tremendous amount of pressure into the lower back.

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The expectation of a change in ball flight often requires a biomechanical change with swing technique, which fundamentally demands a change in physical function. This new change in swing technique will essentially involve a change in the way you use your back. Therefore the physical demands of the golf swing shouldn’t be taken lightly or for granted. Many players risk injury as they attempt to bend and twist the body in search of gaining more distance and accuracy.

The Solution

The TrueTurnPro! Our philosophical foundation is based upon thoracic rotation. Notice, below are five different anatomical swing positions. Working with the TrueTurnpro and your golf teaching professional will help you build the five proper anatomical swing positions in the correct kinematic sequence. Here at TrueTurnPro, we believe conditioning the body to achieve these five anatomical swing positions is essential to improving your ball striking performance. In addition to these examples of rotation, notice the specific hand grip position onto the TrueTurnPro device. The hands are positioned at approximately 45 degrees of horizontal abduction. We prefer this anatomical position as it helps to maximize the stretch into the thoracic spine and releases tension around the shoulder blades.
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  • Fig #6 Address Position with the TrueTurnPro
  • Fig #7 Top of the BackSwing with the TrueTurnPro
  • Fig #8 Impact Position with the TrueTurnPro
  • Fig #9 Exaggerated Impact Stretch with the TrueTurnPro
  • Fig #10 Follow Through Position with the TrueTurnPro
Professional and competitive athletes utilize a scientific and sports medicine approach when training for sport performance. Benefits of sports specific training for golf have become extremely popular and are practiced by golf’s top athletes. Along with many professional players, avid amateurs are seeking to enhance their performance by participating in golf fitness programs alike. Golf specific training with the TrueTurnPro is focused and centered around body control. Acquiring control of the thoracic spine (rotation) lends to gaining control of club position, which in turn gives more control over ball flight. TrueTurnPro sports specific golf drills are designed to improve:
  • Thoracic Mobility
  • Spine Angle Stability
  • Club Position at the Top of the Swing
  • Impact Position
  • Hip Rotation
  • Swing Path
  • Driving Distance and Accuracy
  • Kinematic Sequence
Woods, Nicklaus, Snead, Palmer, Hogan, and every other legend of the game all have personal and very unique mechanics, as no two swings are exactly alike. However each of these legends has one swing element which is exactly the same as the other….. their wonderful ability to turn.
Remember, if you can’t turn, you can’t play!
Carl Horne
Inventor of the TrueTurnPro