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Do you have Golfers Elbow - Your Chicken Wing could be why!

Do you have Golfers Elbow – Your Chicken Wing could be why!

Do you have Golfers Elbow – Your Chicken Wing could be why!

Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the golfchats.com website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!

When the inside part of your elbow is sore, it is often called “golfer’s (or tennis) elbow.”

Bob Forman, Certified Golf Fitness Instructor at Mind and Body, says that playing usually makes it more painful and is often created by playing. Chicken and egg there! As an Instructor, I am interested in Forman’s diagnosis of a possible ‘chicken wing’ movement in either the left or right arm as you swing the club back or perform the follow-through.

Do you have Golfers Elbow - Your Chicken Wing could be why!

To reduce your pain and get you back onto the course, try these terrific stretches seen on Forman’s video below:

Golfer’s elbow, or medial epicondylitis, is the phrase for discomfort on the medial or inside part of the elbow.  It literally is a pain due to the fact that the discomfort is usually slow to develop and can linger for quite some time.  Playing golf often worsens the condition and, for many, it is the reason why they develop it in the first place.

One common cause for elbow pain is a lack of mobility in the shoulder joint–particularly relative to external rotation.  This often leads to a swing fault known as the “chicken wing.”  In golf, chicken winging typically refers to the target side elbow, or left elbow for a right-handed golfer, and is characterized by the elbow bending and remaining close to the body as it slides around the back on the follow-through (easier to see with a slow motion video).

Self Diagnosis

To check how well you can externally rotate your shoulder, stand with your arm straight out to the side and bend your elbow 90 degrees, palm facing forward.  Without moving your upper arm, try rotating the forearm back as far as comfort permits without bending or arching your back. The goal would be to get about 10 to 20 degrees of movement backwards with the forearm.  Can’t budge from the starting position? Or if you can’t even get to the 90 degree starting position?  Youare limiting your external rotation.

If this occurs in your target arm you may be chicken winging.  If it occurs in the trail arm (the right arm for a right-handed golfer), you could have that flying elbow in your backswing, a limited backswing, a swing plane change in your backswing, and/or it may force you into a counterproductive reverse spine position.

The bottom line:

Limited shoulder range of motion on either side increases the potential for tendonitis or other injury in the respective elbow joint.

One of the better exercises to help increase range of motion in the shoulder is the Open Book (video below).  When performing this exercise, try not to use no more than 2 or 3 lbs.  Too much weight can cause injury.

To read the rest of this article on curing your golfer’s elbow, go here!

Source:  Bob Forman   LinkedGolfers

Pictures: Andrea Vallejos   Briles Takes Pictures

Thanks for watching – Do you have Golfers Elbow – Your Chicken Wing could be why!

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