Is It A Fundamental Flaw or Physical Limitation?
Swing Fault: Chicken Wing or Flying Elbow
Description: A flying elbow occurs in the backswing when the elbow lifts too high instead of properly rotating from the shoulder and allowing the forearm to align in a more parallel fashion with the angle of the spine. A chicken wing occurs when there is a loss of extension or breakdown of the lead elbow through the impact area throughout the follow through.
Test For Physical Limitation: 90/90 Test for Shoulder Mobility/Scapular Stability Stand tall and position your arm out to the side 90 degrees from your body and 90 degree bend at the elbow. It is important for your body to stay perfectly still. Now externally rotate your shoulder (open hand to the sky) as far as you can. You should be able to rotate your shoulder at least another 90 degrees or past perpendicular to the floor. If you can't, this may be one of the causes or factors leading to your chicken wing or flying elbow.
Corrective Exercise: It is very important to stretch the pectorals (chest muscles). With age and daily activities, the pectorals and front of the shoulders get tight and lead to both poor posture and loss of posture in the golf swing. There are MANY exercises you can do to help prevent this, but a simple one is to simply walk through a doorway and get stuck. Place your hands and forearms on the sides of a doorway and as you walk your body through, your shoulders will be forced to externally rotate and open up chest muscles.