Friday, January 20, 2012

Barriers to your golf game!!!

By: Dr. Amir Mahmud D.C., C.C.S.P.

I am going to take you all through a series of 4 blogs, exploring the different barriers that can affect your performance in a golf game. Whether you are a beginner, amateur or a professional you can benefit from these tips. So lets jump right into it. Here are the 4 key barriers that will hinder your performance in golf.

1. Flexibility
2. Postural Instability
3. Swing mechanics
4. Environmental/Mental performance

We are going to focus on flexibility today!!!

Did you know that lack of golf specific flexibility can put you at a risk of getting injured? When we talk about inflexibility we are talking more than just muscle tightness. Inflexibility includes muscle tightness, ligament and tendon restriction, and fascial restriction. Fascia is a type of connective tissue that surrounds muscles, groups of muscles, blood vessels, and nerves, binding them togather. It works the same way a surround wrap works when you wrap your sandwhiches. When the fascia in your body tightens up it can pull various structures in your body in different ways and compress them up to 2000 pounds per square inch.

Now that we have a general view of what can tighen up in your body, lets get more specific on various structures and body parts that we need to focus on in order to prevent injures and improve our golf game.

Leg Adductors: Generally speaking there are 3 adductor muscles in your body. Adductor Brevis, Longus and Magnus. Your adductor muscles are activated as you transition from the top of your backswing to the start of your downswing. If your adductors are too tight you will rotate too quickly and this generally means you will come over the top of the ball.

Hamstrings: The hamstrings are compsed of 3 muscles: Semitendinosus, Semimembranosus, and Biceps Femoris. Due to its attachment, a tight hamstring can alter your lumbar spine and pelvic motion. As a result of this you will have less motion in your spine and that directly relates to decreased club head speed.

Calfs: The calfs are composed of 2 muscles: Gastrocnemius and Soleus. When these muscles are tight there is tendency to move the torso up and down during a swing. ( Golf professionals refer to this as an inbality to maintain a consistent “spine angle”). Due to the tight calf muscles you also have a tendency to “toe up” during the back swing.

Chest and Shoulder: Tightness in your chest and shoulder can restrict you from extending your forward arm to climb past 9:00 on the vertical plane line during the back swing.

Paraspinal muscles: These groups of muscles are responsible for lateral bending and rotation of the spine.

• Lateral bending is essential for maintaining the extended arm parallel to the plane line. If you can’t laterally bend, your torso will move up and down as you swing your club.
• Spinal rotation is essential for generating club head speed. The higher your club head speed, the farther the ball will go. You need to be able to rotate your spine equally in both directions.

Psoas: This muscle is your primary hip flexor. When it is too tight it will initiate the quadriceps muscles during walking. As a result it will fatigue them much faster. A tight Psoas muscle can also affect your pelvic and lumbar motion due to its attachments.

Now that you know which muscles tend to get tight, the next step is to know which muscles are weak and need to be strengthened. That will be the topic of our next blog. If you are interested in having your posture and swing evaluated for biomechanical faults contact me and I will gladly walk you through the process.

Dr. Amir Mahmud is a Sports Chiropractors at Chiropractic Sports Institute. He is an expert at evaluating and treatment of golf injuries. If you are interested in having your swing evaluated call Dr. Amir at the Westlake office (805) 371-0737 and he will gladly help you out.

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