Over :15 million people play golf , and •One in every three amateur golfers is playing with an injury •Back pain occur,' in approximately 50 per cent of all golfers, including professionals •The "Modem Golf swing" (which was developed 10 create more power while maintaining balance) can be a major factor in the development of low back pain, This method promotes a higher trajectory to the ball and is deemed ideal 10 hit elevated greens, but demands increased twisting through the spine which can predispose you to an injury •In contrast, the "Stabilized Golf Swing" decreases torsion. compression, and shear through the lumbar spine which reduces the chance of injury •Most back pain tan be avoided by practicing with a few simple back-care techniques, and by working with a physiotherapist 01' golf pro to learn the proper body mechanics of a "Stabilized Golf Swing"
This was initially developed by H.J Ferrant PT, and Tommy Nix (PGA class A Professional). The stabilized swing allows for the golfer to swing without injury. This is a body oriented swing which reduces the side bend and rotation of the spine. It uses the trunk muscles, as well as the hip and leg muscles to produce a powerful golf shot. There are two (2) major principles of stabilized Golf swing
We all know that the golf swing is a rotary action and the lower back is not suited well for that due to the three joints associated with each level. The hip joints on the other hand as well as the shoulder and mid back are structurally built to withstand such a rotational force. Hence most rotation movement of any golf swing should be directed to the joints designed for it instead of the lower back. Physical Therapists are well trained to educate on how to maximize such desired joint mobility and strengthening of the core muscles and larger muscles needed to sustain such movements aimed at powerful swings
Good core stabilizing muscles are the bases for pain free back! Our core muscles stabilize our lower back during static and dynamic activities especially when on our feet. These muscles are the Pelvic floor muscles, the small stabilizing muscles of the back known as the Multifidus and the deepest layer of abdominal muscles. Traditional Back and abdominal exercises do not train these CORE STABILIZERS! So you will need the skilled physiotherapist to assist you in learning how to effectively recruit and train these muscles during your golf game.
It is very important for us to realize that a golf swing is an individual manoeuvre, and should flow naturally. Below is a few guides to more effective swing.
• GRIP: Allow for a balanced grip between both hands; use a slight amount of pressure while producing a V pointing down the shaft of the club. AVOID THE GRIP OF DEATH! And you will have no tension in your arm and neck.
• STANCE: Place your feet shoulder width apart, bending knees slightly (avoid locking your knees as this will put lots of strain on you cartilage and share you ACL). Pull in your core muscles to hold your back and pelvis in a neutral position, keeping your head down and maintain eye contact with the golf ball at all time.
• FOCUS/CONCENTRATION ON SWINGS: The back swing is primarily derived from the mid-back (ribs and facets) and shoulder blades then the shoulders. Keep your core muscles pulled in to stabilise the lower back during swing while maintaining a straight left elbow (if you are a right hand swinger). A slight hip rotation is ok, however you should maintain a stable stance with both feet on the ground, while your weight is slightly shifted to the right foot, and hips pointing in the same direction as your belly button. During the down swing, never try to kill the ball. With your core muscles activated, initiate your swing by shifting your weight back to the left foot while keeping your eyes on the ball and head still. Allow the momentum of your arm and upper back to accelerate the club head down to contact the ball. Do not rush the shot, maintain a pulled core even as the club is approaching contact with the ball and arm and hips pointing to the same direction. You will return to he initial starting position.
• FOLLOW THROUGH: As you get more momentum, accelerating through the impact area, your arm and hip must now pull you through, and you will complete the arc. This motion should fell natural with your hip, knees and shoulders pointing towards the target at the end of swing. So an important point u must remember is that you must keep your core throughout the swing while your hip goes through the natural motion and right foot lifted slightly from the ground without any twist or sense of strain in your lower back or pelvis.