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The Golf Swing

By Christina Saia, PT, DPT, NASM-CPT

 

Swinging a golf club is a complex movement that requires a great deal of mobility and strength within multiple areas of the body. In order to optimize your golf swing, especially when returning from an injury, it is essential that the individual displays the required components of movement. 

Some of the major biomechanical requirements for the golf swing include (but are not limited to): 

  • Hip mobility and strength
    • The lead hip uses a great deal of external rotation during the backswing and internal rotation during the downswing (1). A golfer without full hip IR/ER will place more load on the lumbar spine during their swing (2).
    • Gluteus maximus is the most active muscle of the lower limb during the golf swing (4).
  • Trunk / back rotation
    • The golf swing requires a large amount of axial rotation at the torso. Research shows that more trunk rotation was associated with faster speeds of the clubhead at ball impact (3).
  • Core strength
    • Abdominal muscle strength is essential for creating rotation and power throughout the golf swing. Those with lower back pain exhibit delayed abdominal muscle contraction during the backswing compared to those without lower back pain (4).
  • Shoulder strength and mobility
    • Shoulder strength, especially within the pectoralis major (chest), subscapularis (rotator cuff), and latissimus dorsi (back), also contribute greatly to performance in the golf swing (4). The highest mobility demand of the shoulder involves rotation of the trail side (if you are a right-handed golfer, the trail side would be your right arm) (1).

 

If you are looking to return to golf after an injury, be sure to check in with your physical therapist at POST PT! 

 

Citations: 

  1. https://doi.org/10.3390%2Fsports10060091
  2. https://doi.org/10.1177/0363546514555698
  3. Sinclair J., Currigan G., Fewtrell D.J., Taylor P.J. Biomechanical correlates of club-head velocity during the golf swing. Int. J. Perform. Anal. Sport. 2014;14:54–63. doi: 10.1080/24748668.2014.11868702
  4. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jelekin.2012.04.002
  5. Photo : Sports (Basel). 2022 Jun; 10(6): 91. Published online 2022 Jun 9. doi: 10.3390/sports10060091