In his first NJGolfToday.com post, the JAG Physical Therapy founder says strong core muscles lead to better swings.
Recognizing your swing faults may help you to prolong your golf game and quality of play. In this first installment of Gallucci on Golf, I want to focus on the core muscles, your midsection, to help you appreciate how much it affects your posture and your ability to make a full swing. You are seeing three photos:
Neutral Posture: Just as the legendary golf instructor Harvey Penick said that you need a good grip to build a good swing, good posture will help you perform better on the golf course (and everywhere else, for that matter). With a straight back, and strong core muscles, you will be able to create the optimal setup for your swing.
Weak core muscles, on the other hand, can lead to a few posture flaws that can be trouble for your golf game:
C-Posture Body Mechanics: These may be caused by several things including poor set-up, core weakness, poor posture stability, joint stiffness, or poor club sizing. If the set-up and club sizing is found to be correct, exercises can then be used to help strengthen the muscles used to stay in a neutral posture. Weakness in muscles of the low back, shoulders, neck, glutes, and thighs result in tightness in the chest, hamstrings and hips leading to faulty posture.
S-Posture Body Mechanics: These may be caused by poor set-up and too much of an anterior pelvic tilt. This posture is usually a result of tighter muscles in the low back, mid-back, and hips. Weak muscles in this posture include the glutes, abdominals, core stabilizers, and hips.
Swing faults from these postures may in time lead to chronic pain and discomfort when swinging the golf club. Low back, shoulder, neck, mid-back, pelvis, and knee pain are all possible locations of pain from faulty mechanics, as well as overuse/compensated movements. Every golfer should have a training program to address flexibility, strength, balance, and set-up routine to help maintain proper alignment.
For assistance with physical training to improve your golf game, or to receive treatment for pain, please contact your local JAG Physical Therapy facility and/or local health professional.
John Gallucci Jr., MS, ATC, PT, DPT, is founder of JAG Physical Therapy, and author of Soccer Injury Prevention and Treatment, A Guide to Optimal Performance for Players, Parents, and Coaches.