Are you Golf Fit?
The golf swing puts a huge amount of pressure and loading through a golfers joints and muscles and this is why every golfer should be seeking the expert guidance of professionally trained PGA Professional.
So how do flexibility, mobility and strength relate to the average golfer and what effect does this play on their golfing performance?
Jeff Fronk, Vijay Singh’s former fitness trainer who currently works with many athletes including Billy Horshel says
“The golf swing is one of the most dynamic movements in of all sports,” “These guys are generating 100 mph or more of club head speed in a quarter of a second” Horshel says he has seen noticeable changes in his playing performance, club head speed and body efficiency through working on strength and mobility.
Important factors are flexibility, mobility and strength which prevent injuries of the golfer and create longevity of a golfers performance at a more consistent level. Golf is a game for all ages and injury prevention maintains a golfer’s ability to play into his/her older years. Typically lower back pain is the most common golfing injury followed by knees, shoulders, elbows and hips (In no particular order). Some injuries are not preventable but the most common being back pain can be managed through Postural awareness, core/glute strength and stabilisation of certain muscle groups surrounding the spine.
According to Shen-Tsai (2017) trunk biomechanics, muscle strength and flexibility of the trunk, hip, spinal proprioception plus postural stability are potential factors contributing to the relationship between trunk motion and lower back injuries in golfers.
Distance and Speed
Everyone wants to hit the ball a long way, and this becomes even harder as we age. “But according to research it has been proven over and over again that until the golfer reaches the age of 75 (approximately) most of the power loss is preventable and directly related to flexibility” (Ryan York, Golf WRX, 2013) So when you hear a golfer say “I wish I was as flexible as you, then I’d be able to knock it out there” you can tell them they can be. The problem is only a problem if that older age golfer has a past injury which limits them from moving their body in a way they wish due to pain. How this injury happened in the first place could possibly be relevant to their lack of flexibility, mobility and strength at the time. The real key to distance and club head speed as we age is about movement patters and sequencing, again this is related to flexibility and mobility. If the body is not flexible, efficient movement patterns and sequencing cannot be achieved.
“The golf ball doesn’t know how old you are. The golf ball knows physics and laws of dynamic energy. The faster and more efficiently you swing, the straighter and farther the ball flies” (Michael Brantl, 2014)
Adequate flexibility can increase blood recirculation, increase neuromuscular coordination and return muscle to its natural resting state. All in all flexibility plays a massive role in maintenance of the body and it’s easy to see why it’s so important to maintain this, not only as humans but also as golfers