It is a great time of year to get out on the golf course. But is your swing holding you back?
Golf, like many other movements, does not have one perfect technique, but more a process of a fluid movement, often requiring excellent timing and coordination.
During the golf swing, a series of movements lead to a store of energy, then reverse to release it back through the ball. However, many golfers struggle to produce this fluid movement pattern due to mobility restrictions or a loss of stability when needed.
During the swing a good amount of joint and muscle flexibility is needed to be able to bring the club back before the release. The primary joints which are affected are the thoracic spine (mid back), shoulders and hips, which are involved in the rotation. When looking at muscle flexibility we often consider that not all muscles will require large amounts of flexibility and in general having lots of movement may not always be the most beneficial for a movement, especially one such as a golf swing that requires a large amount of co-ordination and stability. What is desired, is control throughout the range, with muscles having sufficient movement to allow joints to move, but strong enough throughout the swing to keep a good swing path.
Now it’s easy to say that you need flexibility in golf, but why do you need it?
Well, it’s being able to separate different parts of the body with the swing, for example, having rotation in the upper back, and not needing to compensate more at the hips. This will relate to many other areas where the lack of movement causes compensations elsewhere, or an inability to move into the desired position at all. So, what can be done to help improve flexibility in order to meet the demands of the sport? Well, a good place to start would be working on mobility and stretching routine working on the areas around the hip, ankle, mid-back and shoulders.
A treatment that is well researched around improving flexibility is massage
However, it can be difficult to know where to start, and various stretches shown online may be too difficult early on. A treatment that is well researched around improving flexibility is massage. This can help reduce some of the stiffness in the soft tissue to help to free up more movement. Then from there exercises will be given to help to further improve any restrictions. Then a further exercise plan can also be implemented to work on any strength weaknesses which may have been noted. So if you’re having issue with the movement in your swing, or feel increased stiffness after a game, book in for a massage and see how we can help you.
For further help increasing your mobility, book a session with one of our Sports Conditioning and Massage therapists