Your golf swing is all about proper body mechanics. A good golf swing requires full rotational capacity of nearly every joint involved and must be done – efficiently – easily – explosively – repeatedly. Many swing faults are directly attributable to poor joint mobility, resulting from soft-tissue restrictions.
A proper golf analysis will focus on the following:
- Determining which structures are affected along the Golfers kinetic chain. We focus on more than just the chief area of restriction.
- Identifying the antagonistic structures (opposing muscle groups) to those that have been identified as the primary structures causing the imbalance.
Since function and performance is based upon balance and coordination, an opposing soft-tissue structure is always affected by restrictions in the primary structure.
- Treating each soft-tissue dysfunction with the appropriate technique to restore full function to the affected structures.
The result is almost most always an improvement in Golf performance. Using this process has helped hundreds of Golfers achieve their goals and prevent numerous injuries from occurring.
Common swing faults occur due to tight shoulder, tightness in the hip joint, spinal injuries, and repetitive strain injuries. When shoulder rotation is restricted the body compensates with excessive spinal rotation. This can result in back injury because most people already lack flexibility in the spine. In addition, golfers will notice that they have difficulties in keeping their eyes on the ball and/or maintaining an optimal swing plane. This results in fat or thin shots. When the golfer attempts to compensate at the shoulder joint, the chances of a hook or slice increases. Tightness in the hip joint rotational muscles places additional strain on the rotational requirements of the shoulder or spine. Often a golfer will compensate by lifting up during the back swing and then chop down on the ball resulting in a fat shot. Wrist and elbow injuries often occur when the body does not have the capacity to effectively compensate at either the shoulder or spine. The wrists are then over-used to drive as well as decelerate the golf club. These swing faults are often easily corrected by addressing the physical restriction the golfer has in their body.
Stretching is often not enough to release these restrictions
Even individuals such as professional golfers who are constantly stretching find it difficult to release soft-tissue adhesions. This is why so many professional and amateur golfers are turning to Active Release Technique (ART), Graston, Acupuncture and stretching to release and remove these restrictions.
Often muscle groups will literally adhere to each other, preventing the sliding necessary for full mobility. During normal stretching, the first tissue that elongates may not be the scar tissue, but the normal healthy tissue. After the restriction has been removed an effective program of stretching will often be enough to stop the restrictions from returning.
Applying soft tissue techniques to golf related injuries
In order to effectively balance your muscles and remove joint restrictions, you must first identify your unique pattern of muscle imbalances. By utilizing a series of muscle balance and swing analysis tests, the exact type, extent, and location of muscle restriction can be identified. The use of ART treatments and follow-up stretches will help remove and resolve these restrictions, in addition to strengthening the muscles with weight training to prevent re-injury.
Dr. Robert Inesta