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06
Apr

Golfing this weekend?

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Strains and injuries to the arms, particularly the wrist and elbow, are frighteningly common in golf today.  In this article I'm going to try and help solve that problem for anyone who suffers with this.  Now the focus is on golf due to that being my specialist subject but this information applies equally to any sport involving expression of force through the arms such as tennis, squash, cricket etc.


First up a little bit of a biomechanics lesson (I'll keep it brief): 

1.  Force generation when standing comes from the ground up, imagine trying to drive the ball whilst standing on ice if you're not sure what I mean.  In perfect function force generated by the large, strong muscles of the legs is transferred through the sling systems of the core and is finally expressed by the arms like a whip cracking.  Powerful and easy on the arms, they just have to hang on to the club!

2.  Stability for all the joints in the body is governed by the ability of the core to stabilise the spine.  No matter how hard you try the brain won't let you sacrifice spinal stability for shoulder or knee or ankle stability, the spine takes priority for obvious reasons.  If we take this to be true then it isn't hard to see that a golfer who has poor core condition will be struggling just to stabilise their spine during the task of swinging a club.  This means they have no chance of stabilising the limbs.

Now take points 1 & 2 and understand that in order to transmit force up through the body you need to have stabilised joints to transmit power.  If you are lacking core stability you can't do this.  Now you're still going to hit the ball but now the large muscle groups of the legs, core and back can't contribute.  The arms are left to do a tremendous amount of work and the connective tissues of the shoulder, elbow and wrist are working overtime.  Imagine hitting 100 balls at the driving range and having the tendons of the elbow take that level of strain each time, no wonder you hurt on Monday morning!

To take the strain of the arms then it is clear you need to improve your core stabilty.  With your core stable you can stabilse the joints of the limbs, with the core and limbs stable during your swing you can utilise all that lovely force generated by the legs and core.  Not only will you be playing pain free but you're drive will be vastly improved and you'll hit further than you ever have before.  I've seen it time and time again with golfers I've worked with.  They come in to get an elbow fixed and end up playing better than they ever have done before, that's a satisfied customer right there!  Don't take my word for it, this is what local future Pro Tom had to say after just 5 sessions of Golf Biomechanics:

"I am a scratch golfer and previously I was working out in the gym 4 days a week lifting weights, trying to get stronger. I worked at a golf club with fitness instructors who gave me information on golf biomechanics but when I started working with Neil 5 months ago the improvement in distance and ball control in my game is incredible and things are only going to keep getting better!"

Tom Webster – Up-and-coming future Pro

On the the evening of Thursday 3rd May I'll be holding a seminar on Golf conditioning at the clinic, so if you'd like to learn more about how you can improve your golf with simple practicle advice from an expert contact me on 02393 233140 or email here to reserve a space.
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