While the golf swing is one of the most complicated movements in sport, from a musculoskeletal or kinesiologic perspective it comes down to two very basic principles or components:
1. Core Stability (the foundation of Pilates), and
2. Functional Mobility: the ability to properly move body parts through their natural range of motion and to differentiate the motion between body parts—also an essential component of Pilates.
Our body is a kinetic chain from which we transfer energy and power from one body part to another. This couldn’t be more true and applicable to the golf swing.
In a proper golf swing we use the legs and hips to initiate the swing and generate power, which transfers energy through the thoracic spine in our rotation, the uncoiling of the spine then transfers energy and power through the arms, the lever, to generate swing speed which gives the golf shot distance and height. While much of the golf swing relies on continuity and fluidity between these parts of the kinetic chain, it also requires that we are able to isolate and move them separately—called “Differentiation” in Pilates, [the ability to isolate and move body parts—usually the extremities—while keeping other parts stable—usually the “Core” or hips abs, lower spine]. A great example of the need to differentiate is the back swing, where we keep the head down and eye on the ball while our hips, spine and arms rotate away from the ball. If our neck muscles or thoracic spine muscles are restricted, we’ll either limit that power generating rotation (think Tiger Woods) or lift and turn our heads off the ball. To differentiate effectively requires adequate flexibility and mobility of the neck (cervical spine), vs the thoracic spine as well as control of the shoulder muscles (upper traps, levator scapulae).
CoreFitnessByJana’s forthcoming Golf related exercise modules (above) are designed to help build, restore and maintain the functional mobility of the musculature used in golf through stretching, strengthening and movement. All the exercises focus on core strength & stability, differentiation and coordinated fluidity.
Take a look at the attached flyer for specific tips on how to improve your Golf Swing through Core Fitness and Pilates.