2013- What the amateur golfer should know about the biomechanics of the golf swing

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Sean Cochran is one of the most recognized golf fitness instructors in the world today. He travels the PGA Tour working with most notably Masters and PGA Champion Phil Mickelson. To learn more about Sean and his golf fitness programmes go tohttp://www.seancochran.com. Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Sean_Cochran If you’ve read some of my articles in the past, we focused a lot on training the body to help you provide more power, consistency and accuracy to your golf swing. Today, we are going to get a little more scientific. I am going to explain the biomechanics of golf. Biomechanics is the study of human movement. Using this definition in golf, it is essentially studying how the body moves when swinging a golf club. Biomechanics is the study what the skeleton, muscles, and nerves of the body do when hitting a golf ball. There are actually folks out there that make a living studying these movements, they are called Biomechanists’. And the great thing about golf is that there have been a ton of scientific studies on the golf swing. In addition, this research has allowed biomechanists to create a model of the “optimal” swing in the sport of golf. All of this research has been beneficial to the golf industry. It has provided club manufacturers, swing coaches, trainers, and players with an abundant amount of knowledge to improve the game in many areas. Biomechanics of the Golf Swing Stage by Stage Most biomechanists break the golf swing down into phases. We will talk about the swing into the following phases: 1) address, 2) back swing, 3) transition, 4) down swing, 4) contact, 5) follow through, 6) finish. I will also relate what the body does during each of these phases, which muscles are active, and any additional information applicable to biomechanical study of the golf swing. The golf swing begins in the address stage. The address stage is the position that the golfer places their body in to begin the swing. According to Glenn Fleisig MD, the address position is a functional body position which includes the proper grip and body position. A balanced, “athletic” address position, which is consistent swing to swing, will provide the golfer with the correct starting position for the swing. Inconsistency in either how the body is set up or with the grip leads to inconsistency on shot to shot. The body in terms of muscle activity is fairly low at address. The muscles of the body are supporting the body in a specific anatomical position and preparing it to swing a club. The back swing (take away) is when the body begins to move the club. The back swing is the portion of the swing that places...

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2013 – Therapeutic massage can prevent golfers’ injuries from becoming permanent handicaps

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FOCUS ON SPORTS MASSAGE: Mandy Eagar investigates the most common injuries that golfers present with, and explains how therapeutic massage therapy can be incorporated into their lifestyles as a method of preventative care. The aim of this article is to investigate the most common injuries that golfers present with, and how therapeutic massage therapy can be incorporated into their lifestyle as a method of preventative care. In golf, as in most sports, participants are prone to a number of very specific injuries. In this article I will be focusing on golf injuries involving the shoulder, elbow and lower back namely rotator cuff injuries, medial epicondylitis and lower back pain It is important to look at why these injuries occur in order to understand how to prevent them from recurring. I argue that the biggest culprit is poor posture whilst playing golf and performing day-to-day activities. This leads to misalignment of the musculoskeletal structure and ineffective use of the joints. It can also lead to muscle imbalances which cause weakness in some muscles and overpowering strength in others. This will cause problems in the joint/s they act on. Other reasons for these injuries include faulty swing mechanics and general overuse of an area. First consider the shoulder joint. Golfers often complain of a burning or twinge of pain that is felt in the shoulder joint, which usually gets worse when they are playing and subsides when they rest. The pain is usually muscle related. The muscles causing the pain are usually the supraspinatus and teres minor as they are overstretched or forced into a contraction against too much resistance. This may cause damage to the muscle fibres. The muscles of the rotator cuff are usually the ones affected and they are the infraspinatus, supraspinatus, subscapularis and teres minor (Nedeff 2003). Simple tests can be done to determine which muscles of the rotator cuff are involved. In the following section I discuss some of these tests. TEST FOR LATERAL ROTATORS Both the infraspinatus and teres minor are responsible for lateral rotation of the shoulder joint and stabilizing the head of the humerus in the glenoid cavity during movements of this joint. To test whether these muscles are weak, the patient lies prone on the plinth with the arm to be tested abducted from the shoulder in a perpendicular position from the body. The elbow is bent to a 90-degree angle with the fingers pointing in the direction of the head and the forearm parallel to the body. Ensure the shoulder is the only part supported by the plinth. The therapist places their right hand under the upper arm near the elbow to prevent an adduction or abduction movement of the humerus....

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2013 – Sports Massage: Getting to know the game of golf

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Golf is possibly one of the fastest growing sports in and internationally. Not only have superstars like Tiger Woods and Ernie Els injected tremendous excitement into the sport in the last decade, but the game has also been ‘democratised’. Slowly the image of the elitist, country club activity has shifted with golf attracting more and more people who include it as part of their fitness programme even at primary school level. The problem according to anatomical physiologist and sports injury consultant to the big names in sport, Pete Egoscue, is that people still consider golf a physically undemanding game. That is simply not true he argues in his book Pain free – A revolutionary method for stopping chronic pain. Golf requires balance, strength and co-ordination. Without these components, injury is very likely to follow. Yet he argues, the cause is not necessarily the game itself. “The thesis that golf hurts backs has become so pervasive that even the most dedicated golfers, who have never experienced a twinge of pain, believe it to be true.” The problem however, is that golfers don’t get in shape by playing the game, they get in shape by living life – sitting at a desk in a classroom, using computers at the office, driving a car, slouching in front of the TV. Muscoloskeletal dysfunctions and imbalances follow the golfer to the course rather than golf causing the misalignment and disturbances in the kinetic chain. Where does this argument leave the massage therapist who is increasingly required to treat patients complaining of golf injuries? Four points stand out: It makes rubbish of the spot treatment approach (back and neck or legs only treatments). Massage is at its most effective when treating whole-body postural patterns, the exact thing that will affect the golfer’s game. As the golf swing uses almost all the muscles in the body, isolating problem areas here and there will not address the imbalances causing the pain in the first place. It is therefore imperative that the therapist does a comprehensive visual and gait assessment to establish misalignment and to verify these observations by means of special tests that determine muscle strength and weakness. It further supports the argument that sports massage is not a type of massage that implies deeper and more invasive techniques. Rather it demands of any therapist who wants to work with sports participants to have a thorough grounding in the biomechanical demands of each modality. Although a golfer uses all the muscles in a golf swing, the muscles on one side of the body may be doing the exact opposite of the muscles on the other side. Just like both sides need to be trained for the specific jobs...

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