In (Part 1) of this article I discussed how muscle imbalance can often keep a golfer from achieving his or her true playing potential. Even though these imbalances are quite common they often go untreated due to the fact that the golfer is focusing on the symptom and not the cause. The symptom in this case is the inaccuracy and loss of power in their swing. The cause is the muscle imbalance.
Postural deficiencies (imbalances) consist of tight (shortened) muscles and weak (lengthened) muscles. Common golf posture consists of a forward head and rounded shoulders. Proper program design will call for the tight muscles to be stretched and the weak muscles to be strengthened.
In addition, the average person also has a weak core and lack of neuromuscular joint stabilization making it even more difficult to control their body during a functional movement such as golf.
Common muscle imbalances of a golfer:
Forward Head Position
Anterior (front) neck muscles (tight/shortened) - Stretch
Posterior (rear) neck muscles (weak/lengthened) - Strengthen
Rounded Forward Shoulders
Pectoral (chest) muscles (tight/shortened) - Stretch
Rhomboid (upper middle back) muscles (weak/lengthened) - Strengthen
Lack of Core Stability
Transverse abdominals / Internal Oblique (weakness) - Strengthen
Pelvic floor muscles (weakness) - Strengthen
The "Core" is where all movement begins. It is also the controlling force behind an individual's center of gravity. The core muscles support the spine and pelvis and are an essential part of driving the ball with power and accuracy.
Stabilization training increases communication between the nervous system and the muscular system which will result in increased joint stabilization during functional movements such as golf. Performing exercises that require balance such as single leg exercises, stability ball exercises or using unstable surface's will increase neuromuscular efficiency (communication between the nervous system and muscular system).
The combination of corrective exercise, core training and stabilization training will greatly improve your ability to unleash the true potential of your golf game. A balanced posture, strong core and efficient joint stabilization will decrease any pain or discomfort in your swing and significantly improve the power and accuracy of your game.
Craig LePage, CSCS, NASM-CPT, is a well-known Fitness Professional in the Charlotte, North Carolina area and is the Director of Precision Fitness Mooresville. He has been helping people reach their fitness and wellness goals for more than 10 years. His credentials include a Bachelors of Science Degree from the University of Bridgeport Connecticut, CSCS credentials from the NSCA and a Personal Training Certification from the NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine). Craig has written for Charlotte, NC area Newspapers, authored his own fitness & nutrition program and is a frequent guest on a Charlotte area radio show that focus' on health and wellness. He is currently co-authoring a golf specific exercise book (Play Better, Longer ? Golf) and is also working on a book of his own that should be available sometime next year.
For additional information please contact (Craig LePage); firstname.lastname@example.org, or log on to http://www.lakenormanfitness.com