HOW STABILIZERS IMPACT YOUR GOLF GAME

HOW MUSCLE STABILIZERS IMPACT YOUR GOLF GAME
Bob Forman MS, Exercise Physiology
Certified Golf Fitness Instructor, Author, Speaker 

The two roles muscles play in the body are categorized as movers and stabilizers.  Movers move body parts while stabilizers anchor the bones that the movers are attached to, thereby allowing for a stable foundation so that the movers can perform their function efficiently.  If the foundation is not solid, the movement pattern may be impaired and injury to the area can be a concern.  Not something you want while performing a multi-planar movement pattern like swinging a golf club.   

Four major areas in the body you’ll find stabilizers are in the shoulder, trunk, knee and hip.  All crucial in the golf swing.  A weakness in any one of the these will create instability in that specific area, contributing to poor swing mechanics and an increasing probability for chronic discomfort.  It’s not uncommon to have weakness in more than one of these four key areas.     

The shoulder is the most mobile joint in the body and relies heavily on stabilizers for joint integrity.  Scapular stabilization (shoulder blade) comes from the middle and lower trapezius, rhomboid major and minor, and the serratus anterior.  These are essential in preventing shoulder injury and exercises to strengthen these muscles should be included in the golf fitness program.  This is especially true if there is a history of shoulder discomfort.   

Good exercises that will isolate this area are the Upper Back Squeeze, Ts (photo right) and Ys, Straight Arm Pullovers and External and Internal Shoulder Rotations.   

Core or trunk stability comes from strengthening of the transverse abdominus and the multifidus.  These are vital in the prevention of back injury and pain as they support the spine in static and dynamic positions, like while at address over the ball and throughout the entire golf swing.

Simply pulling the belly button into the spine (vacuum exercise) while lying on the back or seated will work the transverse abdominus.  Performing the vacuum exercise while kneeling on all fours will offer an advantage as you pull the belly up against gravity.  Hold for a 5 to 10 second count, release, and repeat 5 to 10 times.  Remember to breathe throughout.   

Quadruped Lifts are excellent for strengthening the multifidus as are Back Extensions with arms at your side or behind the head while on a stability ball.  

The vastus medialus oblique (VMO) is the main stabilizer of the knee and strength exercises that isolate it is encouraged.  The VMO is one of the four quadricep muscles and is located on the inner thigh.  It's main responsibility is the last third of extension of the leg.

Good exercises that isloate the VMO are terminal extensions on a leg extension machine (open chain as the foot is free in space), seated (open chain) and standing (closed chain as the foot is in contact with the floor) short arc extensions.  

In the hips, the gluteus medius should be the focal point.  The glute medius is vital for lower body control in the golf swing.  Weakness in this area can lead up to excessive movement, especially lateral movement, of the hip in either or both the back and downswing phases.  

The gluteus medius is key, too, in the prevention of knee discomfort.  If this stabilizer is weak, it will allow the thigh bone (femur) to rotate inward, causing a tracking issue for the kneecap.  This can lead to pain and discomfort in the knee.  

Exercises that will benefit the hip stabilizers are Lateral Leg Lifts and Side Steps. 

Weak stabilizers will have an impact on your golf game.  Poor swing mechanics and outcomes can often be associated with instability in these golf essential areas of the body.  This, a result of the movers not being able to perform their tasks efficiently due to an unstable foundation.  A credible golf fitness instructor will be able to assess and detect if you have any weaknesses, and then be able to target these areas with a corrective exercise program.   

Keep in mind, working an unstable joint may only make matters worse and should be avoided.      

EXERCISE OF THE MONTH

Quad-Hip Flexor Stretch

This is a progressive stretch for the quad-hip flexor area.  Be cautious as you lean back on the bench as it will challenge the knee if the quads are tight.  Avoid this stretch if you've had knee replacement.  Tight quads/hip flexors will impede hip mobility and that may rob you of power and distance.

 

 

Check with your physician before starting any type of exercise program.

IMPROVE YOUR GAME

GOLF FITNESS
ASSESSMENT & TRAINING


A quality, customized golf fitness program will. . .
  • Enhance swing efficiency
  • Increase distance
  • Improve playing performance and satisfaction
  • Identify and correct golf-specific injury triggers

    All for much less than what another brand new driver that's going to "fix my game" would cost
     
click here for details

  


The golf exercises are going great.  I am hitting the ball the best I have ever hit it.  My back pain has gone away also. 
 
David R. 

more testimonials

HOST A WORKSHOP

If your Club or organization would like to host an informative golf fitness workshop, contact Bob at bob@golfitcarolina.com or 336-509-4610.

Bob came to my club and did a hour long session on the basics of his teaching and philosophy of fitness and how it relates to the golf swing and its performance.  My members thoroughly enjoyed the hour and wanted more.  I was impressed with his content and explanation.  My members were floored with his Q&A and his personal adaptation to their issues.  I was impressed with his interaction with attendants of the seminar.  If you are looking for someone to integrate your fitness program with the golf program, Bob is the guy to do it!  We will be booking Bob to come back to our club next spring.
Shannon Howell, PGA Head Golf Professional
Country Club of Sapphire Valley, Sapphire Valley, NC


"Bob Forman was fabulous!  He is a great presenter who shared some extremely valuable information related to how anatomical deficiencies such as: poor posture, flexibility, and balance impact our golf swing.  He not only shared what they are and how they impact the swing, but also demonstrated exercises to help correct them."
Ellen Gregory
EWGA-Wilmington, NC chapter

“Westchester is one of the Country’s largest private clubs with a membership that has high expectations for service and performance.  Bob Forman’s seminar on golf specific fitness and flexibility was extremely well received and motivated many of my members to begin a program of evaluation, exercise and follow-ups.  I highly recommend Bob for his knowledge, energy , and ability to connect with amateurs concerning golf fitness.” 
John Kennedy, Director of Golf
Westchester CC, 
Harrison, NY

Bob has a fantastic ability to understand and combine his expertise of the physical complexities of the human body with the PGA Professional’s trained eye with respect to the complexities of the golf swing.  Bob offers a refreshing angle that most amateur and professional golfers can understand and embrace.  Many times, a golfer will have physical limitations that prevents him or her from moving the way the PGA Professional is trying to instruct.  Bob can take the golfer’s weakest physical traits and focus a training program to better overcome those obstacles and allow the golfers to ultimately improve their swing. 
Dennis Nicholl, PGA Head Golf Professional
The Dunes Golf & Beach Club, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

IMPROVE YOUR GAME

Functional Golf Fitness Training is a comprehensive player improvement resource for golfers of all ages and levels, teaching professionals and coaches.  
A great manual for golf teams as well.  

Dedicated chapters on:
- the common physical deficiencies most golfers have, how to detect and correct with over 40 golf-specific exercises and drills
- preventing/alleviating the #1 injury in golf, low back injury
- how to fix the more common swing faults 
- how to put together an inexpensive home gym

Amazon reviews:

"Very clear explanations of causes and fixes for main physical deficiencies affecting golfers. Easy to follow instructions. While other books may give a whole laundry list of exercises that end up not being used, Forman has selected a few for each issue and puts together a program that doesn't take long to do"

"This book not only tells you what to do but also why you need to do and what results you can expect.
I have every book in print about golf fitness and this book is by far the best."


Available in print at TheBookPatch

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or as an ebook on Amazon

Go to
http://www.amazon.com/Functional-Golf-Fitness-Training-ebook/dp/B00FH88Q0Q

SWING FAULT PHYSIOLOGY

Swing mechanics are often influenced by physical deficiencies in the golfer's body.  Below are some of the more common swing faults, their physical causes and how to correct.

GOLF POSTURE

S-POSTURE AND LOW BACK PAIN

EARLY EXTENSION

SWAY & SLIDE

REVERSE SPINE

While correcting the deficiencies, you also need to rewire the brain-body connection in order to break out of the inefficient swing pattern.  

REWIRE THE BAD SWING HABIT

RADIO / PODCASTS

 

 
June 22, 2017
(go to 1:10:00 into the show)
golf posture, muscle imbalance, improving distance, stretching, hydration, Tiger and specialization, Rory and weight lifting



March 14, 2015
(go to 1:08:00 into the show)
fitness vs. golf fitness, strength training and slowing down the aging process, C and S-postures,  


August 28, 2014
We talk about Shan's golf fitness assessment results

 


June 26, 2014


scroll down to 9/9/2013
(go to 23:15 into the show)
back injury