Steve’s Blog

December 2016/January 2017

As I go about my coaching the one thing that is becoming more obvious is that imbalances around the body  can lead to poor performance and even worse injury problems. The golf swing is very much affected by this as there are so many muscles and joints involved during the swing.

Muscle and joint pain can also be caused by muscle imbalances, this could be in the front and back of the body or imbalances between the left and right side giving people problems in the hips, shoulders and lumbar spine.

Poor posture habits in everyday life along with repeated movements without working the opposing muscle groups (as in golf practice) or a work activity can lead to problems. Most people develop more strength down the front of the body than the back (posterior chain) or can be stronger and more flexible down one side of the body. One problem for example I saw recently was a client who had trouble with his right shoulder movement during the downswing, causing an over the top move during his swing (not a great move but very common). When I asked him to do a side bend he was very restricted down the right side, no chance of fixing the swing problem without improving the imbalance. A really good example of cause and effect. The shoulder movement during the swing is a combination of rotation and side bend so any lack of mobility has an effect on performance.

Even if we are trying to do all the right things, going to the gym or working out at home we can develop these imbalances without a balanced routine. Most of the time I find that working to make the posterior chain stronger and more flexible as part of a balanced routine really helps as a starting point, the smaller muscles that support the joints are sometimes more important to strengthen than the so called show muscles (biceps etc). Also if you are going to do exercises it is crucial to learn the correct form to get maximum benefit and reduce the chance of injury.

Please don’t hesitate to ask for any advice if you need it or if you would like an assessment or programme to follow.

Steve Harrison PGA (adv), DIP Exercise & physiology, Sports conditioning professional.

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