In part one of this article we discussed the core and its relation to the golf swing. A quick review of the information in article one will indicate a definitive connection between the athletic movements of a golf swing and the core section of the body. Prior to beginning this article let us take a brief moment to review information provided in the first article on this topic.
A quick review will indicate that the core is an anatomical region of the body. This region of the body consists of all the muscles, ligaments, tendons, and neural structures, located from the hips to the lower chest. This comprises all of the structures of: the hips, abdominals, low back, and obliques (side abdominals). In addition to describing the anatomical region of the core, part one of this article described the following: the relationship between the core and golf swing in the specific areas of range of motion, coordination, speed of motion, and balance. Part two of this article will discuss core flexibility, strength, endurance, and power. We will relate these three additional topics to the golf swing as we did in part one.
Recalling from the first article, range of motion is directly related to distance. Distance that a body moves in a specific amount of time when discussing biomechanics. Relating range of motion to the golf swing indicates that the greater range of motion that the core mechanism of the body can move through, the greater amount of force can be created to deliver into the club head.
The second topic discussed in article one was speed of motion. Remember, speed of motion is directly related to range of motion. Speed of motion is essentially adding a component of time to range of motion. The faster that an object or the body can move through a specific range of motion, the greater amount of force can be created through this range of motion.
Thirdly, we introduced coordination. Coordination is the ability to time the movements of the body in the correct sequence to perform the activity desired. This requires the body to move through the required ranges of motion with the correct speed of motion.
The final topic discussed in section one of this article was balance. Balance is the ability of the body to maintain a center of gravity during a movement. Increased balance allows for greater accuracy with athletic activities. Moving forward into section two of this article, we build upon the information discussed in article one. Relevancy to the core and the golf swing is easily seen when connecting these topics (range of motion, speed of motion, coordination, and balance) to the athletic movement associated with the golf swing.
Flexibility is the range of motion around a joint and is influenced by skeletal structures, ligaments, muscles tissues, and joint capsule type. Range of motion is a result of the deformation of soft tissues (i.e. muscle tissue, ligaments, and tendons) surrounding a joint. Flexibility is essentially the ability of the neuromuscular to create a desired range of motion by the body. The golf swing requires the core, and the entire body, to move through a specified range of motion to create contact with the golf ball. Limitations in flexibility can create the inability of the body to move through the required ranges of motion at the correct speed to perform a golf swing. This will result in numerous problems as a result of poor mechanics in the swing. A direct connection exists between range of motion, speed of motion, and flexibility. If flexibility is limited the result will be limitations in ranges of motion and speeds of motion.
Strength can be defined as the ability of the neuromuscular system (neural system, muscular system) to create and exert force. A lack of strength limits the ability of the body to create force for a given athletic movement. In relationship to the golf swing, strength is a required component of the core. A large proportion of the force created in the golf swing is a result of the lower body and core musculature system. As a result, creating the force needed to develop club head speed is directly related to strength levels within these structures of the body. A lack of strength lessens to a degree the amount of force that can be created in the golf swing, thus reducing the amount of club head speed available to the golfer.
Endurance is the ability of the neuromuscular structures (muscular system, neural system, ligaments, and tendons) to perform the same athletic movement repeatedly over a specific amount of time. The golf swing is a repetitive athletic movement requiring the neuromuscular system to perform the same neuromuscular activity over and over again for a given number of swings, time, etc. This requires the body to move through a specific range of motion, with the correct speed of motion, coordinating the movements in the correct sequence, with the required force outputs (i.e. strength), and correct levels of endurance. A lack of endurance in the neuromuscular system will limit the ability of the individual to perform the components required of the golf swing listed above.
Power is the ability to create the greatest amount of force in a specified amount of time. Power is contingent upon the combination of strength and speed of motion. These two components working in conjunction create power. A decrease in strength or speed of motion limits the ability of power production by the neuromuscular system. The golf swing requires the body to produce power to deliver into the club head. The amount of time to perform this is limited and contained within the ranges of motion through which the body moves during the golf swing. The point to be made is that a direct connection exists for power production between range of motion, speed of motion, and strength. These three components working together determine the power outputs created by the body during the golf swing.
This article discussed an additional four components that are relevant to the core structure of the body and the golf swing. The key point to make between the topics discussed in this article and article number one is the connection between all of these components. Range of motion, speed of motion, balance, and coordination are contingent upon the points discussed in this article. The ability of the body to swing a golf club requires the ability of the body to have the required ranges of motion, speeds of motion, balance, and coordination to perform the swing. The development of flexibility, strength, endurance, and power within the body allows for these activities to occur. Thus all eight of these components (range of motion, speed of motion, balance, coordination, flexibility, strength, endurance, and power) are interconnected to perform a golf swing. The relationship to the core and these activities is a follows: the core region of the body is a main component of the golf swing. It is utilized greatly in all aspects of the golf swing from maintaining balance to creating power. The core can be considered to be the engine of the golf swing.
Sean Cochran is one of the most recognized golf fitness instructors in the world today. He travels the PGA Tour regularly with 2004 Masters Champion Phil Mickelson. He has made many of his golf tips, golf instruction and golf swing improvement techniques available to amateur golfers on the web.