Many professional golfers have severe back problems. On video analysis there is a clear relationship between body mechanics, back problems and performance, note that “the basic power” of the golf swing arises from the abdominal muscles. When a golfer rotates through a flexed back it causes pain and decreases the accuracy and length of the strokes. By putting professional golfers through a lumbar stabilisation program, performance may be improved and their pain decreased.”
We believe that most golfers with back problems can improve their symptoms — and even their game — through better mechanics and conditioning. Proper stretching and conditioning decrease the likelihood of injury and increase your trunk strength and endurance. For many golfers the problem begins with habitually flexing the back as the ball is addressed. Instead, on should bend forward at the hips. This sets up proper weight transfer for the actual swing of the club, allowing the body to rotate as a unit, rather than twisting the spine. With a correctly executed upswing, weight is intitially transferred to the back foot and the inside of the forward foot. Tension builds in the muscles of the lateral thigh and the buttocks, not in the back, so proper shoulder and pelvis rotation should not strain the back.
The down stroke is initiated by weight transfer on the feet, followed by the knees, hips and pelvis, shoulders, arms, and finally wrists. Smooth pelvic movement is enhanced by strenghtening hip musculature.
Power is transmitted from the hips into the trunk and then arms. For optimal power transfer to the ball, the spine should be in ‘neutral’ as the club impacts the ball. This essential aspect of the stroke can be improved by strengthening the muscles whick should support the spine. One should concentrate on trunk strengthening by doing crunches with and without rotation, and working on trunk rotational strength. As the body “unwinds” during the down stroke and swing, the leg muscles contract to accept the weight transfer. Hip exercises aid in this phase of the swing.