The Golf Swing as We Age: Maintaining the Turn - Core Builder Pro Device and Method

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The Golf Swing as We Age: Maintaining the Turn

Date: March 5, 2019 Category: Blog

By: Jim Porterfield PT, MA, AT (ret)

Maintaining a Good Golf Swing as we Age

The game of golf is a technical one requiring consistency, practice and accuracy. Any golfer knows that slight changes to our swing can have unintended and sometimes unwanted consequences on the course, thus effecting the success and enjoyment of our game.

The physical characteristics of aging include…

  • Loss of muscle mass – primarily in the legs
  • Core weakness
  • Increased waist circumference 
  • Posture changes – round shouldered forward head
  • Skeletal overload causing pain and stiffness
  • Increased use of medication 

Which are reasons for changes in our golf swing, like…

  • Less turn
  • Decrease in club head speed
  • Decreased distance and accuracy

The secret to maintaining a strong golf swing, and therefore a good golf game, as we age is to have good core strength.

By adopting healthy habits that include a good diet and exercises that keep us strong in the core, we can get older without aging, while seeing minimal or no weight gain. Learn to consistently perform effective resistance exercises directed specifically to the muscles of the trunk / core. 

“Mother Nature’s Corset”

The muscles of the trunk are dynamically interconnected to form what we call “Mother Nature’s Corset.” These muscles work together to stabilize our posture, provide support and create core strength. 

 

Mother Nature’s Corset contains muscles and fascia. Fascia is just like canvas where muscles pull and push on it thereby supporting the abdominal contents, tightening up the core and stabilizing the posture. A stable posture protects the skeleton from overload that causes pain and stiffness.

A strong trunk/core is positively related to pain and medication free living, and improved health and happiness – a claim which is supported by major medical institutions, and our extensive experience in patient care. 

Structure and Function of the Core

The core is made up of the thoracolumbar fascia (TLF) in the back and the abdominal fascia (ABF) on the front.

There are seven different muscles that pull and push on the abdominal fascia.  They include the Pectoralis Major, Serratus Anterior, the three layers of the abdominal wall, and the femoral adductors of the inner thigh. These tissues comprise the front of the core. Their strength is critical for successful management of low back and neck pain, and for performance enhancement in sports and/or all activities of daily living.

 

The importance of maintaining the mass of these muscles in sustaining strength and tightness of the core cannot be overstated.  It is like building a circus tent.  The top canvas has rope attached all around to pull down and across, while the center post, like muscles that lie within fascia, push out to stabilize the structure, just like in our bodies. 

Maintaining proper mass of the muscles contained within the facia, coupled with the pulling interconnections tightens the core, creating stability and improved movement and coordination.

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The Neck is Connected to the Legs

The interconnection of muscles and fascia starts in the back of the neck where they travel under and over the shoulder blades, around the rib cage into the outer most aspect of the abdominal wall.  The tissues and forces cross the midline at the navel and below, terminating into the inner thigh muscles.

The Backswing Turn is Dependent on the Strength and 

Shape of the Trunk or Core.

Aging, weight gain, and injury create a forward head, round shouldered posture that is the precursor to most musculoskeletal problems.  We lose our ability to turn and have a good backswing because our abdomen protrudes forward, and the shoulder migrate forward and down on the front of the rib cage, decreasing the ability to move the shoulder complex up, back, and out. This posture change significantly increases the compressive loads to the base of the back and neck, and to the front part of the shoulders, thus negatively impacting the form and strength of our golf swing.

The bottom line is there is a direct relationship to the shape of your abdomen and the stability of your posture to the quality and length of your backswing turn.

Learn to Strengthen Your Core and Improve Your Posture

The absolute key to rapid and predictable strength gain is daily stimulation to the right muscles. By using the Porterfield Core Device, and following our recommended positions, it only takes take 8 – 10 minutes a day at home and/or in the office.  

Skeptical About the Concept?

Try this – take a golf club, set up to address the ball, push your stomach out and make the backswing. Now try it again but this time, pull your navel up and back, bringing your abdominal content up under your rib cage, and then make the turn. Most realize a big difference in range of motion. 

Try the comparison a couple of times and if you realize a greater and easier backswing turn, you might consider making that adjustment at set up, prior to starting the backswing.

Many of my colleagues who have added that adjustment to their set up have reported positive results.

Other than eating the most nutritious foods, consistent and properly done resistance exercise to strengthen the core is the second most valuable investment in health and happiness.  The key is convenient, consistent, and effective strengthening of the core muscles. 

Jim Porterfield, PT, MA, AT (ret)

 

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