Strengthening Core Muscles and Aligning Your Spine Can Improve Your Golf Swing

By Dr. Cynthia Horner

What makes a good golf swing?

All golfers are looking for an edge. But good golfers know that proper body mechanics can make the difference between an average golf swing and an excellent golf swing.

Imagine spinning a top on a table, the top spins freely if the axis remains constant. The top will not spin for any length of time if the rod in the center is not stable. The complex motion of swinging a golf club needs balanced mechanics similar to the top. Another way to describe the movement of an effective golf swing is to compare it to the movement needed to skip a rock across a pond or throw a baseball sidearm. Like with the spinning top, balance must be maintained as the body spins around a stable central axis.  Improving the structure of the spine, improving coordination of the muscles  and improving the strength of the muscles moving and the opposite muscles that stabilize will result in the posture necessary to perform a very effective golf swing. Whether it is your short game or drive you wish to improve learning how your body moves in space will do it.

What often goes wrong.

  • The spine is not centered in a neutral and stable position to act as an axis that allows balanced movement around it.
  • Spinal segments are misaligned interfering with transmission of nerve impulses to joints and muscles.
  • The body is unstable because of weak or fatigued muscles in one muscle group and tight muscles in another muscle group.
  • Inflexibility which can be due to tight or inflamed muscles and connective tissue.

Why balanced body mechanics can give you the edge to improve your swing.

With every movement the brain sends a barrage of messages to the innermost core muscles to contract and stabilize the spine. Core muscles are of utmost importance in a golf swing. If major core muscles cannot respond because they are too tight, too weak or fatigued, balanced movement is impossible. When the body must recruit other muscles to stabilize the spine it alters neuromuscular control and the mechanics of the golf swing is completely upset.

Muscles are only as strong as the structure they are anchored to. Misaligned vertebrae can cause the muscles attached to them to overwork creating unbalanced movement that results in injuries, and connective tissue overload.  If you overextend connective tissue such as ligaments of the shoulder or spinal discs past their normal limit they will tear fibers, lose strength, and fail to perform their function then eventually deteriorate bad enough to become painful.

Where to get body mechanic assessments?

Behind every good athlete is a team of body workers. When chiropractic, massage and personal training are used only to recover from injury their real purpose is untapped. Using professionals trained in bio-mechanics to enhance and improve movement not only promotes a healthy pain free body but gives you an edge to improve your golf game.

As a chiropractor I am trained and experienced in assessing how a body lines up in gravity and how it moves in space. My forte is to work with the spine to improve neurological function resulting in better body mechanics. I work with an in house massage therapist who has experience and success in evaluating  abnormal postural movements and habitual muscle patterns. Her massage softens tissue, reduces inflammation and increases motion.

Keith Williams is a certified personal trainer through the NSCA , he is also certified through the Titleist Performance Institute  as a Golf Fitness Instructor.  Keith’s training with the institute keeps him on top of the latest in golf-specific health and fitness. He regularly assesses golf swing bio-mechanics, offers physical screening techniques, exercise prescriptions and keeps up on the most recent research and development in the field of golf swing analysis. Keith is a golfer himself and can be contacted at Premier Personal Training on Garlington Road in Greenville SC at (864) 288-3504. He is happy to answer any questions, set up a consultation or golf swing analysis.

Balanced and proper body mechanics can make the difference between a frustrating golf game and an enjoyable rewarding game. Give yourself the edge to make the most of your golf game turn to a professional to improve your body mechanics.


What my patients have taught me –  “It’s not enough to know how to do something;  you must also know why it should be done.”


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