As a golfer, you want to stay injury-free to practice and compete regularly, which ultimately lets you hone your skills and elevate your performance.
To help avoid injury and boost level of play, you need to understand how two key muscle and soft-tissue systems—the posterior oblique system and the anterior oblique system—affect the golf swing.
Justin Price, 2006 IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year and creator of The BioMechanics Method®, which provides corrective-exercise education for health and fitness professionals, describes these systems and gives exercises to strengthen them.
Posterior Oblique System
The posterior oblique system consists of muscles, fascia and connective tissue that run diagonally across the back of the torso and hips. Its primary muscles are the gluteus maximus and latissimus dorsi. This cross-body myofascial system enables you to create power and force to hit the ball farther while reducing stress and averting potential injury to bony structures in the knees, hips, lower back, shoulders and arms lpar;Chek 1994; Myers 2008).
Anterior Oblique Movements
Golf swings also rely on the anterior oblique system's adductor muscles and external obliques on the opposite side of the body lpar;Chek 1992). Like the muscles of the posterior oblique system, these tissues work in a cross-body fashion during a golf swing.
When a right-handed golfer takes a backswing, the left hip/leg externally rotates as the pelvis, spine and shoulders rotate clockwise lpar;when viewed from above). As the pelvis and torso move away from the left leg, the left adductor group of muscles and right external oblique muscles lengthen under tension. The tautness that this creates in the myofascial system reduces potential for injury to the hips, sacroiliac joint, spine, rib cage and shoulder girdle during the backswing. Releasing this tension produces a forceful downward rotation to let you hit the ball farther lpar;Bradley 2013). Once the ball is struck, the right adductors and left external obliques lpar;on the other side of the body) lengthen to decelerate overall stress to the skeleton.
Bradley, N. 2013. 7 Laws of the Golf Swing. New York: Abrams.
Chek, P. 1992. Scientific Core Conditioning. La Jolla, CA: Paul Chek Seminars.
Chek., P. 1994. Scientific Back Training. La Jolla, CA: Paul Chek Seminars.
Myers, T.W. 2008. Anatomy Trains: Myofascial Meridians for Manual and Movement Therapists. lpar;2nd ed.). New York: Churchill Livingstone.