THE 5 IMPORTANT STABLE JOINTS FOR THE GOLF SWING
Last week I wrote about the 6 critical mobile joints for the golfer and I mentioned the stable joints: foot, knee, lumbar spine, scapulo-thoracic (shoulder blades), and elbows. The stable joints are important because they are “the rock” or the foundation for the mobile joints. A lack of stability in the stable joints will result in altered movement patterns and swing faults.
The foot is probably the most notable stable joint. It is the only joint that makes constant contact with the ground. Without good stability in the foot, your balance will be compromised and you will not be able to transfer the power to the ground. Foot stability is also needed for adequate ankle mobility.
By now you might be questioning why I believe the knee is a stable and not a mobile joint. Well, if you compare the knee to the other mobile joints, the knee only extends and flexes. On the other hand, the mobile joints extend, flex, rotate, abduct, adduct and do so in many different angles.
The next stable joint is the lumbar spine, better known as the core. The core is the “The Queen” of the golf swing. The core muscles include the rectus abdominis, internal and external oblique’s, transverse abdominis, and erector spinae muscles to name a few. The core is important for balance and power transfer from the hips to the upper body, or the shoulder blades.
The scapulo-thoracic joint is known by most as the shoulder blades. There are many muscles in this region that create stability. One of the most common and recognizable joint dysfunctions of the shoulder blades is winging. Winging is generally caused by weakness of the serratus anterior.
The last mobile joint, and quite possibly the most worked joint in the gym, is the elbow joint. Chances are you have worked the elbow by doing arm curls and tricep kickbacks, both are great exercises. However, by incorporating the box presses (see below), you can develop better power transfer from your shoulders, through your elbows, and to your hands/club.
Stability is created by combining balance, strength, and muscular endurance. Here are some exercises that you can do to increase stability in each of the stable joints. Always consult a physician before exercising. If you experience pain, faintness, or dizziness stop exercising immediately.
Foot-Single Leg Balance with a Narrow Stance
Knee-Chop, Resisted with No Rotation and Square Stance
Shoulder blades-Push up plank
Elbows- Box Presses
For many, this article might leave you with questions. Please give me a call to schedule a complimentary Titleist Performance Institute Assessment at 480-620-3000 and we can discuss the best exercises to improve your golf swing. References for this article is from the Titleist Performance Institute.