Muscle Balance Patterns
Respected practicing physician Vladimir Janda, a Finnish physician, categorized various muscles into two types of functional groups, namely those prone to tightness, and those prone to weakness (see chart 1). Muscles prone to tightness largely have to do with posture, whereas muscles prone to weakness are those that have other functions. Janda's work has proven extremely beneficial in determining postural imbalances that can make it difficult to maintain a desirable position during the golf swing. You want to avoid this problem, of course, so that your swinging action can be as powerful and productive as possible.
|Prone to Tightness||Flexors of the elbow, Sternocleidomastoid, Pectoralis major, Tensor fasciae latae, Hip adductors, Psoas, Upper trapezius, Latissimus dorsi, Hamstrings, Gastrocnemius|
|Prone to Weakness||Serratus anterior, Tibialis anterior, Rectus abdominis, Vastus medialis, Vastus laterlis, Peroneals, Gluteus medius, Lower trapezius, Extensors of the elbow, Gluteus maximus|
Because the body must work as a unit during the golf swing, functional training programs should include multijoint strengthening exercises. For example, shoulder motion might b einfluenced by restrictions found in the midback muscles and joints Likewise, restrictions in the lower back might be influenced by problems in the hip region. This is the reason posture should be assessed for the entire body and not just the area that appears to be inhibiting the swing. Remember that perfect posture is created through a perfect combination of mobility and stability.
Factors that contribute to mobility and stability include strength training, flexibility training, balance training, and motor learning. Conventional conditioning typically neglects strengthening the postural muscles, but training these muscles is necessary to keep imbalances from occurring. Exercises for postural muscles are performed with less resistance and more repetitions than exercises for the major muscle groups.
Later, we will outline a basic training program for the low back and abdominal muscles. Remember that strength must be developed in the trunk area before you can produce consistent, efficient, and safe golf swings.