|Loading the Core|
The first few tests we take golfers through when performing a TPI golf physical screen are to look at how well you can control your “core”. We first look at your ability to tilt your pelvis forward and backward and then your ability to dissociate your upper body from your lower body. The ability to perform these movements is critical to have a proper kinematic sequence, which is essential for swing efficiency and transfer of power.
One of the primary muscles involved in these movement patterns is the external oblique abdominal muscle. This muscle functions to compress the abdominal cavity (posterior pelvic tilt) and rotate the trunk. Unfortunately, it is also the most commonly seen muscle that is not contracting efficiently and needs to be activated in golfers. If it is not activated, the body compensates and the golf swing is affected. In the TPI screen we can see a “shake and bake” with the pelvic tilt test. Here the golfer is able to complete the movement, but not in an efficient manner, indicating the muscles are not activating the most efficiently.
We can also see the inability to separate the upper body from the lower body, and vice versa. The inability to have this separation is where most golfers lose their power and distance.
The best way to get the external oblique activated and firing properly is to start with muscle activation techniques. Once activated by a MAT Specialist, exercises that help to strengthen the external oblique are side plank, bird dog, heel touches, chops, standing torso twist, windshield wiper, and many more advanced motions.
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