How do the best players in the world hit the ball so far? One of the key components of that ability has to do with the core. In this article, Pinnacle Physical Therapy is going to talk about what the core is, how it is used, and how you can work on yours so you can hit massive drives.
What is Your Body’s Core
When we talk about the core, we’re talking about a complex interplay of structures that surround the center of our bodies.
The core is made up of a roof; the roof is a muscle called the diaphragm. This muscle is active when we breathe. The sides are composed of internal and external oblique muscles. These muscles act to help us rotate.
The posterior or back side is made up of small muscles that sit close to the spine called the multifidi. These muscles act to help with segmental stability (more on that later). A deep muscle on the anterior or front of the body is called the transversus abdominis. This is another muscle that acts to exert a stiffening of the body in preparation for movement.
Finally, the pelvic floor consists of muscles around our genitals which help to control defecation. There is a fascinating interplay between all of these muscles that help to provide elastic energy. I will explain this term next.
The use of motion analysis has allowed researchers to determine what factors are important in making a good, effective golf swing. How the body moves during the golf swing is consistent with the best players in the world. The goal for great ball striking is to achieve good distance with an acceptable level of accuracy. This is achieved at impact by good club head velocity, and accurate contact of the ball impacting the club face.
To achieve these factors, the timing and sequencing of the body are paramount. This term is called the kinematic sequence. The kinematic sequence is the release of the body from the top of the backswing to impact. We see that the pelvis initiates movement toward the target, followed by the thorax, then the arms, and finally the hands and club. As these segments release, there is a summation of the forces that transfer from one part of the body to another.
This summation of forces occurs when the muscles involved in the golf swing can store elastic energy. Elastic energy occurs in a muscle when it goes through a stretch-shortening cycle. There are components in the muscle that store energy while a muscle is stretching. This storage mainly happens in tendons. A tendon is a structure where the muscle meets the bone. If utilized properly the tendon can exert extra force by utilizing this stored energy when the muscle goes into its shortening phase.
This stretch-shortening cycle occurs in various segments of the body during the golf swing and thus the summation of the stored energy being efficiently placed into the golf ball is why the best players in the world hit the ball so far!
The next logical question you are likely asking is, “Brian, how do I strengthen my core?”
Pinnacle Physical Therapy Can Help You Strengthen Your Core
The building of core strength so that you can hit the ball farther can be complicated, but it does not have to start that way.
Access to social media has allowed us to see the best players in the world doing complicated movements in the gym with bands, on balls while rotating and throwing something. What we don’t always appreciate is how long they have trained to be able to do those complex movements.
We should start with an exam to determine our capability and find any impairments in our body that may prohibit us from hitting the ball farther. It breaks our heart to hear the story of so many golfers who have hurt their back and end up leaving the game, never to enjoy golf again.
In trying to prevent more golfers from retiring, we created an online program to help educate them on how to safely build their core strengths. This program is similar to what we share with the current golfers we work with. It includes our 5 best core exercises that you should be doing to enhance your strength so you can hit the ball farther. You get access to 5 individual videos, or you can follow along as we do them with you in a 14-minute video.
This by far is one of the best ways to invest in your golf game for the future. Click here to check out more about this program. It even has a test that you can use to see how you stack up.