The short golf backswing: Effects on performance and spinal health implications

  • Bulbulian R
  • Ball K
  • Seaman D
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Background: Full recoil golf swings have been implicated in back pain and injury in golfers. Evidence suggests that a restricted backswing may reduce the potential for injury without compromising performance. Objective: To examine both golf swing performance and selected muscular actions of the trunk and shoulder during a full recoil swing as compared with a modified short backswing. Methods: Electromyographic (EMG) recordings were taken bilaterally from the lumbar, external oblique, latissimus dorsi, and right pectoral muscles in 7 golfers during a full recoil swing and a modified short backswing. High-speed videotape was used to measure back swing angle reduction. Clubhead velocity (CHV) and ball-contact accuracy were quantified by using a swing speed indicator and clubface contact tape, respectively. Results: Shortening of the backswing by 46.5° ± 24.7° had no effect on stroke accuracy as measured by mean deviation from the target spot on the club (19.0 ± 7.8 mm vs 19.3 ± 9.2 mm). CHV was not significantly reduced (33.9 ± 2.5 m/s vs 31.2 ± 2.2 m/s). However, EMG root-mean-square was decreased 19% in the right oblique muscle from 750 to 250 ms before impact (P

Author-supplied keywords

  • Back Pain
  • Golf
  • Injury

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  • Ronald Bulbulian

  • Kevin A. Ball

  • David R. Seaman

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