“The scientific research…is limited.”

by Al Pastor

Cotton, core muscles undoubtedly engaged.

Cotton, core muscles undoubtedly engaged.

Inquiring and intrepid procrastinators are welcome to take a look at the recent article in the October issue of Strength and Conditioning Journal. Perhaps yours hasn’t come yet. It’s available for free online (http://journals.lww.com/nsca-scj/Fulltext/2013/10000/Core_Muscle_Activation_and_Activity_Throughout_the.1.aspx.

In “Core Muscle Activation and Activity Throughout the Different Phases of the Golf Swing: A Literature Review,” three intrepid researchers from the Biokinetics and Sports Science Department at the University of Zululand, Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa dig deep into the literature regarding what they conclude is an admittedly “fascinating and complex motion requiring skilled movements and specific muscle contraction to be executed supremely.”

Henriëtte V. Loock, Jeanne M. Grace and Stuart J. Semple searched available literature divining 150 articles, 59 meeting their inclusion criteria, 16 dealing with “core muscles within different phases of the golf swing.” Sadly, they report “No data portrays the activity of core muscles during different phases of the golf swing.”

Among their conclusions:

 Although the abdomen and lower back are considered to be the “power zones” and are thus understood to be the regions that play a fundamental role in power production during the golf swing, this review established that there is relatively little information detailing which specific core muscles and core muscle groups are used in each phase of the golf swing.

More of the same, I’m afraid, from their Summary:

The scientific research on the biomechanics of the golf swing is growing, yet unfortunately, much of the research around the activation of specific core muscles during the different phases of the golf swing is limited. Because of this, the strength and conditioning professional looking to improve the performance of a golf player has limited resources on which to call upon for programming information.