Science and Golf II: Proceedings of the 1994 World Scientific Congress of Golf

By A. J. Cochran; M. R. Farrally | Go to book overview

2

Usefulness of partial swings in the rehabilitation of a golfer

L.J. Lemak, G.S. Fleisig

American Sports Medicine Institute, Birmingham AL, USA


C.M. Welch

Orthopaedic Research Laboratory, West Palm Beach FL, USA


B. Marting

St. Joseph's Hospital, Pinehurst NC, USA


and J.E. Zvijac

Doctor's Hospital, Coral Gables FL, USA

Abstract

Before an injured golfer is ready to return to sport, he or she may incorporate partial swings into his or her rehabilitation. No scientific study has been conducted on partial swings previously; thus the objective of this study was to quantify and compare the mechanics of full and partial swings. The mechanics of 8 LPGA golfers were digitized using a 3-dimensional motion analysis system. Results for the full swing were similar to previously published 2-dimensional data. In comparison to the full swing, the half swing showed a 2% to 31% reduction in upper extremity range of motion and a 12% to 37% reduction in acceleration. An understanding of full swing and partial swing mechanics can lead to more efficacious rehabilitation programs.

Keywords: Golf Swing, Rehabilitation, Biomechanics


Introduction

During a golf swing, the upper extremities are required to go through a large range of motion and achieve high velocities (Milburn, 1982). In order to accomplish these tasks, large loads (i.e. forces and torques) are applied at the elbow and shoulder joints. After injury to an upper extremity, a golfer must rehabilitate in a logical progression in order to return to previous level of activity. Typically, the injured athlete's physician or therapist is concerned with the patient's progress in reacquiring proper joint range of motion and strength. Rehabilitation, usually progresses from basic one-joint exercises (e.g. shoulder internal/external rotation exercises, forearm curls) to more functional, multi-joint exercises (e.g. “partial” golf swings).

In order to design partial golf swings into a rehabilitation program, one must first understand the biomechanics of such activity. The purpose of this study was to compare the biomechanics of partial golf swings to full golf swings. When a golfer is asked to perform a “half golf swing” during rehabilitation, does he or she reduce range of motion, load exerted, or both? To help answer this question, elbow and shoulder statics (range of motion) and dynamics (velocity, acceleration) were quantified.


Methods

Eight right-handed members of the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) were tested. All subjects were healthy and active at the time of testing. The mean age was 29 yrs±5 yrs, the mean height was 1.70 m±0.03 m, and the mean mass was 63 kg±8 kg.

During testing, each subject wore tight shorts, a sleeveless tank top shirt, and golf spikes, with reflective markers placed on bony landmarks. Markers were attached to the tip of the acromion, lateral

Science and Golf II: Proceedings of the World Scientific Congress of Golf. Edited by A.J. Cochran and M.R. Farrally. Published in 1994 by E & FN Spon, London. ISBN 0 419 18790 1

-14-

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