Recent E-mails

On PRI and Golf…

In golf it is considered important to be able to shift your weight to your left side as you transition from your back swing into your down swing.  Most golfers do this by shifting their left hip over their left foot while inverting their left ankle.  As I understand the role of the left evertors effect on the left adductor (facilitation of the adductor through peroneal activity) the above described movement of golfers (inverting their ankle as they attempt to shift their weight to the left) would essentially diminish ones ability to create a stable left side (due to inhibition of left adductors) in order to promote the required L AF rotation for swing path consistency.  If I am in the ball park on this what would you recommend for golfers in order to diminish the negative effect of ankle inversion?  Would it be simply to try to maintain an everted ankle at least through ball contact?  Or, is it to have the golfer be as neutral as one can be in normal activities and simply allow this inhibiting motion of the ankle to occur as it does in the golf swing?

You are correct in stating that during the down swing, it is important for a right-handed golfer to transfer their weight to the left leg. In my experience, golfers demonstrate too much frontal plane activity during the golf swing, and little AF rotation. During the downswing, it is difficult for most right-handed golfers to achieve adequate left AF IR during the downswing. Although frontal plane PRI activities are still important, I would focus on left AF IR activities when developing a treatment program.

In regards to ankle mobility, the Impingement and Instability course manual actually discusses the importance of the right evertors to inhibit the right adductors and facilitate left adductor activity. Therefore, I would actually be more concerned in the activity of the right foot/ankle and its effect on left adductor facilitation and promoting left AF rotation.

In my experience as a golfer and PT, I would focus on providing a home exercise program to facilitate a neutral pelvis and allow the transitions from normal activities to occur naturally with the golf swing as the patient improves lumbopelvic position and strength. One suggestion to help facilitate right eversion during daily activities and during the golf swing would be to place a scaphoid pad in the right arch to encourage proprioceptive activity and facilitate calcaneal eversion, thus encouraging left adductor activation. 

I am cautious when attempting to change the golf swing. If you have seen the movie Tin Cup, you know that when a golfer “thinks too much” about the swing, they will start to shank the ball and get rather frustrated. I have learned that it is sometimes best to facilitate a neutral pelvis and improve lumbopelvic strength with a HEP and then occasionally the patient’s golf swing mechanics will adjust.