Background The effects of golf specific strength and conditioning interventions on performance are scarcely researched. However, a multitude of research exists relative to golf related injuries. From those studies, it has been postulated that an increase in the X-Factor Stretch (XFS) variable increases the probability of a lower back injury. As the XF has been identified as a performance variable, it is of interest to determine how it is influenced by a golf specific intervention.
Objective To examine the effects of a 5-week strength and conditioning intervention on golf swing performance factors.
Setting Laboratory and gym.
Participants Nine female NCAA Division II collegiate golfers (age 20.7±2.7 yrs; height 175 ±9.81 cm; body mass 76.5 ±9.2 kg), maintaining a handicap of ≤3.
Intervention The 5-week strength and conditioning intervention was implemented to improve the subject's golf swing.The majority of the exercises were lower body orientated, and included rotational aspects.
Main Outcome Measurements The pre- and post-testing procedures included a biomechanical analysis using 3D motion analysis. The dependent variables were clubhead velocity (CV; m/s), hip velocity (HV; °/s), XFS angle (°), and ball speed (BS; m/s). It was hypothesized that CV, HV, and BS would increase without an increase in the XFS. T-tests were used to define statistical significance (p<0.05).
Results From pre- to post-intervention, subjects significantly increased HV (8.2±0.5°/s to 8.8±0.7°/s; p<0.001), and CV (35.8±0.9 m/s to 36.8±2.5 m/s; p=0.018) and significantly decreased XFS (−54.9±10.2° to −47.9±4.2°; p<0.001). We did not detect a significant change in BS from pre- to post-intervention (52.7±2.8 m/s to 53.2±5.1 m/s).
Conclusions It was demonstrated that the intervention increased CV, HV, and BS; but decreased the XFS. Thus, it can be suggested that a golf specific strength and conditioning program can increase golf swing performance factors, without increasing the risk of lower back injury.
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