The group of muscles referred to as the “hamstrings” consist of four large muscles on the back of each upper leg. Those muscles connect to the base of your pelvis on one end, and attach behind the knee on the other. A few of their primary roles include knee flexion and hip extension, in addition to internal and external rotation of the hip. The hamstring group also plays a large role in the ability to hip hinge. This can be a very powerful motion when done properly, however when the hamstrings are tight it will be difficult to hinge properly from your hip, a motion we need the ability to do to achieve proper set up posture in the golf swing. In addition to finding difficulty with set up posture, dynamic posture will be affected when the hips extend too early in the golf swing (early extension) as a result of the hamstrings not wanting to be stretched when the hips begin rotating in transition. This early extension of the hips toward the golf ball will affect the path of the club and force compensations in our movement to get the club in a position that allows the ball to go in the direction we intended.
Off the golf course, tight hamstrings can affect your ability to perform certain lifts in the gym safely. When the hip flexors become tight and the glutes are weak (lower crossed syndrome) the anterior tilt of the pelvis will result in the hamstrings being chronically tight since they are always in a lengthened state. Working on corrective exercises that help you find a neutral pelvis will be important, in addition to lengthening and strengthening those hamstrings. I will elaborate on the importance of strengthening a muscle group in addition to simply stretching it in next week’s newsletter!
Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!