Your body is lazy! You may not be lazy yourself, but your body is and will pick the easiest way to do a task. This is something called the path of least resistance. This relates to anything from going to pick up a pen to exercising to playing golf. If there is resistance or “tightness” your body will avoid that range of motion and choose something else to do the task. The body is very smart and will never exert more force than it has to.
Let’s take a dive into this concept of the path of least resistance and how it could affect your golf swing. First, a golfer needs to be evaluated through the 5 Elements of Success Evaluation. This hypothetical golfer was told they are limited in their torso rotation right and their right hip internal rotation from the Evaluation. This means that this player has resistance in both of these movements, so his or her body will naturally find a way to avoid that movement. This player may also feel “tight” in those movements, almost as if something is blocking them from rotating further. We will often see this golfer sway (movement of the body away from the target) off the ball during the backswing and potentially go into the reverse spine (the upper body moving towards the target in the backswing) with these limitations. This will place unwanted tension on the lower back during the swing.
So, there’s good news and bad news! The good news is, it is fixable. The bad news is, it will take some time for the body to understand that it is ok to get to these range of motions. A corrective exercise plan is necessary to one, mitigate the resistance or “tightness” in the area that needs to be improved, and two, gain more range of motion with a specific exercise and teach the body that it is ok to access these new ranges of motions without getting injured. Once the golfer starts to gain more range of motion and own the range of motion, their golf swing should start to naturally get to better positions.
Let’s go back to the hypothetical golfer with the limited rotation in the torso and hips. He or she would do this corrective exercise plan for a specific amount of time. While they are working on these exercises, the golfer starts to feel more rotation in the backswing and less low back pain. This means that the path of resistance they once had, doesn’t have resistance anymore and the golfer is able to access this during their golf swing!
The moral of this story is a solid corrective exercise plan, attacking your specific limitations will open up more range of movement and more optimal movement in your golf swing! If you’ve never been evaluated or it has been over 6 months since your last evaluation make sure you schedule 5 Elements of Success Evaluation today! The season is here and we want to make sure you stay healthy all season long and keep all those paths of resistance away!