It has been well documented that flexibility is essential for a full, solid golf swing. As a golfer, how do you maintain and gain flexibility? Sometimes stretching alone isn’t enough. Many flexibility and range of motion issues stem from the superficial fascia located between your skin and the muscle. Fascia is soft connective tissue that surrounds muscles, blood vessels, and nerves. It is essentially is the structure that holds everything together. Due to various reasons, the fascia can become “stuck” to the muscle is surrounds. This is called a myofascial adhesion and adhesions can restrict muscle extensibility which in turn will affect range of motion and muscle function.

golf flex

Stretching alone will not suffice in breaking up myofascial adhesions. Here at FitGolf Performance Centers many of our golfers go through multiple hours of myofascial release and soft tissue mobilization before moving onto more dynamic “golf-specific” exercises. It is critical that this first step is taken because without fascial mobility it is very difficult if not impossible to gain permanent mobility at a given joint.

Even if you don’t have a clinician by your side, there are self-myofascial release techniques you can try out at home or at the gym to help your flexibility. One technique that has gained a ton of popularity the last couple of years is foam rolling. If you haven’t seen or heard of a foam roller, it is essentially a foam cylinder that comes in all different densities and sizes. The higher the density, the firmer the foam roller will be. The foam roller is essentially dental floss for the muscles. Just as you floss to remove plaque from the teeth, you want to roll your muscles to remove myofascial adhesions. As you roll the targeted muscle, you should be feeling for the adhesions. You will know you’re on one because the area will feel tenderer than other areas. Roll SLOWLY across these areas until a release is felt or it no longer feels tender with pressure.

foam roller

Before starting any type of foam rolling program make sure you consult a qualified clinician or trainer on proper form and technique. Personally, I am a fan and promoter of foam rolling due to success for both myself and clients using the foam roller. However, evidence based research on the self-myofascial release technique of foam rolling is still limited and gives conclusions of mixed results. Hence, use the foam roller as an additional tool to other methods to assist you in achieving greater flexibility for your golf swing.  

If you have any questions about the foam roller and myofascial release techniques please contact me, Jason Rivkin, directly at [email protected].

Jason Rivkin, ATC, CGFI-FP1

 

 

1 Comment

  1. Dawie says:

    Great explanation on myofascial adhesion and adhesions that can restrict muscle extensibility. I understand that self-myofascial release techniques can be done at home, but I am sceptical of damaging myofascial adhesion if not done correctly.

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