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The Spine and Shoulder Joints Motion in the Golf Swing

Background Information on Spine Motion, Shoulder Joint Motion, and Anatomical Terms
Spine Motion:

The spine has four regions (with a total of 33 vertebrae): Cervical Spine is comprised of the seven cervical (neck) vertebrae. Thoracic Spine is comprised of the twelve thoracic (upper back) vertebrae. Lumbar Spine is comprised of the five lumbar (lower back) vertebrae. Sacrum and Coccyx is comprised of nine bones (five in the sacrum and four in the coccygeal region) fused together at the base of the spine.

Range of Motion (ROM) of the Spine: Spinal motion is measured in degrees of motion. The starting point for all measurements is from a neutral position (standing up straight, arms to your side, eyes straight ahead). The motion measured is Flexion (bending forward) Extension (bending backward) Page 1 of 14

Lateral Flexion (side bending) Rotation (a twisting motion)

Cervical Spine ROM: The cervical spine (7 vertebrae) supports and enables your head to move. The cervical spine is shaped like an inward C (called a lordotic curve). The normal ROM for the cervical spine is as follows: Flexion (dropping your chin to your chest) normal ROM is 50 degrees Extension (dropping your head back and looking up) normal ROM is 55 degrees Lateral Flexion (dropping your ear to your shoulder) - normal ROM is 35 degrees Rotation (twisting) normal ROM is 75 degrees in each direction.

Watch these videos Flexion / Extension http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KBIpa6-PxuE Lateral Flexion http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MjUb7XKk8vE Rotation - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z8PyC8NtfQg

Thoracic and Lumbar Spine ROM: The thoracic spine (12 vertebrae) is shaped like a backward C (called a kyphotic curve). The lumbar spine (5 vertebrae) curves in like the cervical spine in a lordotic curve. The thoracic spine and lumbar spine perform the major movements of the spine. The normal ROM is as follows: Flexion (bending forward at the waist) the normal ROM is 75 degrees Extension (bending backward) the normal ROM is 30 degrees Lateral Flexion (side bending) the normal ROM is 35 degrees Rotation (twisting) the normal ROM is 30 degrees

Watch these videos Flexion / Extension http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KrFQ7zp-Css Lateral Flexion http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T0ivzxk15kA Rotation http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Qukh0jwndM

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Shoulder Joints Motion:

The shoulder is comprised of bones, ligaments, tendons, and muscles that connect the arm to the torso. The three bones that make up the shoulder joint include the clavicle (collarbone), scapula (shoulder blade), and humerus (long bone of the arm). The shoulder has two joints that work together to allow arm movement.

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The glenohumeral joint, or shoulder joint, is a ball-and-socket type joint. The "ball" is the top, rounded part of the humerus, and the "socket" is the bowl-shaped part of the scapula, called the glenoid, into which the ball fits. This joint allows the arm to move in a circular rotation as well as towards and away from the body. The labrum is a piece of cartilage that cushions the humerus head and the glenoid. This cartilage also helps to stabilize the joint. The rotator cuff is a group of four muscles that pull the humerus into the scapula. The rotator cuff muscles stabilize the glenohumeral joint and help with rotation of the arm.

The acromioclavicular joint, or AC joint, is a joint at the top of the shoulder. It is the junction between the acromion (part of the scapula that forms the highest point of the shoulder) and the clavicle. The AC joint allows the ability to raise the arm above the head. This joint functions as a pivot point (although technically it is a gliding synovial joint), acting like a strut to help with movement of the scapula resulting in a greater degree of arm rotation.

Range of Motion (ROM) of the Shoulder Joint: Adduction (bring the arm toward the midline of the body) normal ROM is 50 degrees Abduction (bring arm up sideways) normal ROM is 180 degrees Horizontal Flexion (swing arm horizontally forward) normal ROM is 130 degrees Vertical Flexion (raise arm straight forward) normal ROM is 180 degrees Horizontal Extension (swing arm horizontally backward) normal is 45 degrees Vertical Extension (raise arm straight backward) normal ROM is 50 degrees Internal Rotation (rotating the shoulder joint medially or toward the midline of the body) normal ROM is 90 degrees External Rotation (rotating the shoulder joint away from the midline of the bocy) normal ROM is 90 degrees

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Watch this movie http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gBtGKQgT5Os

The Spine Motion in the Golf Swing:


During the golf swing the spine moves in three dimensions about the X, Y, and Z planes of motion.

Address Position:
Cervical Spine Position a slight flexion position. Thoracic and Lumbar Spine Position a flexion (bending forward) position. The lumbar (lower spine region) is in its normal lordosis curve.

Backswing:

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Cervical Spine Position slight flexion, slight lateral flexion, and rotation (twisting). Thoracic and Lumbar Spine Position: lateral flexion (side bending) and rotation (twisting). As you finish the backswing, the lumbar lordosis curve (concave appearance) increases.

Downswing:
Cervical Spine Position - slight flexion, slight lateral flexion, and rotation

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Thoracic and Lumbar Spine Position lateral flexion (side bending) and rotation (twisting). Just before impact, the left side of the body begins to lose the lumbar lordosis while the right side of the body maintains the lumbar lordosis.

Post Impact and Follow-Through:


Cervical Spine Position slight extension slight lateral flexion, and rotation Thoracic and Lumbar Spine Position slight later flexion, extension, and rotation. After impact the lumbar spine will begin to lose the lordosis .

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Note It is important to maintain the correct amount of lumbar lordosis throughout the golf swing. One key to do this is the correct movement of the tailbone. During transition from backswing to downswing, the tailbone moves slightly (and inch or so) toward the target. Then during the downswing, it moves away from the target. Note During the downswing, the correct motion of the right shoulder and the right rotator cuff play an important role in getting the correct amount of lateral flexion (side bending) in the thoracic and lumbar spine. Also, during the downswing, the correct motion of the right shoulder helps to maintain the correct amount of lumbar lordosis.

Shoulder Joint Motion in the Golf Swing:


Address Position:

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Adduction o Right Shoulder - yes o Left Shoulder - no Abduction o Right Shoulder- no o Left Shoulder - yes Horizontal Flexion o Right Shoulder - yes o Left Shoulder - yes Vertical Flexion o Right Shoulder - yes o Left Shoulder - yes Horizontal Extension o Right Shoulder - no o Left Shoulder - no Vertical Extension o Right Shoulder - no o Left Shoulder - no Internal Rotation o Right Shoulder - yes o Left Shoulder - yes External Rotation no o Right Shoulder - no o Left Shoulder - no

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Backswing:

Adduction o Right Shoulder - no o Left Shoulder - yes Abduction o Right Shoulder- yes o Left Shoulder - no Horizontal Flexion o Right Shoulder - no o Left Shoulder - yes Vertical Flexion o Right Shoulder - no o Left Shoulder - yes Horizontal Extension o Right Shoulder - yes o Left Shoulder - no Vertical Extension o Right Shoulder - yes o Left Shoulder - yes Internal Rotation o Right Shoulder - no o Left Shoulder - yes External Rotation no o Right Shoulder - yes o Left Shoulder - no

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Downswing:

Adduction o Right Shoulder - no o Left Shoulder - yes Abduction o Right Shoulder- yes o Left Shoulder - no Horizontal Flexion o Right Shoulder - no o Left Shoulder - yes Vertical Flexion o Right Shoulder - yes o Left Shoulder - yes Horizontal Extension o Right Shoulder - yes o Left Shoulder - no Vertical Extension o Right Shoulder - no o Left Shoulder - no Internal Rotation o Right Shoulder - no o Left Shoulder - yes

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External Rotation no o Right Shoulder - yes o Left Shoulder - no

Post Impact and Follow-Through:

Adduction o Right Shoulder - no o Left Shoulder - yes Abduction o Right Shoulder- yes

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o Left Shoulder - no Horizontal Flexion o Right Shoulder - yes o Left Shoulder - no Vertical Flexion o Right Shoulder - yes o Left Shoulder - yes Horizontal Extension o Right Shoulder - no o Left Shoulder - yes Vertical Extension o Right Shoulder - no o Left Shoulder - no Internal Rotation o Right Shoulder - yes o Left Shoulder - no External Rotation no o Right Shoulder - no o Left Shoulder - yes

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