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The Relationship between Hip Muscle Strength and Golf Performance

Tsai, Yung-Shen; Sell, Timothy C.; Myers, Joseph B.; McCrory, Jean L. FACSM; Laudner, Kevin G.; Pasquale, Maria R.; Lephart, Scott M. FACSM

Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: May 2004 - Volume 36 - Issue 5 - p S9
Annual Meeting Abstracts: A-20 - Free Communication/Slide: Sport Biomechanics

Neuromuscular Research Laboratory, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA.

Email: yut4@pitt.edu

(Sponsor: Scott M. Lephart, FACSM)

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Hip muscles play an important role in balancing the forces transferred between the lower body and upper extremities during the golf swing. Stronger hip muscles may provide better trunk stability that may in turn be related to better golf performance.

PURPOSE: To determine if there is any difference in hip strength among golfers with different proficiency levels and to determine the relationship between hip strength and golf handicap, and between hip strength and self-reported driving distance.

METHODS: Eighty-two golfers who participated in the study were divided into three groups based on their proficiency level [handicap: 10–19 (group I, n = 23), 0–9 (group II, n = 47) and scratch or better (group III, n = 12)]. Isometric hip abduction and adduction strength in side-lying with the hip joint in neutral position were measured and normalized to body weight for both legs using a dynamometer. Selfreported golf driving distance and handicap were recorded. One-way ANOVAs were performed to compare group differences in hip muscle strength. In addition, Pearson product-moment correlation coefficients were calculated to determine if hip muscle strength is significantly related to golf handicap or driving distance. RESULTS: Left hip abduction strength was significantly different among groups (group III: 170.9 ± 38.0% > group II: 148.3 ± 33.9% > group I: 131.7 ± 41.2%BW, p = .013). No other hip strength variables were statistically significantly different among groups. Pearson product-moment correlation coefficients showed that left hip abduction strength has a mild relationship with both golf handicap (r = −.334, p = 0.02) and driving distance (r = −.320, p = .003). CONCLUSION: In addition to the statistically significant stronger left hip abduction strength in the better golfers, group III (scratch or better) also tended to be stronger in all hip movements that were tested. The results of this study demonstrate the importance of hip musculature for stability of the trunk and overall golf performance.

©2004The American College of Sports Medicine