Physical Therapy for Golf | The Importance of Motor Control

Every golfer needs certain physical fitness components to reach his or her full potential. These components are defined in my previous blog about the six physical pillars necessary to play a healthy and effective game. The pillars include: 1) motor control 2) mobility and flexibility, 3) stability and balance, 4) strength, 5) power, and 6) muscular endurance.

The physical pillars of golf all go hand in hand—without even one of these attributes, your golf swing will suffer. Fortunately, you can learn a lot about each of these key areas to understand how they affect your swing and what you can do to improve.

In this blog, I’ll discuss the first physical pillar: motor control. Continue reading to understand what motor control is, why it affects your swing, and how physical therapy for golf can help:

What is motor control?

Motor control is the systematic regulation of movements that possess the nervous system and covers all movements attributed to reflex and volition. In simpler terms, it’s your body’s ability to perform an intended movement.

Motor control involves the nervous system, which is composed of two parts: 1) the central nervous system, made up of the brain and spinal cord, and 2) the peripheral nervous system, which connects the central nervous system to the limbs and organs.

Motor control works like this: your peripheral neurons receive input from your central nervous system about the movement you want to perform. In turn, these neurons innervate your muscles and actuate your joints, allowing your body to carry out the movement.

The process of your motor system is complex—it has numerous parts interacting at different organizational levels. To produce a movement, your body must coordinate all of these parts to act in unison. Therefore, motor control has a lot to do with coordination.

How does motor control affect golf?

To understand how motor control affects golf, you can think about riding a bike. Learning to ride a bike took hours of slow and focused practice, training your body to learn numerous things: what to do with your arms, legs and core, what posture to maintain, and how to balance. By practicing these skills over and over, you began to understand what the right movement felt like. Over time, riding became easier and began to take less of a conscious effort. And now, riding a bike is like second nature. This is an acquired motor skill.

Learning to properly swing a golf club is achieved the same way. You must learn the correct movement sequence involved in a swing and train your body to recognize what that motion feels like. By continually practicing this sequence, you can master the perfect swing so that it becomes automatic and natural. As a result, you’ll be able to execute a steady, powerful swing consistently and avoid injury throughout games.

It’s important to know that motor control overlaps the other five pillars of golf. Good motor skills help your body dissociate upper body mobility from lower body mobility, which allows these areas to perform their needed functions simultaneously without interfering with one another. In addition, motor skills help you maintain the correct pelvic posture during your swing to ensure stability and balance.

Improve your motor control skills with physical therapy for golf!

By improving your motor skills, you will significantly improve your golf swing and increase the consistency of a great swing throughout each game you play.

At Optimal Physical Therapy and Wellness, I’ll provide a consultation to evaluate your motor skills and determine a customized training program to improve them quickly and efficiently.

Contact me today online to get started on your physical therapy training for golf in Jupiter, Florida, or give me a call at (561) 351-1702.

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