Katie Durbin1, Dawei Sun1, Weston Franklin1, & Doug B. Smith1

1Oklahoma State University, Golf Research, Innovation and Performance (GRIP), Stillwater, Oklahoma

During the golf backswing players shift their weight back towards the plant leg, pause briefly then rapidly shift their weight forward towards the front leg while preparing the club for impact with the ball. Lower body strength contributes not only to postural balance while performing a swing but also to power generation. For most people the golf swing appears simple, but in reality there are a lot of muscles activated from the feet to the hands and injuries can occur along the way. Purpose: The purpose of this study is to assess dominant vs.non-dominant leg hamstring-to-quadriceps ratio in golfers to identify any potential strength imbalances that may exist in order to avoid injury. Methods: Nine NCAA Division I male golfers participated in this study. The players performed a five-minute warmup (including cycling and stretching) prior to testing. The players were then seated in the Biodex System 3 isokinetic dynamometer at 90° of hip flexion with the knee axis of rotation aligned with the isokinetic machine axis of rotation and the lever arm was adjusted so that the pad was secured just proximal to the lateral malioli. The players were instructed to extend and flex the leg maximally for 3 repetitions at 60° /sec once they were told to “go.” Hamstring and quadriceps peak torque were recorded and used to calculate hamstring/quadriceps (H/Q) ratio. Results: A paired sample t-test indicated that there was no significant difference (p < 0.5) between H/Q ratio in the dominant leg vs. the non-dominant leg. This indicates that the right and left leg quadriceps and hamstring strengths are in balance with each other. Conclusion: Theoretically since the dominant leg is the driving force during the swing, we may have hamstring-to-quadriceps ratios greater than hamstring-to-quadriceps ratios in the non-dominant front leg. If imbalances exist between the hamstring and quadricep muscles the quadriceps are usually too much stronger than the hamstrings which could result in pulls or strains as well as contribute to low back injury due to pelvic alignment. The H/Q ratio assessment is a simple and quick test that lets practitioners and coaches identify individuals that are at risk of injury which can allow for adjustments in programming to correct any imbalances that exist.

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