The Effect of Dynamic and Static Stretching on Golf Driving Performance (P4)

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It has also been suggested that SS can have a further negative effect when the stretching duration is prolonged and when the speed of the muscle contraction performance task is relatively low [31,32]. In this study, loading was limited to the body segments during the swing and the inertia of the club. Therefore this potentially could have caused the speed of the muscle contraction to be relatively high even though the static stretches were held for a short duration of 30 seconds with a 20 second rest period between stretches. Although the golf swing requires a significant amount of power output [5]. It is difficult to compare the findings in this study to previous research studies. Te studies mentioned previously have generally looked at high-intensity activities or maximum force production rather than light resistance load (golf club) and distinct performance constraints (accuracy and distance control) as previously mentioned [31].

No previous research has compared the effect of dynamic versus static stretching (as part of a general warm-up) on driving performance. Therefore this study is the frst to report that a dynamic general warm-up will enhance driving performance over a static general warm-up. It is worth noting, however, that the study by Moran et al. (2009) looked at the effects of dynamic stretching versus static stretching and no stretching on golf performance using 5 iron
[
20]. The variables may have been similar; however the measurement procedures were different. Moran et al. (2009) calculated clubhead speed and ball speed [20]. A more scientific approach was adopted where the distance of each shot, clubface angle and swing path were calculated to measure accuracy. Both measurement approaches are relevant for calculating distance and accuracy; however, no study to date has recommended one approach over the other. According to the PGA tour and the United States Golf Association, the swing speed created with the driver is much greater than that of the 5 iron, 112mph and 94mph, respectively. Lindsay et al. (2002) also report that participants produced significantly different trunk motion characteristics with a driver than a 7 iron. Te driver produced an average rotation of 88.2° to the right and 194.8° to the left whereas the average was significantly lower with the 7 iron (right rotation = 83.5°, left rotation = 180.3°). Tese researches also reported a 10% difference in the club angle at address between the driver and 7 iron.

The lack of significant difference in ball contact between dynamic and static stretching is not in agreement with the previous literature [20]. Tese researchers reported that dynamic stretching produced significantly more central impact points than static stretching (P = 0.001). This value is vastly lower than the P value of the current study
on ball contact (P = 0.064). Tese dissimilar results may be a result of contrasting methods on analyses. Moran et al. (2009) calculated ball contact with a video analysis system [
20]. Williams and Sih also showed that three-dimensional video analyses is a more accurate means of measurement when testing club orientation, a similar variable to ball contact [33]. While these researchers provide insightful research outcomes pertaining to using video analysis systems, a simple research design eliminating video analysis technology was incorporated in this study. Furthermore, during the study design, the authors were keen to investigate the efficacy of a video free environment by adopting a
cost effective approach without the aid of video capture technology. In general, all the participants (which were all males) showed a high level of good clubface contact with the golf ball after stretching.

The Effect of Dynamic and Static Stretching

Furthermore, our study provides a useful insight into the effect of dynamic and static stretches with respect to golf driving performance. The authors acknowledge the slight difference in target muscle groups between the dynamic and static stretching protocols. Indeed, there are plans for incorporating a control group for a future stretching study. It is worth noting the ethics committee will need a lot of convincing to approve a study without stretching. Hence, in the planned study the control group will only be required to perform a warm-up jogging session before embarking on the task in question.

Although there were significant differences between both stretching protocols, the results of this study suggest competitive golfers with poor mechanics and lack of flexibility should perform a dynamic warm-up prior to practice or competition. Furthermore, they should also be encouraged to evaluate their levels of performance by using the driving performance indicators.

Practical application

We anticipate that the outcome of this research study will provide useful data to amateur and professional golfers that could help improve their performance following correct warm-up and stretching procedures.

Acknowledgments

The authors would like to thank the School of Science and Sport, and the Institute for Clinical Exercise and Health Science at the University of the West of Scotland for their continued support throughout the project. Recognitions also go to Hamilton golf club and their members for their participation in the study.

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