Study and Interpretation of Neuromuscular Patterns in Golf

Study and Interpretation of Neuromuscular Patterns in Golf

Sérgio Marta (CIPER, Faculdade de Motricidade Humana, Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal), João Rocha Vaz (CIPER, Faculdade de Motricidade Humana, Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal), Luís Silva (CIPER, Faculdade de Motricidade Humana, Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal), Maria António Castro (Coimbra Health School, Instituto Politécnico de Coimbra, Portugal & Mechanical Engineering Research Center, University of Coimbra, Portugal) and Pedro Pezarat Correia (CIPER, Faculdade de Motricidade Humana, Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-6090-8.ch008
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This chapter reports the golf swing EMG studies using amplitude, timing parameters and approaches to neuromuscular patterns recognition through EMG. The golf swing is a dynamic multi-joint movement. During each swing phase different activation levels occur, the combination of each muscle in amplitude provides an increased club head speed for the ball to travel to the hole. The timing when the maximum peak of each muscle occurs can be an important factor to understand the injury related mechanics and to prescribe strength programs. Most muscle studies describe their maximum activation level during the forward swing and acceleration phases, providing a controlled antigravity movement and acceleration of the club. The initial contraction time corresponds to the onset that can be used to describe the organization of the neuromuscular patterns during a task. This time parameter was used in golf to relate injuries to skilled or less skilled golfers. The way to retrieve this time parameter may be reached through new approaches but no gold standard algorithm definition has been found yet. To better understand the neuromuscular patterns new algorithms based on the dynamical systems theory are now used.
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The first study of EMG in golf dates from 1948 (Slater-Hammel, 1948). From then on not many studies have been done, though they have been more frequent in the last five years. Most of these studies focused on the intensity levels of the trunk muscles (Bulbulian et al., 2001; Cole & Grimshaw, 2008a,b; Horton et al., 2001; Marta et al., 2013; Pink et al., 1993; Watkins et al., 1996) and shoulders (Jobe et al., 1986, 1989; Kao et al., 1995; Pink et al., 1990;). Only one study centered its attention on the lower limbs (Bechler et al.,1995) and two studies evaluated the forearm muscles (Farber et al., 2009; Glazebrook et al., 1994), respectively. Five studies were literature reviews in EMG patterns: two dedicated specifically to EMG in golf (Marta et al., 2012; McHardy & Pollard, 2005a); two retrieving the upper limb (Escamilla & Andrews, 2009) and one on the shoulder muscles (Moynes, Perry, Antonelli, & Jobe, 1986). Besides these previous studies three epidemiology reports (Cabri et al., 2009; Kim, Millet, Warner, & Jobe, 2004; McHardy & Pollard, 2005b) presented data about the injury and muscle activity patterns in golfers.

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