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Discussing the functional implications of the Latissimus-Gluteus Maximus fascial continuum on the golf swing

April 17, 2012

A topic which we have discussed previously on this blog is the myofascial continuum between the Latissimus Dorsi on one side, and the contralateral Gluteus Maximus on the other.  The anatomical existence of said sling was demonstrated by the author Vleeming.  Further, the most impressive continuance was found to be present specifically between the L4 and S2 segments.  In a previous post “Discussing the use of the latissimus gluteus myofascial sling during the bench press” we spoke to the importance of engaging this sling during performance of the bench press in order to create a stable base from which to push.  This allowed the lifter to both improve the output of force on the bar, as well as protect the spine in a neutral position (CLICK HERE FOR THIS POST).

In this short clip, Dr. Spina discusses the contribution of this sling to a proper golf swing via its ability to either allow proper internal rotation of the hips, or restrict it.  If internal hip rotation is hindered during the swing, either by fibrosis of this sling or by capsular restriction, the body will automatically hyperextend at the lumbosacral junction in order to complete the swing…this will lead to abnormal facet impaction and eventual low back pain.


1.  ALWAYS, ALWAYS evaluate internal rotation of BOTH hips in your golfers…..whether they are injured or not!!  If I could only give one piece of advice to a golfer in terms of injury prevention it would be to improve hip mobility…especially in internal rotation.  Provide them with stretches targeting the structures that may block this motion.  For F.R. certified practitioners, go a step further and assign P.A.I.L’s strategies to not only improve the passive ROM, but also to improve their mobility.

2.  Remember this rule of thumb – IF YOUR PATIENT HAS BACK PAIN, CHECK THE HIPS…IF THEY HAVE HIP PAIN, CHECK THE BACK – lack of mobility in one is sure to lead to injury in the other down the line.

3.  In addition to palpating for fascial restriction in this sling, also assess other factors/structures that can hinder hip rotation – ex.  Capsular fibrosis, gluteus minims fibrosis.

4.  Existence of this sling allows the body to connect the arms (lat insertion onto the humerus), to the pelvis – this therefore affords the opportunity to brace the entire  spine, the shoulders, and pelvis simultaneously.  Keep this in mind when you are training clients in terms of injury prevention.


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