How to quantify the transition phase during golf swing performance: Torsional load affects low back complaints during the transition phase

J Sports Sci. 2017 Oct;35(20):2051-2059. doi: 10.1080/02640414.2016.1255345. Epub 2016 Nov 17.


The transition phase of a golf swing is considered to be a decisive instant required for a powerful swing. However, at the same time, the low back torsional loads during this phase can have a considerable effect on golf-related low back pain (LBP). Previous efforts to quantify the transition phase were hampered by problems with accuracy due to methodological limitations. In this study, vector-coding technique (VCT) method was proposed as a comprehensive methodology to quantify the precise transition phase and examine low back torsional load. Towards this end, transition phases were assessed using three different methods (VCT, lead hand speed and X-factor stretch) and compared; then, low back torsional load during the transition phase was examined. As a result, the importance of accurate transition phase quantification has been documented. The largest torsional loads were observed in healthy professional golfers (10.23 ± 1.69 N · kg-1), followed by professional golfers with a history of LBP (7.93 ± 1.79 N · kg-1), healthy amateur golfers (1.79 ± 1.05 N · kg-1) and amateur golfers with a history of LBP (0.99 ± 0.87 N · kg-1), which order was equal to that of the transition phase magnitudes of each group. These results indicate the relationship between the transition phase and LBP history and the dependency of the torsional load magnitude on the transition phase.

Keywords: Transition phase; coordination between pelvis and thorax; golf swing; lower back complaints; torsional load.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Golf / injuries*
  • Golf / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Low Back Pain / physiopathology*
  • Lumbosacral Region / physiology
  • Male
  • Movement
  • Pelvis / physiology
  • Thorax / physiology
  • Time and Motion Studies