Electromyographic analysis of the hip and knee during the golf swing

Clin J Sport Med. 1995 Jul;5(3):162-6. doi: 10.1097/00042752-199507000-00005.


As golf increases in popularity, more golfers seek the proper mechanics necessary for the perfect golf swing. Surprisingly little scientific work has been published on the contribution of the hip and knee muscles during the golf swing even though most professionals have recognized their vital contribution. Recent studies have described the electromyographic (EMG) muscle activity of the shoulder, back, and trunk during the golf swing. The purpose of this study was to describe the electrical muscle activity in seven hip and knee muscles of both the left (lead) and right (trail) leg in competitive golfers while performing the golf swing. Sixteen golfers were studied with indwelling electrodes and high-speed cinematography. The EMG was synchronized with the film to discern five phases of the golf swing. Means, SDs, and t-tests were done. The results revealed that the trail hip extensors and abductors in conjunction with the lead adductor magus initiated pelvic rotation during forward swing. The lead hamstrings maintained a flexed knee and provided a stable base on which pelvic rotation took place. The peak EMG muscle activity recorded in the hips and knees occurred in an earlier phase than that measured previously in the trunk and shoulder. This confirmed the sequential firing pattern of the hip and knee muscles that takes place during the competitive golf swing. Information gained from this study can be used by players and coaches to optimize performance and to minimize injury.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Electrodes, Implanted
  • Electromyography*
  • Female
  • Golf / physiology*
  • Hip / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Isometric Contraction
  • Knee / physiology*
  • Knee Joint / physiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motion Pictures
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Posture
  • Rotation
  • Signal Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Tendons / physiology