On to the last sling of the body. We have already covered the Posterior Oblique Sling, the Anterior Oblique Sling, and the Deep Longitudinal Sling. Now we move on to the Lateral Sling.
The Lateral Sling is made up of....
Tensor Fascia Latae (TFL)
Contralateral Quadratus Lumborum (QL)
Together these muscles work to stabilize your when you are on one leg. If these muscles are weak you would have a very hard time standing on one leg. The Gluteus Medius and the TFL work together to abduct the leg (move away from the center of your body) while the Adductors (magnus, brevis, and longus) work to adductor your leg(pull back in to the center of your body). These counteract each other to stabilize the leg. The Contralateral QL comes in to play to help stabilize your core on the leg you are not standing on so that you don't bend away from the stance leg.
What does all that have to do with golf?
The muscles of the Lateral Sling are crucial to your golf game. I said that you would have a hard time standing on one leg. When swinging a golf club you don't actually stand on one leg but you do shift your weight from your back leg to your front leg.
During the golf swing if these are weak, you will have problems with sway and slide. Another issue is that a weak lateral system means a loss of power and maybe even injury.
Watch this video for more information.
Here are some exercises to help train the Lateral Sling.
The first exercise, the Lateral Band Walk, is a great exercise to turn the Gluteus Medius on and I generally have my clients do this as part of a warm up before a round of golf.
The second exercise is the Single Leg Quarter Squat. This is great to challenge your legs ability to stabilize while also working on the oh so important hip hinge.
The last exercise is a Single Leg Cable Row. This will challenge your balance dynamically while you are performing the cable row. You should be able to keep the lower body quiet (not moving) while still performing the row with good form.
Wow, well that is all the major slings on the body.. so next week we will take all of these pieces and put them together and show you the finished puzzle.