Effects of an Eight week Golf Specific Core Stabilisation Exercise Programme on Swing Stability and Club Head Velocity in Amateur Golfers

By: Mika Janhunen, K A Edlund

Anglo-European College of Chiropractic


Objective: This investigation aimed to determine the effect of an 8 week focused, golf specific core stabilising exercise programme on swing stability and club head velocity in a sample of amateur golfers.

Design: A non-randomised comparative cohort study

Setting: Anglo-European College of Chiropractic, Bournemouth, UK

Subjects: 40 amateur male golfers with at least 2 years of regular golf experience (10 rounds of golf per year) were included in this investigation, of which 36 completed the study. Subjects were excluded if they had begun any new exercise programs or golf tuition, or planned during the 8 week period of this investigation to begin any such program. Subjects were divided into experimental (n=19) and control (n=17) groups.

Methods: Club head velocity (CHV) was recorded before and after the intervention for all individuals using a standard 6 iron. The subjects were also video recorded to measure the lateral sway during the golf swing. The experimental group participated in an intervention consisting of 8 weeks of 3 times weekly core stabilising training aimed at increasing strength and endurance of the core stabilising muscles.

Results: The experimental group experienced a statistically significant post-intervention decrease in lateral body sway during back swing of 0.61 cm (p=0.0467) representing a mean change of 23.80% and a statistically extremely significant increase in CHV of 4.84mph (p=0.0007) representing a relative increase of 7.45%. The control group showed an insignificant (p=0.1893) increase in CHV of 1.71mph (2.35%) over the same period. An increase in CHV of this magnitude can result in a performance gain of approximately 14 yards driver distance. An increase in driving distance has been shown to be directly related to lower scores and therefore improved performance.

Conclusion: A focused, golf specific core stabilising training programme had the effect of increasing club head velocity. The core stabilising exercises do decrease the amount of lateral sway during the golf swing. Combined, these factors do increase the distance and accuracy of golf performance, in a sample of amateur male golfers. The specificity of resistance training of the power generating muscles of the golf swing and flexibility training of the primary joints of the golf swing can be attributed to this improvement.

Read the article on Core Stability here.

Find out how all of this ties in together with chiropractic treatment here.


For those about to run - I salute you

We are all "Born to Run". We all possess all of the necessary equipment for successfull running at birth. Go on, lace up... get out of the door... free up the runner within.

This article is aimed at those people who have tried running in the past and never got on with it. If you never found the rhythm, never experienced 'the runners high', or never got through the pain barrier to enjoy yourself while running - read on.

The most common mistake people make when trying to get into a new sport is overdoing it. Granted, if you want to start - you have got to start somewhere, which means running. If you are suffering from serious lack of fitness, carrying too much weight, have suffered with shin splints or foot problems in the past, DO NOT try and run 5 miles straight off the bat. You will hurt, you will feel horrible the next few days and most of all you will not have any fun.

To get started you must go EASY. See, you have to be realistic and not reach for the moon straight away. Think of this as a project that may take a number of months to complete. The time frame depends on your current levels of fitness, history of sport participation and health status, but realistically we are talking about a few months before you can think about covering 5 miles and having fun while doing it. Let's break it down to a few weeks at a time.

The first 2 weeks:

Find a loop close to your home or work, maybe between 1 Km and 1 mile in distance. Set off WALKING at an easy pace and for every 200 meters or 1/8 mile RUN 20 steps, and then carry on walking again. Please review the running technique article and view the video tutorial to ensure good running technique. Running on the midfoot is important, as it reduces likelihood of injuries in the long term and facilitates better performance in the future. It is much better to get into good habits early. Keep an eye on your breathing as you walk and run. You should try and breathe in through the nose, and blow out through the mouth (if needed). Also review the breathing article on my website.

Weeks 3 to 6:

Gradually increase the number of running during your walk/run. Keep the distance the same for the time being, but you should aim to double the amount of running. This will help boost your fitness levels efficiently, as this qualifies as low impact interval training. The beauty of interval training is, that the beneficial effects on the heart rate, muscle development and metabolism will be sustained for hours after you stop. You will see results more quickly than you would if you were to maintain constant pace. As you gradually ease into running, you allow your feet, ankles, achilles tendons, legs and back to get used to it instead of being jolted into action. This will reduce soreness after exercise and the likelihood of injuring yourself.

Weeks 7 to 12:

You can now start increasing the distance. First do two laps instead of one with less running. Then increase the amount of running during the two laps. As you feel stronger and able to tackle more distance you can go up to three laps, again increasing the amount of running gradually. At this point you can probably do a full lap of running. Stay focused on your technique, stay light on your feet and keep your stride short. Over striding can be very detrimental to your technique at this stage, as the temptation is there to start heel-striking.

Weeks 13 to 20:

You should be able to start doing full laps of running quite comfortably now. Try and resist the urge to cover too much distance, instead you can bring up the intensity of your training by picking up the pace. Remember to keep your stride and technique under control. Over striding leads to loss of control, which leads to injuries. Remember to breathe.

Week 20 onwards:

You should be able to start increasing you distance and pace now.

Because this way of easing into running utilises short distance you should try and get out most days. If you are seriously unfit, you may need to start with alternate days of walk/run and rest, but for most people two rest days in the week should be sufficient. Do not rest for two consecutive days. As you are learning a new skill, you need to keep practising it often - this allows your brain and the nervous system to make the appropriate changes. Doing one or two sessions per week is not enough to facilitate any significant changes.

A couple of points to remember:

1. Take it easy - don't overdo it. "If it feels like hard work, you are working too hard."

2. Technique is everything. Review the running technique article on my website, and watch the running tutorial regularly to remind yourself of the correct technique.

3. Calculate your optimal training heart rate zone regularly. This will help you get the best results. Also wear the heart rate monitor to ensure you are in the correct zone whilst training.

4. Keep hydrated, keep nourished. Your body needs the fluids and the food to recover, to renew and to develop.

5. In case you suffer with blisters, read the relevant article on my website.

6. Practise does not make you perfect - perfect practise makes you perfect.

7. ENJOY YOURSELF!!! This is a very positive thing you are doing. You are taking control of your situation and life as well as learning a new skill.


If you have any questions, need further advice, or wish make an appointment for running technique assessment, please get in touch with us at the clinic. Call 01932 - 429584 or Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Would you like your abdominals blitzed, shaken or stirled? - No Thanks!


Nowadays you cannot turn around in the gym without having someone shout at you about the supposed virtues of this 'core blaster' programme or that 'steely abs in three minutes per day' miracle. The sad thing is, that 99% of these programmes have absolutely nothing to do with actual core work - they are designed to be extremely challenging abdominal workouts that cause a lot of pain (no pain - no gain they chuckle) and therefore produce a seemingly good result. Yet, is there any benefit in walking doubled over for 3 days after having your abs 'blitzed'? I am afraid not.

point one: abdominal work is not the same as core stability work.

True core work can be divided into two distinct and separate facets, core stability and core strength. Both are important and necessary, but I would argue that most people are in more acute need of core stability than core strength. Also, to be strict about it, one should always start by addressing the stability side, as it facilitates the improvements in strength later.

point two: most people are lacking in core stability, even if they have strong abs.

Core stability is an innate ability in infants. Babies use their muscles perfectly as they haven't had injuries that may disrupt the normal functioning of the core. The role of core stability is to provide protection for the body, namely to the vulnerable back, but equally to the pelvis, the shoulder and the hip girdle. At the same time it links the upper and lower body together producing dynamic and functional strength. Let's put it this way, if we had no core, the upper and lower body would be completely disjointed and there would be no ability for power transfer in either direction. This would leave the body a more or less useless lump of meat and bone.

point three: good core stability enables your body to function more efficiently

The target of core stability exercises is not the musculature - not in the conventional sense anyway. Core stability work is there to challenge the brain, more to the point the cerebellum, which is the movement centre of the brain. A quick neurology recap: The nervous system is divided into two parts, the sensory and the motor nervous system. The sensory nerves bring information up to the brain, providing it with feedback from the various tissues of the body - the motor nerves conduct the messages from the brain to the muscles telling them what to do.  The cerebellum has an important role in coordinating the input, and then tweaking the output of the brain to produce the smoothest and most efficient movement. Core stability exercises work on proprioception (continuous subconscious feedback of data into the brain from all different tissues in the body, including joints, muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones, and skin) which fine-tunes the output to the muscles. You might say that core stability work is there to help the brain to learn how  to utilise these muscles better making you functionally and dynamically strong and resilient, however if you are looking to gain big muscles, you must go looking elsewhere.

point four: core stability work is neurological rehab, it does not produce six-packs

For you to properly learn core stability work you must be willing to put in effort - lots of effort. For most of us, it is learning a new skill (or reviving a long lost art). As mentioned before, these 'core pulverising abs buster classes' are not the right place to start from. The best idea is  start off with one to one sessions to ensure that you understand exactly what is required, and are able to perform the basic exercises so that you can practise those at home. There should always be a gradual increase in difficulty and repetitions over a course of couple of months to allow the neural pathways to develop adequately. Neurological development takes much longer than muscular development, and in order to commit this new skill into the automatic, or subconscious part of the brain it has to be enforced on a daily basis in the beginning.  When babies learn a new skill, they keep practising it all the time until they are happy that they know how to do it and only then move on to the next skill - it should be the same with adults. The way of the modern world has led us to being rather impatient, but when it comes to learning core stability, there is no room for hurrying, nor time to be thinking of work with one half of the brain. Every single repetition has to be meticulously perfect so that we are able to strengthen the new, correct way using the body. It just may be, that you may learn a bit of patience and relaxation at the same time.

point five: there are no quick fixes when it comes to core stability work - it takes time and effort

Once your core is functioning you will find that you have a whole new appreciation of the body and it's abilities. You will notice the extent in which the core is active in every mundane activity of daily living, as well as it's pivotal role in the centre of your body in sports. In a way, you will be able to use every movement of your body to further improve the functioning of the core - be it brushing your teeth or vacuuming the lounge, or playing golf or completing your first triathlon.

point six: every movement of your body can be used to improve core stability


At Shepperton Chiropractic Clinic we recommend and teach core stability work to many patients. It has a role in the recovery and prevention of low back pain, sciatic irritation, disc problems, neck pain and stiffness, as well as various sports injuries of the limbs. Core stability work has also been found to be helpful in improving the golf swing as well as athletic performance in variety of sports. A strong and well functioning core will reduce the likelihood of injuries.

Read my university dissertation abstract on golf swing and core stability here.


If you wish to find out more, or to ask specific questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at the clinic. You may do so by email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , or telephone: 01932 - 429584.


How to train in the right zone?


Learning to train in the correct Heart Rate (HR) zone is very important for a number of reasons. Primarily to obtain optimal results for your hard effort, but also to try and minimise the risk of injuries. Many people these days carry a heart rate monitor when running or cycling, yet how many of us actually know what our heart rate should be during exercise?


In order to determine your target heart rate (THR) you need to do a couple of calculations. First of all you need to measure your resting heart rate (RHR) with a heart rate monitor, and whilst doing that you can draw out the following equation. Sit down for a few minutes and see what your average resting heart rate is for a period of 5 to 10 minutes.

THR = RHR + (0.6 x [MHR - RHR])

This Equation is the so called 'Karvonen equation' as it takes into consideration the current level of fitness of the athlete, and not the age.  We will use the multiplier 0.6 as that will give the lower end of the zone at 60% maximal. Maximal Heart Rate (MHR) is determined as 220BPM.

As you have determined your RHR, please plot it into the equation. I'll use a hypothetical 60BPM.

THR = 60 + (0.6 x [220 - 60]) , which gives THR 156 at 60% of maximal.

To repeat for the upper end of the zone, repeat calculation with a multiplier of 0.8 to find the upper end of the zone at 80% of maximal.

Please note, that you will need to repeat these calculations fairly frequently as your training progresses and your fitness levels improve.

The guidelines for improving cardiovascular fitness and cardiorespiratory endurance levels dictate that the athlete must train with HR elevated to at least 60% of MHR. For most athletes the zone would sit in the range of 60 - 80% of MHR for constant pace exercise. It is recommended that the exercise session would last between 20 and 60 minutes of THR exercise.

 For interval training the peaks can be as high as 90%, as there are the appropriate rest periods where HR is allowed to drop down to 30 - 45% of maximal. Also the interval sessions can be longer in duration due to the rest periods.


If you have any questions, suggestions, or comments please do not hesitate to contact us at the clinic on

01932 - 429584 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Water - The most important nutrient

Adequate supply of water is very important for the human body for a few reasons. Water plays an integral role in the internal courier system, provides a medium for chemical reactions, and helps regulate internal temperature.

Why do we need water?

Internal courier system

Blood consists mainly of blood cells and plasma. The amount of plasma depends on the hydration levels of the body, thus water will enable smoother transfer of hormones, electrolytes, and nutrients, as well as waste disposal. In a dehydrated state this process becomes sluggish, which may lead to a number of symptoms.

Chemical reactions

If there was no water, we would not be able to survive. Many important bodily functions, such as digestion, depend heavily on chemical reactions. Without water we would have a situation where various chemical groups stare at each other without the means to get together in order to react.

Temperature regulation

Control of core temperature is critical to human survival. A swing of only a few degrees in either direction may prove fatal. Therefore we call upon water for help. If core temperature rises, our superficial blood vessels dilate to cool down our blood and we sweat to get rid of some of the warmer water. In case of dropping temperature this process reverses.


Symptoms of dehydration

Most people recognise headache as one of the symptoms, which is absolutely correct. Other symptoms include dizziness, lack of concentration and inability to focus, neurological symptoms such as cramps, tingling and numbness; loss of appetite, nausea, and constipation; dryness of skin and swelling of the tongue; and if allowed to run unchecked – even death.

Dehydration will hinder athletic performance severely. Dehydrated athletes will suffer from fatigue, loss of endurance and power and cramps. Recovery time after sport will also be increased.


How much water is enough?

Prevention is much better than cure – after all no-one particularly wants to experience the symptoms outlined above. Therefore getting into a habit of drinking small amounts regularly is crucial. It is a good idea to carry a water bottle with you everyday and keep sipping at regular intervals. A good amount is about 2 litres per day, excluding coffees, teas and other beverages. If playing sport or exercising it is advisable to add more, also hot and humid climates, as well as heavily air conditioned offices increase the need for water.



Electrolytes and minerals are important binding substances for water. Without them, all of the water is passed straight through the body and not retained – leading to dehydration. Normal healthy food provides an adequate supply of electrolytes and minerals, however when body is under increased strain, such as heavy cardiovascular training, additional supplementation is indicated. Most sports drinks these days have added eletrolytes and minerals.


Other tips

These days there are whole industries around the issue of hydration. Many companies manufacture sports drinks and under garments, or base layers – all aimed at optimising athletic performance. With sports drinks, it is best to avoid those drinks laced with sugar and go for the hypotonic drinks, which tend to have a higher content of electrolytes and minerals. Base layers are very good, especially in the cold weather, as they allow perspiration to evaporate without allowing you to get cold.


For any further information, please either email us at the clinic: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call us on 01932-429584


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I was in so much pain last week I couldn’t imagine that I would feel this much better in 7 days
Heather Penncock

I first went to Mika About 2 months ago. I could not walk straight line or very far. I was also in pain as I have had two knee replacements. After about 3 weeks I can now walk upright and in a straight line. Also a lot of pain relief. I cannot recommend this practice enough.
Frank Whittington

I have been working with Dr Mika Janhunen of Shepperton Chirorpactic Clinic for four years. During this time he has not only been able to help me overcome various niggling injuries and to enjoy better health, but has been able to improve the performance of a number of my golf coaching clients as well. His detailed knowledge of the human body and the complexity of the golf swing movement pattern is virtually unrivalled in terms of results that I have ever seen. I will continue to refer my players to see Mika, and would encourage anyone to do the same.
Rob Watts, PGA Golf Professional