The multifidus (multifidus spinae, plural multifidi) muscle consists of a number of fleshy and tendinous bundles of skeletal muscle fibres (fasciculi), which fill up the groove on either side of the vertebrae, from the sacrum to the axis.
These fasciculi arise in the sacral, lumbar, thoracic and cervical regions of the spine.
The multifidi work to extend, laterally flex, and rotate the vertebral column.
Deep in the spine, it spans three joint segments, and works to stabilize the joints at each segmental level. The stiffness and stability makes each vertebra work more effectively, and reduces the degeneration of the joint structures.The multifidi lie deep relative to the erector spinae, abdominal muscles, and obliques.
The multifidus is a very thin muscle, one of the smallest and yet most “powerful” muscles that gives support to the spine.
The Role of the Multifidi in the Golf Swing
The multifidi play several important roles in the golf swing:
- They help to take pressure off the vertebral discs so that our body weight, and the enormous rotational forces generated during the golf swing, can be well distributed along the spine.
- They keep our spine straight while contributing significantly to the stability of our spine, enabling us to maintain proper posture and spine angles during the golf swing.
- They contract prior to the actual movement of the body and the arms in the golf swing, so as to prepare the spine for the movement and prevent it from getting hurt.
When multifidus function is poor, the golfer will be more susceptible to back injuries and low back pain.
Good mobility of the multifidi is important in the backswing, enabling them to elongate properly to achieve a correct, full turn.
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Oblique muscles, which describes in more detail your side abdominals, which help you to bend from the side or twist your torso, and their role in the golf swing.