Biomechanics: The science of heat and how it affects your golfOctober, 2013
Leading golf biomechanist Jean-Jacques Rivet on why you can only play your best when you are the right temperature
In terms of the ‘science of heat’, it is all a question of blood. Exposed to cold, our blood tends to cool.
The brain reacts by activating thermogenesis (heat production). Muscles contract, we shudder.
When arterioles of the skin constrict, the blood is diverted to the deeper tissues and the temperature rises.
Warming up is important to optimise the co-ordination. But a warm-up is not only to get all your muscles stretched, but to make them work and be ready, so there is a combination of heat and co-ordination.
That is why if you combined the compressive (co-ordination) with the heat (warm) it is ideal. You will get warm more quickly and be ready to hit.
You will not be under the cold “phase” and in between shots you will heat up.
The thermic, or thermal, energy which is creating the “heat” inside the body is due to the molecular agitation of the body so you need to move to be able to have “heat” inside your body.
The less energy you are using to perform the swing, the more efficient you will be during five hours on the course. The muscular potential energy is created in the backswing when you optimise the synchronisation of the kinematic muscular chains around the core: so you engage even more muscles which are “moving” and increase the heat.
When it moves, your body creates heat – so you need to have clothes which keep the heat, otherwise the transfer of energy between the cold and the warm will make the temperature come down.
Radiation energy is emitted by nuclear reactions in the sun. This mode of transfer occurs in the presence of electromagnetic waves. Radiant energy enables an energy transfer between the body that emits radiation (source) and one that absorbs (receiver).
The less energy you are using to perform the swing, the more efficient you will be during five hours on the course. The more you are saving thermic energy, the less effort will be required by the muscles to keep warm.
JJ is a leading sports biomechanics and sports injury expert. He is the founder of the Biomecaswing Center, based at Terre Blanche GC.
Clients include European Tour golfers and French Golf Federation. He oversees sport biomechanics for the European Tour and works with Under Armour on their performance apparel.