Using the SAM Balance Lab to Improve Balance and Weight Distribution

Using the SAM Balance Lab to Improve Balance and Weight Distribution

The SAM uses 2560 sensors to accurately capture data in a number of areas such as weight distribution and centre of pressure. The data is then presented into an easily understood format.

Balance Lab provides SAM Balance Lab report screenexact measurement in specific areas such as weight distribution in setup and throughout the swing from left to right and from heel to toe. The data is represented as a percentage of total weight. For example 52% on the left foot and 48% on the right foot and 55% toe biased on the left foot and 57% toe biased on the right foot.

The great strength to this tool is that it quantifies what is actually happening. Small errors that are normally not visible to the naked eye can be identified and the “coaching eye” of the coach is improved. Other features of the SAM Balance Lab are:

  • Force directed through the ground in different parts of the swing measured in Newton’s per cm2. (Newton’s is a specific measurement of force)
  • The exact amount of Newton’s per cm2 in a given area of the foot
  • Centre of pressure calculations throughout the swing (centre of pressure is a single point representation on the ground of the pressure applied forwards and backwards and side to side)
  • Reports can be created and sent to both player and coach

The software is even more powerful when combined with 3d biomechanical analysis and a sound understanding of functional anatomy. It is possible that postural dysfunction and poor movement patterns are contributing to the poor weight distribution. For example a golfer with a poking chin or poor neck posture may compensate by placing their weight in the heels to feel more balanced at setup.

Once analysis has been completed, a key feature of the SAM Balance Lab is the training module. A student can use the advice from their coach to make improvements to their balance and weight distribution and feedback can be provided on a shot by shot basis. This process can help to facilitate learning as the student leaves the session knowing exactly what they need to do to improve as they have already experienced the concepts through the use of the training module.

The use of a force plate for coaches has confirmed the message that managing and improving a golfers balance and postural control is important. Whilst the amount of weight distribution from left to right varies depending on the swing preferences most good golfers are quite stable in their movement from heel to toe.

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