Posture, fitness and flexibility are critical to help remain fit and injury free for any sport, particularly golf. The achievements of Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy, Lexi Thompson and Sung Hyun Park highlight an athleticism associated with a sport that once was considered leisurely. Today’s golfers – both amateurs and professionals – are training to be stronger and more flexible, capable of far more powerful swings than ever before.
According to the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), awareness of proper posture and the importance of fitness and flexibility are just as important for the weekend golfers as they are for the professional athletes. People spend thousands of dollars each year on new and improved equipment but the most important piece of equipment remains their body. When one follows an individualized training program that addresses muscle imbalances, body mechanics, strength, flexibility and cardiovascular fitness … you are set up to excel.
Professional golfers make it look easy but the golf swing is actually one of the most difficult and complicated movements in all of sports, requiring stability in some joints and flexibility in others. The ability to coordinate motion, strength and function throughout the swing, play a large role in preventing injuries. A better swing means a more accurate ball strike, greater distance and less stress on the muscles and joints.
Your friends at Chiron Physical Therapy work with individuals in all sports and at all levels. We have observed that recreational golfers often complain of spine-related injuries, including upper and lower back, shoulder and neck pain. Leisure golfers attempt to swing with the speed and force of professional golfers but did you know that with each swing, 7 to 8 times a golfer’s weight is directed into the spine? With this kind of force, it is easy to damage discs and strain muscles. As such, multiple core (and not just abdomen) stabilization exercises are critical.
Golfers of all ages and abilities should make a habit of:
- Warming up and stretching before teeing off.
- Spend at least 20 minutes warming up and stretching major muscles groups especially the back and extremities before practice or playing.
- Don’t wait until you are on the course. It is neither practical nor conducive to a thorough stretch.
- Maintain cardiovascular conditioning.
- Fatigue can result in poor performance due to a lack of coordinated body movements.
- To keep endurance up and muscles warm and conditioned, walk the course whenever possible.
- Of course, participate in some type of aerobic conditioning off the course as well.
Your friends at Chiron Physical Therapy are committed to you and your health and want you to enjoy your time on the links this summer. Call us today to find out what you are missing in your training and allow us to tailor a comprehensive program for your needs and goals.