3 Tips to Prevent Golf Injuries This Season
By: Blake Goehring, Physiotherapist
Golf… the predominant love-hate game that we play in the summer. The sport is frustrating enough to play that you do not need any injuries amplifying your struggles. The following is a short guideline to follow to keep yourself hitting the long-ball and “enjoying” the game of golf this season!
Tip #1: Grease the Hinges
A lot of people don’t look at golf as an overly athletic sport, but the golf swing requires movement at more joints than most sports. Life circumstances are not exactly helping this situation … between aging, office work, and general sedentary lifestyles, it is easy to become stiff. It is important that before you unload all your COVID stress on your golf ball that you try to warm up your shoulders, core, and hips. Below are my three favourite warm-up stretches for golf:
- Arm Circles
– Start with small dinner plate size circles. As you warm up, progress to full overhead circles.
– Perform for 30-60 seconds.
– Change directions and perform for another 30-60 seconds.
- Trunk and Hip Rotations
– Put your golf club behind your head and hold onto it with your hands.
– Start rotating side to side and gradually rotate further as tolerated.
– Making sure not to bend through the spine, but at the hips to bend your upper body forward. Continue to rotate from here to simulate the golf swing. Don’t be afraid to shift weight back and forth through your feet while doing so.
– Perform 30-60 seconds.
- 90-90 Exercises for the Hips
– Start by sitting with one leg in front of you, your knee bent to 90 degrees, and the inside of your ankle pointing up.
– Your other leg will be to your side, again with the knee bent to 90 degrees and the inside of the ankle pointing towards the ground.
– Slowly shift your weight forward, hold for 1-2 seconds and then shift your weight backward for the same amount of time.
– Continue these weight shifts for about 30 seconds and then switch the starting leg positions and repeat for another 30 seconds.
Tip #2: Do Not Strangle Your Club
One of the most common injuries we see from golfers is elbow issues from the repetitive nature of the golf swing. The harder you grip your club, the more your forearm muscles must work. These problems can start with:
- Playing a lot of rounds (high volume).
- Taking large divots or making hard contact with the ground.
Loosening your grip can help you have a more fluid swing and prevent excessive load on your forearm muscles that could eventually lead to elbow pain.
Tip #3: Hip vs. Back Movement
The great Chubbs Peterson once said, “It’s all in the hips.” All movie quotes aside, this especially rings true for our senior golf population. Most back strains that occur in golf come from the inability of a person to bring their hips through, which translates unnecessary force to the back. Both of your hips need to rotate inward or towards the direction you are hitting the ball to keep your spine in a good place while swinging. How do you know if this is the case for you?
Our physical therapy team can help to identify if your hips (or any other body parts) are not moving properly and provide some strategies to keep your back and body healthy over this golf season! Feel free to book an appointment online by clicking here.