Keeping you Fit for Golf
By: Jason Gallant, Registered Physiotherapist
Golf season is in full swing, so I’d like to provide you with some tips to keep you at your best on the links this summer! As golfers, we all want to have that perfect swing. That natural, effortless swing that strikes the ball with maximum efficiency and minimal stress to your body. But how does one develop this swing? Hours of practice on the range, coaching sessions, and multiple rounds a year will help. But there are other factors that go into developing a great golf swing:
The golf swing puts strong rotational forces through your body, especially your back. This can put a lot of compression and torsion through your spine, and can put you at risk of injury. A strong core not only helps to give you a more effective swing, but also greatly reduces your chance of injuring your back. A trained physiotherapist can show you the specific core strength and stability exercises needed to increase your core strength and stability, increase your swing power, and keep your back safe.
The golf swing is a very technical movement that requires a great deal of range of motion through your ankles, knees, hips, spine, elbows, shoulders, and wrists. If you are stiff in any one of these areas it can affect your swing technique and put you at risk of injury, especially during your backswing and follow through. I see many people who change their swings to accommodate for this, which can affect your swing and lead to injury. A physiotherapist can assess your overall mobility, identify problem areas, and give you stretches to increase your movement and give you back that fluid swinging motion.
Does your game go downhill on the back nine? Are you tired and sore after a round? This could be because your muscles aren’t properly conditioned to handle a full round of golf. An overall strength and conditioning program prescribed by a physiotherapist is ideal to increase your muscular strength and endurance. This ensures that your swing stays consistent from the first tee to your last putt on 18, and decreases your risk of injury from overworked or tired muscles.
Other tips to keep you safe on the course:
Warm up – A dynamic stretching program is important before you take your first swing. Start with slow, controlled practice swings with a higher lofted club, then work up to regular swing speeds with your driver.
Swing speed – Never swing as hard as you can. Chances are this will hurt your swing technique, and also put you at risk of injury.
Don’t play through pain – If your back or shoulder starts acting up on the course and isn’t getting better, don’t try to fight through it. Cut your round short or you may make the problem worse, reducing your chance being able to play your next round.
Contact us today to book an assessment for your golf injuries!