Golf is a fantastic sport that dates all the way back to the 1400’s! But it’s not easy! The amount of hours practising that are required to get reasonably good can be psychologically & physically challenging – it’s not just a walk in the park!
One of the most common golf injuries is lower back pain. This is largely due to the repetitive movement through the back with the golf swing. So, how can you reduce your likelihood on injury as well as improve your swing?
Firstly – warm up. I am sure you will have heard this before – but there is a reason why the importance of warming up is said time and time again for all sports – the body needs some preparation time.
Second – conditioning. This is where physio can help a lot. People may think that fitness and conditioning are not as important in golf as say tennis or basketball – but they would be underestimating the forces that can go through the body with the golf swing as well as the endurance needed over 18 holes. Whatever sport you do, you need to train your body for it – to optimise your performance as well as minimise your chances of injury.
Strength, control and flexibility are the main areas to consider in the golf swing. Ideally you want to use your whole body when you swing, therefore, you want to ensure that there aren’t areas that are stiff or weak.
There are a huge amount of different exercises that you can do – and these will depend on the problem areas you personally will have (don’t worry, we all have them – even the pro’s!). This is what a physio would first identify for you, and then creates a programme to address the problems. At Back in Action we have a new piece of kit that can help with this – we can video you in action, and then instantly analyse this in slow motion – to spot the movement issues. We will give you a copy of this video – which may well also be a useful tool for working on your technique too.
Here are a couple of exercises for problem areas that research has identified professional male golfers suffering from back pain have – reduced spine rotation and lack of core strength /control:
Rotate from left to right slowly and gently, use your club to help. Try to keep your hips still, facing forward for movement with control, then let your hips move with your back, for maximum twist.
The amount of rotation you can get in your back swing is directly related to the amount of force you will be able to drive through the ball. You can also practice this more for the mid back when sitting in your chair at work – twist left and right gently 10 times every day – you will notice the difference!
For a strong core hold the plank position, drawing your lower abdominals in – watch your line – don’t allow your back to flex or bow, work up to 1min hold.
To make this harder, try raising your opposite hand and foot, whilst maintaining your line – careful, this is not easy!
Third – technique. This is essential in golf, and I would not claim to be an expert – you will likely need a proper lesson for this. But here are two useful tips:
- Be aware of your back posture with driving and putting, don’t hunch over the ball.
- Don’t try to force your swing through. Your drives will be longer if you smoothly transmit the swing through your whole body, not if you try to whack it. This will also lesson the chances of fatigue and injury.
If you would like a consultation with a physio to identify your problem areas, or treat an injury just drop us a line and make an appointment – firstname.lastname@example.org and to stay in touch with any promo’s coming up ‘like’ us on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/BackInActionUK