What if you could take 5 strokes off your golf handicap this season?
What would you do to improve your game dramatically and impress your friends?
What if you could reduce your risk of golf injury this season? Interested? - Why not try some off-season preparation?
Common Golf Injuries
Golf injuries may not hit the media the way football or basketball injuries do, but they are real and can cost professional golfers thousands of dollars and amateur golfers mounds of frustration!
The most commonly injured area of the body in male amateurs is the low back because of decreased strength and/or flexibility in the trunk muscles or core muscles. These muscles provide stability throughout the golf swing to help maintain a proper posture.
Good flexibility allows the golfer to achieve the proper swing positions with less stress placed on the body.
The most commonly injured area of the body in female amateurs is the elbow because of decreased strength in the forearm muscles. The muscles help with rotation of golf club through the impact area and also with shock absorption from hitting the ground instead of the ball.
A commonly injured area in the older player (35+ years) is the shoulder due to decreased strength, flexibility, and also, arthritic and degenerative changes of the joint.
Proper strength in the rotator cuff muscles allow stability of the golf club throughout the swing, while flexibility allows proper positioning of the club at the top of swing without increased stress on the joint.
Just like any other athlete, the golfer needs to prepare for the season with an off-season routine.
The easiest way to prevent golf injuries is to condition the muscles in a golf specific manner. A combination of strengthening and flexibility will create the balance that a golfer needs to allow their body to perform to the fullest extent.
Strengthening the muscles that are specific to the swing will help reduce the likelihood of injury as well as improve your overall game.
Flexibility is probably the most important and also overlooked area of the golf game. As the body ages, it loses flexibility and with that loss of flexibility, the range of motion available to the golf swing becomes more restricted.
Achieving proper flexibility in the golf specific muscles allows you to swing more relaxed, therefore decreasing the chance of muscle strains and tears.
It is essential for the older athlete, competitive or recreational, to combat traditional declining flexibility with age. Normal flexibility and efficient joint motion are needed for warm-up activities prior to exercise, and to execute movements required in the respective activity.
Golf Specific Exercises
Stretching - Seated Rotation Stretch:
Sit in a chair that doesn't rock with your back against the chair. Turn your upper body as far as it will go and grab the back of the chair or the arm and hold if for 10 seconds. Repeat the process on the opposite side and perform 10 repetitions on each side.
Strengthening- Lunge with a Twist:
Step forward with your right leg and slowly lower the left knee to the floor while maintaining a straight back posture. (Remember not to let your right knee go past your toes. if this happens, there will be increased stress placed on your right knee.)
When your right knee is over the toes, but not past, twist your body to the right and back to neutral. Resume a standing position and repeat on the opposite side. Perform 10-20 repetitions on each side.
For an added challenge, hold a medicine ball or other weight in from your chest with both hands.
If you'd like guidance in your off season preparation, contact a NovaCare golf specialist for a thorough evaluation. The proper way to prepare for the season is with a personalized specific golf flexibility and strength analysis.
NovaCare Rehabilitation offers a golf enhancement program where a trained physical therapist evaluates your flexibility and strength by isolating the golf musculature and analyzing your muscular balance while you swing.
More information on NovaCare's golf enhancement programs is available by emailing Dsinger@HQ.NovaCare.com.