Do what you love. If you love golf then this article will help you keep doing what you love... without injury.
How Golf Injuries Happen
For many, the mention of golf creates a mental picture of leisure play with laughs and a few beers. While that may be the case for some rounds, the sport of golf is actually a very intense athletic endeavour that is capable of dealing out a number of injuries to those who indulge in its fairways.
Sadly, Golf is among the highest injury-producing sports played in the United States. Professional and amateur golfers alike, suffer many different forms of trauma and injury. Studies show that the injury rate for amateurs is actually very similar to that of professionals. Common injury sites are the low back, elbow, wrists, and shoulders to name a few.
The average golf swing lasts around 1 second. But in that one second, so much happens. Large amounts of force, load, and torque are placed on various muscles and joints. Maybe things would not be so dicey if a golfer only had to make that swing a few times. However, in one practice session, a golfer may make that swing nearly 300 times!
The human body can be much like team sports. You’re only as strong as your weakest link. As that dynamic swing is reproduced over and over again, your body begins to make needed compensations.
Tight muscles, weak muscles, and fatigued muscles began to take their toll on joints around them as other muscles work to pick up the slack. The result, what started as an enjoyable pastime ends with the golfer walking away in pain.
So What can be done?
We are going to give you a few exercises that can be used as preventative maintenance to tackle the most common golf injuries you'll face on the course.
Bending, twisting, torquing… these are all motions and forces that your low back has to endure during Golf. So you need a strong and stable core that will stabilize and protect your injury prone low back.
Enter the McGill Side Plank: This exercise is great for lower back injury preventive maintenance. Your core includes more than just abs. This exercise helps to train and strengthen the side obliques to stabilize and support loads better. That means less stress on your lower back.
As you can imagine your shoulder joint goes through a lot of abuse. Although it is the most mobile joint in the body, It is also the most delicate.
W/Y Raises: This movement will help to activate the muscles in the posterior chain associated with your shoulder. Long hours of bad posture can leave you with forward shoulders. This exercise strengthens the muscles that help to pull those shoulders back into position where movement does not risk impingement.
Elbow pain is so common in golf there is a condition named after it. Golfer’s Elbow. Think about how much your grip is worked during golf. All that overuse and tension can lead to muscle imbalances and improper loading, which can cause injury.
Banded Wrist Flexion/Extension: This exercise helps to strengthen and balance the muscles that control the wrist. These should be done with as much range of motion as possible.
So now lets put all this together. Before you go play a round of golf or the driving range, just perform this simple 4 minute routine.
Golf Injury Prevention Routine
A1 McGill Side Plank: 1 Min Each Side
A2 W/Y Raises: 1 Min
A3 Banded Wrist Flexion/Extension: 1 Min
We have to remember that golf is a sport! Athletes play sports. Athletes prepare for their sport. The same goes for the sport of golf. Golfers should at least have moderate levels of muscular strength and endurance. They would also need to have good aerobic conditioning and flexibility to move through a full range of motion.
What does all this mean?
A custom made fitness program would greatly benefit golfers of all skill levels. Elevating fitness levels greatly reduces the chance of injury, increases the ability to perform, and improves overall health.
What are you doing for your fitness program right now?
At Dark Horse Sports, we want to help you get back to enjoying your sport. Let us perform an assessment to determine how to make your weak points stronger so you can keep enjoying what you love to do. Contact us HERE to get started today!
Thanks for reading!