Golf is a sport played by all ages. It is the type of sport that some people will play into their 80s. To be able to play for that long, it is important to avoid injuries and take proper care of them when they do occur. The golf swing involves twisting and movements to the end range of motion, therefore it is important to maximize flexibility in some areas. However, it is just as important to maintain strength in the muscles that control these movements. Additionally, a strong core is beneficial to successfully transfer force between the upper and lower extremities during the swing. Finally, due to the complexity of the golf stroke, sometimes professional guidance on technique can help prevent injury.
The golf swing requires turning around the shoulders, trunk, and hips. Improved flexibility in these areas can help prevent injury. The wrist and elbow are commonly injured among golfers, maximizing range of motion of the forearm musculature is important for injury prevention.
Posterior Capsule Stretch
Pull your arm across your body and push through your elbow. Hold 30 seconds, 3 times.
Lie down on your back with your arms outstretched. Lift your knees up in the air and rotate to the left, hold for 10 seconds and then rotate to the right.
Hip Rotation Stretch
Place your back hip in internal rotation and extend backwards. Place the other hip in front rotated into external rotation. Hold 30 seconds, 3 times.
Wrist and Elbow Stretches
With your arm stretched out in front, pull your fist down to stretch the back of your forearm. Turn your palm up and bend your hand down. Hold each stretch for 30 seconds, 3 times.
Improving strength around the commonly injured areas of the body can help prevent the onset of pain and might even add a few yards to your drive!
Shoulder Rotator Cuff Strengthening
Using a band to provide resistance, rotate your arm in and out. Do 20 reps, 2 sets.
Pull Down Row
Tie a band overhead and pull the band down and back, squeezing your shoulder blades together. Do 20 reps, 2 sets.
Stability Ball Arm Raises
Lean over a stability ball with your arms stretched over head. Pull your shoulder blades into the opposite back pocket and lift your arms up.
Maintaining a strong core can help prevent low back pain and potentially improve your score.
Starting on hands and knees then raise opposite arm and leg. Repeat on the other side. Hold 5-10 seconds, 10 times.
Lie on your side and prop up on elbow and feet (or knee if too challenging) and maintain plank position.
Lay on your back with your knees bent and a band tied around your knees. Stretch the band and lift your hips up.
Golf Game Factors
There are factors related to the game of golf that contribute to injury. It is a repetitive game by nature and this can lead to overuse injuries. It is important to have an appropriate work-rest interval when playing or practicing on the driving range. Since the golf swing is so complex, getting help from a certified teaching professional can help reduce the onset of injury due to a poor quality swing. Equipment can also play a role in injury prevention. In addition to properly fitted clubs, other equipment such as brace, orthotics, or oversized grips can aid in preventing pain. Finally, it is important to have a routine of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, conditioning, and warming up to prepare for your round can keep you in the game.