An average golfer makes roughly 50-60 full swings per round. Each swing puts our joints near their end range of motion, particularly in the shoulders, spine and hips. If one does not possess the range of motion or strength to do this, then we put ourselves at additional risk of injury - which is why 46% of women suffer from low back pain and injuries from golfing.
Reduce your risk of injury with these essential strength and stability exercises for all golfers - but especially women.
Working with many golfers, healthy and injured, I notice trends in the physical characteristics between male and female golfers. For example, women tend to have much better mobility while men typically possess more strength while lacking range of motion.
Because of this, female golfers usually benefit from strength and stability exercise routines to help their muscles better protect their body while swinging a golf club. A simple warm-up routine (before you touch a golf club) that activates these muscles will have drastic effects on your body's capabilities.
Use these two simple exercises to increase stability in your back and core, and to help protect your spine while golfing. If necessary, I recommend a physical screen and swing analysis to determine specific areas of emphasis that can improve your golf game and keep your body healthy.
Arm/Leg Floor Stretch
- Start in the quadruped position (all fours) with arms and thighs perpendicular to the floor.
- While stabilizing your spine in a neutral pelvic posture, extend your right leg and left arm simultaneously.
- Make sure your spine stays neutral throughout the maneuver and repeat with the opposite side.
"Y" Exercise Ball Stretch
- Lie on your stomach on top of an exercise ball with your arms out in front of you as though you are making the letter “Y.”
- Raise your right arm and your left leg in the air and hold for 5 seconds.
- Repeat this with the left arm and right leg. Perform 10 reps on each side. This builds the important muscles in the back that will help protect you during your golf swing.
Adam Halseth is a Physical Therapist and Golf Medical Professional with a Level 3 certification from the Titleist Performance Institute. He specializes in sports medicine and golf rehabilitation, and directs the OI Golf Medicine Program. Adam graduated from Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences with his Doctorate in Physical Therapy in 2014.