In recent years, fitness and health have received much more attention when it comes to professional golf. Every golfer on tour has a fitness routine, as well as a comprehensive warm-up prior to tournament rounds. However, the vast majority of amateur golfers have not adopted this idea.
The golf swing takes our bodies to its end limits of motion, while requiring strength and speed throughout. This is not only very challenging, but also creates a lot of opportunity for injuries. Improving the way your body moves and its strength in relation to your golf swing will absolutely improve your ability to swing a club and significantly reduce your risk of pain and injuries.
Below are just a few examples of how fixing your body can improve your golf game.
Listen to Your Body
A vast majority of golfers have aches and pains. Sometimes pain sets in after your round, sometimes it waits until the next morning and sometimes it is evident with every swing. Other golfers may not feel the ache until later in the golf season. Whichever the case, these are warning signs. There is a reason you're experiencing this, and there is certainly a way to prevent it. Get your aches and pains treated now to prevent further injuries and time lost on the golf course.
Know Your Limitations
This part can be challenging. Do you have poor mobility in your hips, back or shoulders? Is your balance poor? These, among other physical traits, are very important to know when designing your swing. Don’t try to swing like your favorite PGA Tour player—you likely don’t have the same physical qualities. Injuries tend to happen when people try swinging a club in ways in which their bodies aren't physically able. There are two choices—design your swing around your limitations or improve your physical limitations. A golf medicine provider can design specific exercises and treatments and also consult with your instructor to help you attain a swing that is good for your body and golf game.
Warm Up First
No matter the sport—including golf, warming up is critical. Many players will head the driving range and hit balls before they play and consider that a warm-up. It is not. A majority of injuries, especially in amateurs, can be avoided with a simple warm-up routine. Research also shows that warming up properly can actually improve driving distance! Make sure you feel loose and break a sweat before the first swing, whether it's on the range or at the first tee.
Start simple—do some squats with no weight, take short jogs—anything to strengthen upper back muscles will get you properly warmed up. Each golfer should develop a specific warm-up routine that works for them, takes no more than 15 minutes and is based on their specific physical limitations.
Golf Medicine at Orthopedic Institute
Orthopedic Institute's Adam Halseth is the only Titleist Performance Institute Certified Medical Practitioner in the Sioux Falls and surrounding area. He specializes in diagnosing and treating golf-related injuries. Call Orthopedic Institute (605-331-5890) to set up an appointment.