Soreness and a tight back are often common ailments after a day on the course. Chronic back pain and severe joint tension are not. From poor posture and techniques to insufficient stretching and conditioning, golfing mechanics affecting more than a golfer's game may need to be tweaked to avoid long-term injury. The golfer can stay in shape and protected on the green by analyzing mechanics and adopting the following pointers.
Pre-tournament Stretching & Strengthening
Stepping onto the tee and swinging the club without proper stretching can affect a golfer's range of motion, resulting in injury or chronic pain. Sports specialist Dr. Mark Gulyas recommends on GolfWeek.com that golfers have a warm-up regimen to prevent sprains to the spinal disc or ligament, lower-back problems, torso stress and muscle tightness. Stretching is just as important as strengthening for improving accuracy, consistency and a powerful swing.
Avoid injury and increase flexibility with the following tips by Dr. Gulyas:
- Stretch throughout a round of golf, especially before and after
- Strengthen the core, back, shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips, and knees
- Engage in prolonged and slow warm-up stretches
- Train with rotational exercises and flexibility
Quick stretches from spine-health.com include:
- Hold the golf club behind the neck and shoulders; rotate the torso
- Pull knees to the chest to stretch hips
- Bend over and reach for toes to open up the hamstrings
Laser Spine Institute has been specializing in neck and back surgery alternatives since 2005. The outpatient surgery center offers spine recovery and rehabilitative exercise videos for a golfer who's already experiencing spinal strain and discomfort.
A golfer can only improve his game by practicing, and optimal practice includes self-analysis. Golfers rely on the Ubersense Golf app for recording and analyzing golf swings. Use the golf bag as a camera stand and make sure the camera is 6 to 10 feet away from the subject. (A mini-pod and the ground work fine too). An entire video recording of multiple swings can be split into single clips. Record 3 to 10 continuous swings for an optimal swing rhythm.
The golfer can use the footage to compare their various swings and technique. Videos can be controlled separately using the playback bar and viewed stacked on top of one another. Users can also save and capture annotations, such as drawings and slow motion, using the Coach Review feature.
Golf requires skill as well as stamina, core strength and flexibility. Yoga practice can help shape bodies and sharpen minds for dynamic movements. Katherine Roberts' Yoga for Golfers specializes in high-level golf training using yoga postures. She offers instructional videos that concentrate on the following areas:
The goal of Roberts' yoga-golf training is to condition the mind and body for top performance. The golfer can also learn about neck and back mobility, healthy eating habits and mental tips for improving the golf game.
Guest Post by Andy Wallace.