Getting into the “swing” of things!

It’s that time of year again, folks; the ground’s drying up (finally…), the sun’s out longer, the trees are budding, and the Masters Championship at Augusta National is underway.
Golf is a great form of physical activity and can be a great business and social activity as well. Playing a full 18-hole round can take about 4-4.5 hrs, and result in about 6-7 km of walking (unless you’re venturing off into the woods every few swings like myself…). As well as having that cardiovascular fitness, golf also requires a fair amount of flexibility and the ability to deal with repeated high powered movements. All of these are on top of the hand-eye coordination needed to hit a ball the size of a chestnut into a hole the size of a coaster.

Most golfers focus on that last part, working on their swing over and over again, but forget to address the other factors (cardiovascular fitness, strength, flexibility) that may help their game and prevent injuries after already paying their club fees. So, what type of stuff should you be doing?

Cardiovascular Fitness
The first thing you can do to help ensure a successful start to the season is make sure you feel comfortable walking the distance you need to get around a course. You want to feel comfortable as you walk the fairways, because you don’t want to be huffing and puffing lining up that shot that could be the difference between you or your friend buying lunch after the round.
Make sure to start your walking at a distance that’s comfortable for you, and slowly work your way up, taking breaks as needed

As you can see when watching a slow motion golf swing there are a lot of moving parts. If any of these parts are restricted, other parts of your body will have to compensate to try and help you achieve the desired movement/swing. Quite often, we see restrictions, most commonly at the mid-back and hips, which are crucial in the rotation and generation of torque on the club. Exercises targeted at restoring and maintaining the range of motion in these joints can help prevent excess stress on your knees and lower back.

Although golf may not seem like a sport requiring much strength, the high speeds involved in striking the ball put a lot of stress through your muscles and tendons. If the structures aren’t ready for those high impulses, you risk injury. Exercises targeted at strengthening specific areas prone to injury (back, shoulder, elbow, wrist) can help to keep you on the course longer and even improve your ability to generate torque (club speed).

Golf is already a tough enough game as it is – you want to put yourself at as much of an advantage as you can. If you’re interested in discussing any of these points further, or would like to have a preventative program tailored for you, book online or contact us at info@agiletherapy.com

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