It’s that time of year again! Time to shine up the golf clubs and hit the links. After a long winter and less travel, we are all ready, but is our body?
Golf is a complicated combination of movement for the human body. Your body moves dynamically at each joint, which means that there are areas where you are lacking motion or flexibility, or areas where there is too much motion or flexibility, leading to potential injury.
Movement from each joint on one side of the body needs to turn inward (or internally rotate) as the opposite side of the body needs to turn outward (or externally rotate) simultaneously. If you lack mobility in one joint due to arthritis, an old injury, or just plain genetics; there are ways to identify other areas to get more motion from to safely compensate.
The posture of the spine plays an extremely important role in your golf swing, as a whole. This includes accuracy of where the ball lands. A spine that is too forward flexed will alter the precision of ball placement and can cause injury by faulty movement mechanics.
The strength you have in the supporting areas can assist in creating force in your swing, and the right expert can create a program to help maximize energy efficiency and power. For example, the hips play a major role in force and power production of the swing. The scapular (or shoulder blade muscles) can help increase the elastic forces for your backswing and follow through.
Balance is another area that can make or break our golf game, or at the very least increase our chances of coming out on top in our day off foursome, or weekend grudge match. In both the back swing and follow through, you are essentially on one leg and need to be able to effectively weight shift to other leg and balance a body in movement on it.
In addition, warming up and general fitness, such as walking regularly can help keep your muscles, joints, and ligaments healthy is an important part of keeping ourselves mobile.
Working on all of these pieces of the puzzle, together, you can maximize power, distance, accuracy, and recover from, or prevent, injuries from slowing down or halting your golf game.
At Spectrum Orthopaedics, we have specially trained physical therapists who are also golf movement specialists. This means, that we can get your body golf ready, rehab a current injury or assess what your specific needs are to get you the best result in your swing efficiency and help prevent injuries.
Golf can be enjoyed by bodies of all ages, sizes and levels. At Spectrum Ortho, we can get you the most golf enjoyment out of yours! Come see us or call for more details on how we can help improve your game.
Written by, Allison Pike Spectrum Orthopaedics physical therapist, S.T.S., CTKP, CPT