Three Things to Consider to Have a Great Start to Your 2018 Golf Season
With golf season right around the corner here are three important things to consider to be sure that you are feeling, moving and scoring great!
#1) Take Care of Previous Injuries
Many people finish the golf season with injuries (big or small) that they have been playing through and when the season is over hope that some rest from golf or a change of activity is all they need to recover form these injures. This can be the case for acute injures but if your injury developed gradually over a few weeks or a month, the injury likely happened as the result of an underlying problem with the way you are moving. By resting, the tissue will likely heal and the pain will decrease. However, if the underlying mechanism is not corrected, the pain and injury will come back when you return to the activity that created it in the first place (golf). The best place to start addressing previous injuries is to have an assessment by a golf rehab professional. Your injury AND underlying functional issues will be diagnosed so an individualized plan can be created to address both. This will get you pain free and keep you that way when you return to the game.
#2) General Fitness Does Not Equal Golf Fitness
Many golfers that hang up the clubs for the summer and fill their spare time with hockey, running, or working out to become stronger and stay in shape. These activities are great for general fitness but often translate very poorly into golf performance.
By working to improve your general fitness your body adapts to the activities you are doing. If the demands are different than required in golf, you will likely have developed some issues or dysfunction with golf specific movements.
A golf specific offseason program will be based on how your body moves in relation to the swing. The program will target specific areas that YOU need to improve to allow your body to make an efficient swing. Everybody has different goals and needs and there is no one size fits all golf fitness program. Once you are moving properly, the program will transition to making your stronger and faster in golf specific motions. By skipping the first and most important step of creating proper movement, you will likely be training fitness on a dysfunctional foundation. In golfing terms this would be like going to the range and spending hours practicing and reinforcing slicing the ball. Practice makes permanent!
Here are a few good exercises to improve 2 of the most common movement limitations in golfers (Thoracic spine rotation and hip rotation).
1) Thoracic spine rotation: Open books (Clink to view video)
2) Hip rotation: Hip drops (Click to view video).
Follow @drsmeats26 for exercise progressions.
#3) Warm up to hit balls, don’t warm up by hitting balls
Early in the season your body will need some time to get used to the stress of swinging club more frequently than previous months. There will be an increased likelihood of being stiff and not using your stabilizing muscles correctly. By performing a warm up for golf you will get your body ready to swing a club by improving your range of motion and activating important stabilizing muscles while improving your muscles ability to lengthen and contract.
For more details on the why to warm up and how easy it can be, stay tuned for my next newsletter on the golf warm up. I will outline why it is beneficial and get right into a very quick and practical warm up for the range or gym.
Written by: Dr. Jeff Smeaton, Chiropractor