3 Ways To Stay Injury Free This Golf Season!
The snow is melting and the nice weather is upon us and for many of us, we start to keep on eye on when the golf courses are going to open! After being cooped up all winter, nothing sounds more refreshing than a round of golf on a beautiful spring day.
As the fall grew colder and nice days become few and far between, we put those clubs into storage and haven’t touched them since. We retreated to our “off-season” activities to stay active throughout the winter, but very few activities challenge our bodies in the way that golf will. Extreme rotations, accelerations, decelerations, dissociation of limbs, core strength and the list goes on… Golf challenges the body every time we set foot on the course. Without those challenges throughout the winter, our body becomes deconditioned. Don’t get me wrong, you may have stayed in shape thanks to those other activities, however, those movements are hard to mimic, and certain muscles may now be a risk for injury.
As the new golf season starts, we want to ensure that we are not going to end up sidelined due to a preventable injury.
A good warm up is a great start to staying injury free this golf season!
If you’re not one to warm up, your first swing of the day may be when you step up to the first tee where you try to swing as hard as you can to knock the dust off that has been accumulating since last fall. This leaves us prone to injury as our muscles and joints may not be prepared for those extreme movements.
A warm up is essential for not only INJURY PREVENTION but also to IMPROVE YOUR SWING.
Your warm up can improve your swing by getting those muscles loose and increasing your available movement in order to get full rotation and full power.
Your body will be less prone to injuries after a proper warm up as well. This is because we are getting blood flow to the muscles, improving their flexibility and loosening them up! We should keep our warm up dynamic for best results! Keep in mind the first round or two of the season may be a bit chilly, this makes warming up those muscles even more important as cold muscles are more prone to injury.
Here are a few moves that I have chosen that hit a wide range (get it.. range.. like a golf range?!) of muscles in a short amount of time (so no excuse that you don’t have time to do it!!) (See video below for demonstrations)
Leg swings will warm up the hip muscles up. As you bring the leg forward, you use the muscles in the front to stretch the muscles in the back and as you bring the leg back it is the reverse; using the muscles in the back of the hip to stretch the muscles in the front. We also use some momentum to ensure that we are getting to the end range to get a good stretch. With your golf swing, you shoulder definitely be using your hips to maximize on your power so it is essential to warm them up. You will repeat this 10x each side.
Forward Fold Rotations:
By bending forward, we are asking the core to engage to avoid tipping over. Warming up the core is important since we will be using it to maximize the rotation in our swing. We will also be asking the muscles at the back of the hip to turn on to give us support. While in that position, we will be doing trunk rotations to stretch the shoulders. Be sure to rotate those shoulders far enough to feel a stretch through both the front and back of the shoulders. You will repeat this 10x each direction.
Core Rotations with Club:
With a club over our shoulders, this helps us focus on getting true trunk rotation. You’ll start by simply rotating the trunk without the hips involved. This way, you’re focusing on upper body warm up. After 10 repetitions each way, you can then start with larger rotations that incorporate the hips, this way we will be mimicking the golf swing a little more closely. From there, you will repeat both the small and large rotations while incorporating a hip hinge. Bending slightly at the waits will wake that core up again and get up even closer to our golf swing form. You will complete 10 small rotations each way, followed by 10 large, followed by 10 small while in a hip hinge and then finally 10 large while in a hip hinge.