Back into the Swing of Things
After a cold, snowy, and record-setting winter in Baltimore, believe it or not, golf is just around the corner. The last thing you want this season is to be sidelined because of an injury after being sidelined by the weather. Golf is a game involving dynamic, athletic movement that entails neurological and musculoskeletal components. In order for you to return to top form, you must take care of the most important aspect of your game: your body.
PGA athletes make major changes to their bodies during the off-season in order to better their games. Not only can physical activity, golf-specific exercises and stretching improve your game, but it can also help prevent injury during the season. If you are an individual that has to use pain medication to get through a round of golf, it might be time to change the way your body is moving.
In general, the most important muscles to have strength and stability in are the glutes, lower abdominals, and scapular stabilizers (assist the shoulder’s rotator cuff muscles while in motion). Other parts of the body require increased mobility, such as the hamstrings, hips, thoracic spine (mid-back), and shoulders. A good off-season regimen can help to keep you on the links. Golf-specific stretching and strengthening can greatly benefit golfers of all ages.
To help decrease your chances of injury and improve your game, make sure that you are performing a warm-up stretching routine prior to each round. Focus on those areas where mobility is required in the swing.
A quick 5-minute warm-up:
- Hamstring Stretch
- Glute Stretch
- Hip Flexor Stretch
- Pec (chest) Stretch
- Calf Stretch
Hold each stretch for 30 seconds and perform 2 of each. 5 minutes before the round can help you to prevent hours of pain and agony that could occur because of an injury.