Preparing for the Upcoming Golf Season and Injury Prevention Through Mobility
Many of you like myself have been out golfing a couple of times already and feeling the effects of not swinging a club for 3 months. You may have been hitting errant shots or feeling stiff and sore following the round. So what do you need to work on first to improve your swing and make it look as effortless as the pros? My answer is mobility. Mobility is essential in order for the body to properly move and perform the same swing time after time, along with injury prevention. Performing a static stretching program along with a dynamic warm-up before playing a round will help you swing within your capabilities and improve efficient contact with every swing. Mobility as well as movement patterns are what we look at first as a TPI professional during our evaluations to tailor a swing that works within the capabilities of your body commonly referred to as “The Body Swing Connection”. Along with increasing mobility, we like to work on movement patterns between segments to allow for proper kinematic sequence and decrease unnecessary forces on unstable joints. For today I want to focus on how mobility can affect the golf swing and what you can do to improve it.
Mobility can be affected by either joint range of motion or muscle flexibility. The joint can be affected with degenerative changes as we age, trauma, or post-surgical limitations while muscle flexibility can also be affected by trauma or post-surgical limitations, but is primarily affected by posture and muscle imbalances. I’m sure everyone has heard someone in the gallery telling you to keep your head down, but did you ever think it was caused by poor mobility in your mid back, if your back does not twist around as far as you think it should, you’ll start standing up during the back swing, (i.e. not keep your head down). These swing flaws can also be caused by poor neck, shoulder, or hip mobility. The best way to work on your game and avoid injury is by finding out what your body is capable of and working within its limitations. If you don’t like those limitations, a good way to start is with a stretching program performed daily either after a warm-up or following your normal workout routine. For the best outcomes, you should contact your TPI professional for an evaluation and they will prescribe you a custom stretching program that will address your mobility along with other exercises for proper motor sequence, stability, and strength so you can enjoy this season of golf with friends or family.
A special thank you to our TPI certified physical therapist assistant, Brad Walchek, for the information in this blog.