With the warm weather on its way, golfers are starting to dust off their clubs and head to the practice range or golf course to kick off the season. Although golf is usually perceived as a fairly low impact, leisurely activity, it has been estimated that every year roughly 40% of recreational golfers sustain an injury. Despite the high prevalence of golf injuries, many are preventable, with golf specific conditioning early in the season.
The golf swing requires adequate range of motion across many joints, combined with coordinated and powerful muscle contractions. Research has shown that improved overall fitness correlates with lower golf scores and less risk of injury. Proper conditioning for golf includes a variety of factors, such as the strengthening of particular muscle groups for a powerful swing, including the rotator cuff, scapular stabilizers and core musculature. Flexibility and mobility are also key components, especially in the hips, shoulders and trunk in order to achieve full and stable range of motion from the back swing to the follow through. The last fitness component essential for golf is balance. Poor balance will lead to faulty swing mechanics and compensatory patterns. Spending some time at the beginning of the golf season focusing on fitness and conditioning can add yards to your swing and help you play pain-free throughout the season.
Sheddon Physiotherapy and Sports Clinics physiotherapist, Robin Valadares, is currently completing his Level 2 Golf Specific Rehabilitation course taught by the Titleist Performance Institute (TPI). Robin is an avid golfer, and his love for the sport made him want to learn how to help golfers get stronger and play their best golf. TPI is the world’s leader in golf fitness, development and performance, with most of the top golfers in the world being advised/treated by TPI certified experts.
Below, Robin demonstrates some key exercises every golfer should include in their fitness routine.