Most golfers focus on hitting the gym to increase their strength, which can lead to increased speed, power and longer drives. However, if a golfer is lacking the mobility to go through a full golf swing, then being stronger won’t make a huge difference to your overall golf game. Golfers need to first work on being able to achieve the full range of motion required during the golf swing before worrying about getting strong.
What are the benefits of increased mobility?
Ankles – The ankles play a key role in your ability to get into the correct golf posture. Poor ankle mobility (specifically dorsiflexion), leads to a faulty set up posture, swing pattern and loss of balance during the swing.
Hips – Having the ability to rotate fully through the hips (internally and externally) has been shown to produce a more effective swing, which produces more power and speed. Lack of hip rotation has also been strongly linked with lower back compensations and golf related lower back pain.
Shoulders – Mobility of the shoulders helps generate increased club head speed and control. Lack of shoulder mobility will lead to shoulder, elbow and thoracic spine injuries.
Thoracic Spine (upper back) – Mobility of the thoracic spine allows adequate rotation for the swing and increases club head speed. Decreased mobility in the thoracic spine leads to compensations with the lower back and an increase in lower back pain and injury.
Neck – During your backswing you will need a certain amount of neck rotation. If your neck mobility is restricted, you will have a faulty swing pattern with a limited backswing.
If you want to know if you’re restricted in any particular body part, try doing the overhead squat test, which is a great way to look at shoulder, thoracic spine, hip and ankle mobility. Want more guidance? Get assessed at Sheddon Physiotherapy, where Jason Kobrick and Erin Shapcott have both completed their golf specific rehabilitation courses and can help answer any of your questions.
While Halton is covered in mounds of snow, not many people are thinking about the upcoming golf season. However, this is the perfect time of year to start tailoring your exercise program or to have any current injuries addressed in order to ensure that you hit the links stronger and pain free.
If you look at today’s top golfers, most, if not all, do some form of strength training. The golf swing involves powerful muscle contractions coming from multiple body parts. The key areas to focus on are the rotator cuff and scapular stabilizers, the trunk and core musculature, and the glutes and hip extensors.
What are the benefits of lifting weights?
1. More strength equals more speed/force;
2. Reduces golf specific injuries by 30-50%;
3. Results in longer drives and distance on your iron shots;
4. May increase your accuracy and consistency;
5. Can increase your putting distance control
Strength gains generally take up to 8 weeks of consistent training before seeing any progress. Don’t wait until the snow melts and courses open. Get ready now and spend the warmer weather at the range and on the course working on your technique. Not sure where to start? Get assessed at Sheddon Physiotherapy, where Jason Kobrick and Erin Shapcott have both completed their golf specific rehabilitation courses and can help answer any of your questions.
Stay tuned for our next Blog discussing Golf and Mobility.
As an avid runner, I’m quite familiar with the fellow runners in my community. Since the pitches, arenas and gyms have all been closed, I’ve noticed a huge surge in the amount of people who have taken up jogging as a new form of exercise. While jogging/running is a great workout, you need to be mindful of several risk factors that could lead to injury. Whether you’re a seasoned runner, or just a beginner, here are some tips to keep you running pain free.
Tip #1: Don’t let your old, lingering injuries wreak havoc on your running form and potentially cause new injuries. For example, that nagging knee pain that you ignore may be part of a bigger problem, like weakness in your glutes, which likely will change your biomechanics and put more stress on the knee, ITB or achilles, along with annoying knee pain you will likely develop hip and calf pain. All the therapists at Sheddon can be reached by email and will gladly set up a Telehealth appointment to discuss strategies and exercises to help you overcome old injuries. Don’t wait until it’s too late, or until we re-open the clinic. Fix your injuries now!
Tip #2: Newbie runners are more susceptible to injury and should focus on slowly progressing their distance in order to avoid injury. Increasing one’s distance too quickly is one of the most common risk factors for injury in runners. The golden rule is that you should increase your distance by no more than 10% each week. As a beginner, you should just focus on running consistently 2-3 days/week, and don’t worry too much about increasing your distance at first.
Tip #3: CROSS-TRAIN!!! Running is great, but you need to add strength training to prevent muscle imbalances from the repetitive nature of running.
Tip #4: What you put on your feet matters. Not every running shoe is the same, and not every runner has the same foot. Runners will have a different preference in what shoes work best for them. Unfortunately, with stores closed, you can’t exactly walk into the Running Room and ask to try on every shoe in order to see which one feel the best. In the meantime, you can make do with what you have, if your current shoes aren’t causing you any issues. Otherwise, if you have a shoe that’s worked for you in the past, you can order them online. Not sure where to start? You can ask our Pedorthist, Sarah.
Tip #5: Don’t be afraid to ask for help. There are many professionals who deal with every running issue that you could possibly imagine. The therapists at Sheddon can help you with injury prevention, exercise prescription, running shoe selection, and gait analysis. The group at the Running Room can help you with training programs and gear. Surround yourself with the right people.
If you are in need of our services and are curious if virtual care is an option for you, please click on the link below to schedule a Free 10-minute Telehealth Discovery session with one of us.
With the warmer weather approaching, many avid golfers are itching to get to the driving range and golf courses. Doug Ford announced last week that golf courses can begin preparing for the season. However, golf is going to look a little different this season because of COVID-19. Most clubs have been collaborating in order to brainstorm ways to ensure that courses open safely. Physical distancing must still be upheld at all times, and ball washers, benches, and bunker rakes will be removed. There will be fewer tee off times and longer intervals between groups. Furthermore, don’t expect to kick back and enjoy a bite to eat or a drink afterwards, as dining rooms and clubhouses will initially remain closed. Despite all these changes, many are still looking forward to dusting off their clubs. What can you start doing now, while you are isolated at home in order to be ready for your first round?
The golf swing involves powerful muscle contractions coming from multiple body parts, with a lot of stress being generated on certain muscles, joints and ligaments. 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. The exercise below helps develop trunk and lower body stability, upper body strength, core strength and rotary mobility.
Instructions: Loop a theraband around your arms. Start in a proper golf address position, engage your core and bring your arms slightly apart so there is tension on the theraband. Raise your arms into a half backswing slowly and follow through into a downswing. Repeat 10 times per side and 3 sets.
Flexibility is also a key component, especially in the hips, shoulders and trunk in order to achieve a full range of motion from the back swing to the follow through. Below you will find a great exercise to develop better flexibility in your chest muscles, thoracic spine, rib cage, shoulders and lower back.
Instructions: Lie on your side with your top knee bent at around 90 degrees supported on a medicine ball (or something of equal height to keep the pelvis level). Place the arms out in front of you at shoulder level with the palms facing each other. Slowly lift your top arm up opening up your chest as you rotate the trunk. Try to keep both shoulders on the ground, and your knee in contact with the ball, as you look over your top shoulder. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on each side 3 times.
Another fitness component that is often overlooked in golf is cardiovascular fitness. Walking the average golf course is equivalent to walking 10 km. Once you add in a few fairway hills, sand bunkers and carrying or pulling your clubs, the peak heart rate for most golfers can get as high as 80% of the maximum heart rate value. While practicing social distancing, take the opportunity to go for a walk. Start with 15 minutes and gradually increase the time and difficulty (add hills, etc.).
The last fitness component essential for golf is balance. Poor balance will lead to faulty swing mechanics and compensatory patterns. The exercise below is a great exercise to work on overall balance and stability.
Instructions: Stand on one leg, keeping the hips leveled. Reach forward as far as you can while keeping your balance (you can bend the support knee slightly). Come back to the center and without putting your foot down on the ground, reach out to the side as far as you can. Come back to the center and without putting your foot down on the ground, reach back and across to the opposite side as far as you can. Come back to the center and repeat the sequence.
While you’re home you can also take the opportunity to work on your short game. You can easily set up targets in your backyard, such as hula hoops, and practice trying to chip the ball, and have it land in the hoop. You can also work on your putting stroke whether it be on carpet or a fancy indoor putting green.
Don’t wait until injury prevents you from swinging a club. Get assessed now, before the season starts, to find out how to prevent injuries, get stronger and bring your golf game to the next level. While our clinic is closed, we are still open for virtual telerehab appointments. During your appointment, a physical assessment will be completed in order to identify any areas of weakness or potential limitations. From this assessment, a plan will be put in place addressing any areas needing improvement, which is usually achieved through golf specific exercises that will be taught to you.
If you want more information on how to treat your current golf injury or develop a golf specific training program to reduce the risk of injury this season, your Sheddon Physiotherapist can get you started. Call us at (905) 849-4576 or visit us.
Although our clinic doors are closed, the staff at Sheddon Physiotherapy and Sports Clinic are still working hard to accommodate you during these difficult times, and into the future. We have been providing Telehealth virtual therapy appointments for a number of weeks and patients are seeing the benefits of continued care. We are also happy to announce that we now offer online booking.
Our new online booking system is beneficial, as you can now book your appointments easily online. Furthermore, on your “dashboard”, you can see upcoming appointments, you can access all your Physiotec exercise programs, as well as any outstanding balances on your account. You also have the added convenience of keeping everyone in the family under one profile, which makes it easier for booking appointments.
The portal will only allow you to book appointments for the next business day. If you would like to book an appointment for the same day please call us (905) 849-4576 to check availability. At this moment, we are only booking virtual appointments through the client portal. Once we are able to deliver hands-on treatment again, you will be able to secure your appointments using this portal to book almost all services at Sheddon Physiotherapy (except Concussion, Vertigo and MVA appointments).
In order to complete registration, and take advantage of the online booking option, you will receive an invitation via email with the appropriate link. If you prefer not to create a client portal account with us, you can safely disregard this email.
We are also working hard to provide advice, education and exercise tips via our Facebook and Instagram page. You can also check out our Instagram TV account for videos on the latest news regarding the clinic.
Lastly, with Mother’s Day coming up, why not buy a massage gift certificate to pamper the ones you care about. It can be mailed, picked up, or delivered if in the Oakville area.
At Sheddon, we are family, and family takes care of one another. Our clients are part of this family and deserve the best experience.
SHEDDON IS OPEN
Read here about latest updates regarding COVID-19 protocol.