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.
Everyone is always looking for the secret to a longer, healthier life. As we all know, exercise is beneficial both psychologically and physically. Running/jogging is one of the most convenient leisure time activities. But how much (or little) do you have to do in order to see benefits? Lee et al., (2014) recently examined the associations between running and all-cause mortality risk in 55 137 adults (age 18-100 years old). The amount of running you have to do in order to see a significantly reduced risk of death will shock you.
The study found that compared to non-runners, runners had a 30-45% lower risk of death, regardless of sex, age, BMI, health conditions, smoking status and alcohol consumption. Runners also lived an average of 3 years longer than non-runners. In addition, adults who consistently ran (for longer than 6 years) had the most significant mortality benefits. Lastly, you don’t have to be an ultra-marathon runner or Speedy Gonzales to reap the benefits of running. Running at lower doses and slower speeds (5-10 min/day at <6 miles/hr) was also associated with markedly reduced risks of death. Is more better? Not necessarily! Research has shown that once you reach >50 min/day of running there is no additional mortality benefits.
Take home message:
- The most common barrier for adults trying to become physically active is “lack of time.” This study can be a great motivator for those adults looking to become more active and healthy. All you have to do is 5-10 min a day of light easy jogging (that’s equivalent to only 2-3 songs on your iPod…or Stairway to Heaven if you want some stretching time as well).
- If you are sedentary and want to become more active, don’t get discouraged if you can’t jog consistently for 5 minutes. Start with a walk-jog program like the example below:
- Walk 1 min., jog 1 min.;
Progress to walk 1 min., jog 2 min.;
Walk 1 min., jog 3 min., etc.
Still not sure where to start? You can ask any of the therapists at Sheddon Physiotherapy and Sports Clinic on how to incorporate jogging/physical activity into your lifestyle, based on your injuries and health issues.
Lee et al., (2014). Leisure-time running reduces all-cause and cardiovascular mortality risk. Journal of American College of Cardioology. 64, 5.