Tag Archives: golf

Sheddon Physion Sports Clinic Oakville Mississauga

Looking “Fore”ward to the Golf Season

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.

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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.

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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. golf injury prevention balance Sheddon Physion Sports Clinic Oakville Mississauga

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.prevention Sheddon Physion Sports Clinic Oakville Mississauga

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 at our website Sheddon Physiotherapy and Sports Clinic.

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Bring your Golf Game to the Next Level

concussion types treatment Sheddon Physioyherapy Sports Clinic Oakville Mississauga

Would you like to improve your golf performance?

Are you constantly getting injured during the golf season?

Would you like to prevent golf injuries this summer?

If you answered “Yes!” to any of these questions, then keep reading. Sheddon Physiotherapy and Sports Clinics physiotherapist, Robin Valadares, recently attended a golf specific rehabilitation program 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. During Robin’s certification program he learned TPI’s 16-step physical screening approach, which assesses how the body moves. These 16 tests analyze different movement patterns and how they can affect a player’s golf swing and potentially lead to injuries. Once specific limitations and faulty movement patterns are identified, the athlete can work towards enhancing or eliminating that physical limitation in order to maximize their game and prevent injury.

During your initial assessment, a detailed history of current and previous injuries will be addressed, as well as your golf performance goals. A physical assessment will also 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 physiotherapy and golf specific exercises that will be taught to you.

As a physiotherapist, I look for areas where the body may be at risk of injury as well as working with players to overcome injury. We are part of the team, with the fitness coach/professional and most importantly the golf professional. I will NOT teach swing mechanics, but I will help foster a more apt body for those mechanics.” Robin Valadares

Don’t wait until injury prevents you from a swinging a club. Get assessed while the season is just starting in order to find out how to prevent injuries, get stronger and bring your golf game to the next level. Robin Valadares, Jason Kobrick and Erin Shapcott have all completed golf specific rehabilitation courses and can help answer any questions you may have.

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Swing into Golf without Lower Back Pain

With the warmer weather approaching, the driving ranges and golf courses will become much busier with golfers eager to start the season. Although golf is usually perceived as a fairly low impact, leisure activity, it has been estimated that every year roughly 40% of recreational golfers sustain an injury, with the most common site of injury being the lower back. Research has shown that the compression force going through the lumbar spine in amateur golfers when driving the ball, is roughly 6100 N. In comparison, cadaver studies have shown that a lumbar disc will herniate at forces around 5500 N. As such, although the golf swing appears fluid and easy, there is certainly enough force produced in the spine to lead to lower back injury. Many other factors can lead to lower back pain, including aspects of the golf swing itself, overall fitness level and regular habits on the golf course, such as how you transport your clubs, whether you warm up or not and how often you practice. 

Why do golfers get lower back pain and what can you do to prevent it?

Core strength

The core muscles play a critical role in protecting and stabilizing the lower back during the golf swing. Furthermore, using these muscles properly during the golf swing has also been shown to help increase club head speed and power. Research has shown that golfers with lower back pain have decreased core strength and don’t use their core properly during their golf swing. A golf specific core exercise program begins with learning how to isolate the key muscles to progressions on how to incorporate them into your golf swing. TIP: Next time you’re getting ready to hit the ball, reduce the amount of stress on the lower back structures by turning on your core muscles. In order to do this, think about drawing in your belly button and tightening your abdominal muscles prior to starting your backswing.

Flexibility

Flexibility is 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. Research has shown that lack of rotation in the hips (especially the lead hip) will put increased stress through the spine. TIP: If you are lacking mobility in your hips or lower back, you may want to try turning both your feet out 25 degrees when setting up to hit the ball. This slight toe-out position will decrease the amount of rotation that needs to come from the spine.

Transporting your clubs

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As nice as it would be to have a caddy carrying your clubs, the vast majority of recreational golfers have to depend on themselves to lug their clubs around the course. Research has shown that golfers who carry their clubs are significantly more likely to develop lower back pain, since the weight of the bag leads to increased compression loads on the spine. However, pull carts can also be problematic, as they require twisting of the spine, and riding in a golf cart doesn’t allow the muscles to warm up and stay loose as they would while walking. TIP: If you’re an avid golfer with lower back pain, your best bet is to splurge and get a remote controlled electronic cart that you can walk beside; second best would be a push cart.

Golf Club Fit

Off the shelf clubs are a standard length, with womens’ clubs designed for someone who is 5’4″ and mens’ clubs for someone who is 5’10″. As such, if you’re a 6’3″ male, buying a set of clubs off the shelf, you will certainly notice that you need to bend a lot more during your downswing to make contact with the ball. This will lead to increased flexion and side bending in the spine, which over a course of 18 holes will eventually lead to strain on the lower back. TIP: Spending the extra money to get your clubs properly fitted, will help your swing and your lower back.

Posture

Set-up posture plays a crucial role in how much stress will be generated in the lower back. If the lower back is slouched, then there is increased risk for injury. TIP: Make sure that when you’re addressing the ball that your knees are slightly bent and you are bending from the hips, not the back.

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Want to read more tips on preventing golf injuries, click here.

At Sheddon Physiotherapy and Sports Clinic, our level 4 FITforeGOLF™ certified providers focus on innovative research on the science of golf health and performance. Therapy focuses on swing mechanics, coupled with a golfer’s specific injury to get the him/her back on the course faster and injury free.

This blog was based on the works of David Lindsay PT MSc and Dean Walker CPGA who have taught excellent courses to our therapists through the FITforeGOLF™ program. For more information you can visit the FITforeGOLF™ website at www.fitforegolf.com

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