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.