Thousands of golfers will be sidelined this year from a back injury. Many golfers choose a “grip it and rip it” type attitude and are at high risk of injuring themselves.
To fully enjoy the game of golf injury-free, a season long stretching and strengthening program should be implemented. Golf is a highly repetitive and one-sided game that often leads to imbalances in the shoulders, hips, neck and even the feet. Chiropractors specialize in locating muscular and structural imbalances in addition to spinal misalignments. A personalized program of stretching and strengthening prescribed by a doctor of chiropractic will allow you to decrease your chance of being injured and allow you to enjoy a healthy golf season.
There is nothing worse than back pain sidelining you in the middle of a round of golf. So what can you do to decrease your chances of being injured? An easy way to decrease your chance of spinal injury is to shorten your backswing. Research shows that a shortened backswing allows you to generate the same amount of clubhead speed as a long one, reducing your chance of injury and increasing accuracy. So the next time you hit the links, try shortening your backswing, you’ll be able to hit the ball just as far and you will significantly reduce your chance of suffering a back injury.
Warm-up tip for golfers
As you know, golfers are especially prone to back injuries. What steps can you take to protect your back when you golf?
- Stretch before you leave home. You should stretch your hamstrings, back muscles, shoulders and calves.
- At the golf course, warm-up by putting and chipping first for about 15 minutes.
- The next phase of your warm-up is to hit 15-20 short iron shots (pitching wedge through 7 iron) at the driving range. GO EASY.
- Finish your warm-up by slowly swinging your driver.
- In addition, shorten your backswing. Your clubhead speed will not be reduced and you will significantly decrease the chance of injuring your back.
Are your hands the weak link?
The hands are a very important part of the golf swing. They are the main link between you and the club. It is only natural that weak fingers can cause the club to rotate in your hands and cause a poor golf shot. The ideal way of gripping the golf club (for right handed golfers) is to use the last three fingers of your left hand and the ring and middle fingers of your right. These fingers, however, are not used to gripping objects on a regular basis. A simple way of strengthening the finger muscles is to perform grip strengthening exercises with a raquet ball, tennis ball or other device. Concentrate on squeezing the ball with the above named finger’s and decrease the chance of an altered clubface angle when you strike the ball. In addition, you should regularly check your grips and replace them if they are worn.
Increase driving distance by 9-15 yards (Hint: the secret is in your shoes)
It turns out that the secret to lower golf scores isn’t found in a golfer’s bag-but in his shoes. A study from Northwestern Health Sciences University recently concluded that golfers who wear Foot Levelers orthotics may actually golf better. Why? Because according to the study,”…proprioceptive ability improves after orthotic intervention.”
Custom made orthotics can result in:
- Increased club-head speed 3-5 mph
- 9-15 yards of increased distance
- Better balance
- Greater flexibility
- Improved endurance