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Avoid Golf Low-Back Pain

Avoid Golf Low-Back Pain

Avoid Golf Low-Back Pain

Lower-back pain is golf’s No. 1 reported injury (Lots of twisting with torque will do that.). But learn how to dodge golf back injuries here.

low back pain

Poor posture, improper swing techniques, incorrect equipment and muscle imbalances and over-use — plus just the very nature of the game’s swing movement — are all attributed to causing lower-back pain. While not every golfer will incur a serious lower-back injury, the majority of golfers will at least suffer from low-back pain at some point in their golf careers.

A study of PGA players indicated that approximately 77 percent of all professional golfers report acute or chronic low-back pain related to the golf swing. Not to mention the strain of bending over to perpetually pick up golf balls and heft even to the course and car seemingly ever-larger bags.

The majority of professional golfers train to meet the demands of the rotational stresses created from the golf swing. They are in top physical condition (The “majority,” Jon Daly and Craig Stadler somehow have exemptions.) with near perfect swings, yet nearly three out of every four still incur back pain.

Compared to many amateur golfers that are overweight with poor swing mechanics, it should not be a surprise when a player suffers a back injury. The following techniques will help prevent low-back pain.

Stretching

Simple enough, right? But it not only takes correct form but also consistency, just like the game itself (So, apply those same principles.) 

Stretching is considered an essential part of any fitness activity that will help decrease the risk of injury and improve performance. Static stretching is the traditional form of preparing your body for the necessary athletic movements. Static stretching refers to holding a stretch with no movement, such as touching your toes.

low back pain

Perhaps the most common static stretch to avoid back pain and other injuries is touching your toes.

Dynamic stretching actively involves moving a joint through the range of motion required for a sport. In recent years, dynamic stretching has become the preferred method, while some believe static stretching does not help performance before a competition.

low back pain

A popular spinal dynamic stretch is the inchworm, where you start in a push-up position and walk up slowly until you are standing and touching your toes.

Instead, static stretches increasingly have become popular during a cool-down routine following an athletic activity. Whatever form of stretching you prefer, learn the proper way to complete the stretch. In addition, avoid any bouncing movements throughout the stretching movement.

Prevention

The best way to avoid low-back pain is to prevent it from happening through a strength and flexibility exercise program. 

Many golfers believe a strength-training program will have a negative effect on performance and decrease their ranges of motion. Not so. The proper training program will help improve your golf game and prevent injury. 

All body parts that are being strengthened also should be stretched to maintain flexibility. In golf, strength is useless without flexibility.

Strengthening muscles that support the spine with exercise can prevent, reduce and eliminate low-back pain. Many injuries in golf result from muscle imbalances. Weak core muscles are often at the root of low-back pain.

low back pain

Work that core by simply holding certain positions to strengthen your torso and avoid golf — and many other injuries.

Make it a priority to strengthen muscles in the back, abdomen, hips and buttocks that work together to support the spine.

low back pain

Bridge or plank exercises, with or without the leg lift, should become part of your daily routine to get a strong core for health benefits beyond just the links.

Swing Improvements 

Improve your golf swing.

Many golfers compensate for faults throughout their swings. Limitations or extra movements may not prevent you from playing well, however, they will put you at risk for injury. Schedule a lesson with a golf professional and improve your technique. 

The golf swing is dependent on doing each prior move correctly. The correct golf swing begins by setting up correctly. Therefore, improve your posture in your set up. Poor posture is often the result of muscle imbalances.

Common posture mistakes occur when the shoulders are slumped forward at address while creating roundness to the back from the tailbone to the back and neck. Creating too much arch in the lower back while in the set up position is another common posture mistake. 

low back pain

Don’t be a slouch!

The majority of golfers would like to hit the ball farther and more consistent. Additional benefits of a strength and flexibility program include increasing club swing range and swing speed, which results in more distance.

Also, improving swing technique could potentially increase swing speed, contact and produce more distance. The golf swing is meant to be an effortless motion of the arms and body working cohesively together. Mistakes are often the result of over swinging and incorrect weight shifts. 

And they will catch up with you and make your back sore as heck after playing a round.


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