Golf is a favorite sport for many people and the key to a good golf game is a consistent, efficient golf swing. Golfers tend to be a dedicated group of athletes and many golfers strive for a better golf swing. The good news is that even if you’re not born with the perfect golf swing, you can improve it with some simple tips from your physical therapist.
The golf swing is a complex movement that requires focus, strength and flexibility. The way to achieve a consistent swing is through proper form and lots of practice. A physical therapist can help you build the strength and flexibility that you need to perfect your golf swing.
While you may believe that the power of your swing comes from your arms, most of the power comes from your core. Therefore, most physical therapists will tell you that it is essential that you have a strong and flexible core if you want to have a consistently powerful golf swing. Not only will a strong core help to improve your golf swing, it can also help to reduce back pain and minimize your risk of injury.
So, let’s take a closer look at the “core”. Your core is a complex group of muscles, including both major muscles and minor muscles that help with most body movements. The major muscles of your core are the muscles of the pelvic floor, internal and external obliques transversus abdominis, multifidus, rectus abdominus, erector spinae, and the diaphragm. The minor muscles of your core are the gluteus maximus, latissimus dorsi, and trapezius.
- Begin facing the floor, resting on your knees and forearms
- Bring your knees off the floor by pushing up onto your toes so that you are positioned on your toes and elbows
- Engage your core (tighten your abdominal muscles) to keep your back flat and your body in alignment
- Hold this position for 20 to 30 seconds
- Slowly work up to holding the end position for 1 minute
- Aim for 3 repetitions of this exercise
- Begin lying on your back with your hips and knees bent to 90 degrees with your knees positioned over your hips
- Extend your arms in front of your shoulders
- Engage your core (tighten your abs and press your lower back into the floor)
- Inhale deeply
- Exhale and slowly extend your right leg towards the floor but do not let it touch the floor, and bring your left arm overhead
- Return your arm and leg to the starting position
- Repeat with your opposite arm and leg
- Continuing alternating sides
- Aim for 3 sets of 10 repetitions of this exercise
NOTE: Remember to keep your core engaged during the entire movement and avoid arching your lower back.
There are a variety of other issues that may be negatively affecting your swing, such as poor posture, poor balance and stance, and a lack of movement of the hips, mid-back, shoulder blades, and neck. The physical therapists at Blue Hills Sport & Spine Rehabilitation can evaluate your body and work with you to address issues that they find so that your body doesn’t compensate for abnormalities, leading to a potential season-ending injury.
In addition to correcting posture, balance, range of motion and stance issues, your physical therapist can analyze your swing and advise you on the mechanical changes that you should make to maximize your swings potential. The defects in your mechanical motion that are negatively impacting your swing can be corrected with physical therapy.
Lastly, if you’re a regular golfer, you know that on occasion certain parts of you body can start to hurt. This pain, over time, can become chronic and problematic for your swing and your golf game, and may even lead to an injury. Your physical therapist can recommend exercises to treat your pain, prevent it from worsening, and minimize your risk of re-injury.
If you’re looking to improve your swing, the physical therapists at Blue Hills Sport & Spine Rehabilitation can help. Not only can they help to improve your golf swing, they can help to improve your overall golf game and reduce your risk of injury.