Each year in the Okanagan, golfers like me take to the links to whack balls left, right, and occasionally down the middle of the fairway. It’s often a humbling experience.
The sport of golf requires coordination, strength, flexibility, and most importantly, mobility. From the ankles, knees, hips and upward into the spine, rotational forces are generated to create precision and speed at the time of impact between the club face and ball. The golf swing is too complex to correct in this article (if I could fix this problem entirely, I’d probably be on my way to retirement), but I can explain some hip and spine movement mechanics that can help reduce stiffness and improve mobility – to ultimately achieve a more accurate output.
:In most cases, golfers struggle to move their bodies into the correct position at impact, possibly causing a “slice” or “hook”. These types of swings happen by either coming across the ball with an outside-in swing plane, or an inside-out swing plane. During the golf swing the hips are required to perform internal and external rotation. The hip muscles must work in conjunction with one another to properly move the leg within the hip socket. An inability of the hip joints to do this can cause an increase in arm movement, leading to inconsistency at impact. This is the same for the spine. The lower and middle back (lumbar/thoracic), are required to rotate and side-bend. Stiffness through the above regions reduces mobility and therefor minimizes the club arc, causing golfers to reduce their backswing which affects their follow-thru.
Through range-of-motion-exercises synchronized with breathing, golfers can improve their mobility of the joints, as touched on above. Once improvement is seen with mobility, it’s imperative to strengthen into the new ranges of motion. Golf is like any other sport, you need to prepare your body to perform. Below will be some attached exercises that you can implement at anytime throughout the golf season. I can’t promise more birdies, but I can help ensure your body will feel better during your round of golf!
Spine Health Exercises For Golf
1: Thoracic Extension with Foam Roller
2: Thoracic Rotation with Foam Roller
3: Half Kneeling Thoracic Rotation with Foam Roller
4: Half Kneeling Oblique Thoracic Rotation with Foam Roller