6 Warm - Up Exercises For Your Golf Swing - Let's Get You Hitting The Ball Further And Lower Your Injury Risk

Thursday, November 14, 2019

At Physio Inq Penrith we love analysing and breaking down the complex movements that we see in sports that are played by the athletes that we treat. When we look at the golf swing we can see that there are certain elements that are going to be imperative in order to improve our performance, whether that be how far we hit the ball, or the consistency of our ball striking.

You can read our previous article on understanding the strength attributes required in golf and learning how to develop them.

I’ve also written this article about the advantages of plyometric training when it comes to the golf swing.

With that said, we can also see that there are going to be elements that are vitally important to prevent injury in the golf swing. Most injuries that occur in golf are overuse injuries, rather than single incident traumatic injuries. Most of these overuse injuries, are not just because of how much someone plays. They are often caused by limitations in our body that then put stress on another part of the body, and if we do this in repeated fashion, this can lead to pain. A good example might be, if a player does not have adequate internal rotation through their front (lead) hip their hip will ‘run out of room’ on the follow through. Their body will want to keep rotating so they will find this rotation by using their lower back instead. If we do this over and over again, over 50 times per day, everyday, you can see why this might lead to lower back pain or a lower back injury. 

Again, when we look at the golf swing, there are certain components that we need in order to have optimal performance, as well as reducing our risk of developing an injury. I am going to give you 6 exercises that you can on a daily basis, as well as being used as a warm-up before you play golf, which will work to improve these components. The elements of the golf swing that we are going to concentrate on are:

  • Torso Rotation
  • Hip and shoulder separation
  • Lower limb stability
  • Core stability
  • Hamstring and gluteal muscle activation
  • Hip flexor stretching
  • Shoulder external rotation 
  • Pelvic control
  • Hip internal rotation
  • Hip external rotation

All of the elements listed above are essential for an efficient golf swing and they are also important when it comes to reducing our injury risk.

The 6 exercises that I have devised to work on these elements are:

  1. Lunge with torso rotation
  • Stand in a lunging position, with one foot placed forward of another.
  • As you go down into the lunge, hold your arms straight out in front and rotate your torso away from your front foot.
  • You can then perform repetitions rotating the other way
  • You can then swap which foot is forward and repeat.
  • If this exercise is too difficult you can perform it without rotation.
  • To make this exercise more difficult it can be performed with a theraband being used to resist the rotation
  1. Kneeling hip flexor stretch while thrusting
  • Begin in a single knee kneeling position.
  • Contract through your glut muscles as you thrust your hips forward.
  • You should feel a good muscle contraction through the back of the hip and a stretch through the front of the hip.
  • To make this exercise more difficult it can be performed with a theraband being used to resist the forward thrust.
  1. Single leg stance shoulder external rotation
  • Stand on one leg with the opposite arm by your side and elbow bent to 90 degrees.
  • Grip a theraband on the hand of the bent arm and have it anchored somewhere.
  • Keeping the elbow bent, rotate your shoulder outwards to pull the band outwards from your body.
  • This exercise can be made harder by increasing the speed.
  • This exercise can also be made harder by performing it in a ‘5 ion set up position’ instead of standing straight upright.
  1. Standing hip and shoulder rotation separation
  • While standing upright, rotate your shoulders to the left and right while keeping your hips and pelvis perfectly still.
  • You can make this exercise harder by performing it holding you arms in front of your torso and using a theraband to resist the rotation.
  • After you have done that, standing upright, rotate your pelvis to the left and right while keeping your shoulders perfectly still.
  • You can make this exercise harder by performing it holding you arms in front of your torso and holding tension against a theraband to add a stability component.
  • Both of these exercises can also be made harder by performing it in a ‘5 ion set up position’ instead of standing straight upright.
  1. Anterior and posterior pelvic tilting
  • While standing, tilt your pelvis backwards and forwards while keeping your knees and shoulders still.
  • You can make this exercise harder by performing it holding you arms in front of your torso and holding tension against a theraband to add a stability component.
  1. Cross over single leg deadlift with rotation
  • Perform a single leg deadlift movement. Imagine you are standing on one leg, and while doing that, hinging at the hips to reach the ground with the opposite hand.
  • To set up this exercise, have a theraband anchored at a 45-degree angle in front of you. While holding tension against this band, perform the single leg deadlift.
  • This exercise can me made harder by speeding it up or increasing the resistance.

It is important to realise that all of the exercises listed here can be either progressed or regressed depending on the ability of the golfer and their physical capabilities and limitations. Every exercise can be made more challenging with the use of external force with the use of a theraband. Performing these exercises on a daily basis as well as a warm up before playing golf will improve your golf swing as well as making you less prone to injury.

If you are in need of a physiotherapist to look after your golf related niggles you can make an appointment here.

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