PRE-habilitation : Preventing 3 Common Golf Injuries

Written by Kyle

The golf swing is a highly dynamic rotational motion, not to mention extremely repetitive, so it’s no surprise that nagging injuries tend to occur in the frequent golfer. Overuse injuries are very common and many golfers are playing with pain. If you’re one of those golfers, it almost certainly is negatively affecting your game. But it’s not too late to do something about it. In fact I implore you to address the issue before it becomes serious enough to keep you off the course. Even if you aren’t playing with pain at the moment, injuries can occur if you haven’t properly prepared. As I like to say, prevention is ALWAYS the best medicine. Of course if you have suffered a serious injury, there are rehabilitative steps to get you back in form but it’s much better to focus on prehabilitation. What I mean by this is focusing on strengthening and stretching in your off-course training to keep your joints healthy, with the right amount of stability AND mobility. In this article, I’m going to discuss some common golf injuries and how you can help prevent them.

 

1) Shoulder

When it comes to keeping the shoulder healthy, we must address 2 things: Keeping the rotator cuff strong and keeping the chest muscles mobile. The rotator cuff is comprised of 4 muscles that originate on the scapula and cross the shoulder joint to attach upper arm. As their name suggests, they are responsible for internal and external rotation of the shoulder but also play a huge role in keeping the upper arm bone securely in its socket. Keeping these strong is essential to protecting the ligaments and muscles that hold your highly mobile shoulder joint in place and in good health. Shoulder rotation exercises, as shown in the video above are great to achieve just that.

On the other hand, tight chest and lat muscles can be strained because of the high mobility of the shoulder joint. Follow this link for a couple of great shoulder stretches.

 

2) Wrist

The wrists and forearms take a good amount of the force of impact at the point of contact with the ball. The high stress of repeated swings can cause strains and tendonitis in the muscles that cross the wrist. A good routine of stretching and strengthening these muscles will help keep them healthy and free from overuse injuries.

Stretch the forearm muscles one hand at a time by using your free hand to pull the wrist down into flexion and then up into extension. To stretch and strengthen your forearms, hold your golf club in the middle of the shaft and rotate your wrists side to side. To strengthen your forearm muscles try flexion and extension exercises with a light dumbbell, squeezing a stress ball or tennis ball or simply holding the heaviest dumbbell you can manage until you can’t anymore.

 

3) Low Back

Your low back goes through dozens of bending and twisting motions during a typical round of golf. These overuse injuries can often be the most debilitating to your overall quality of life, not just to your golf game. It is super important to keep your low back strong and stretched to avoid injuring the muscles, ligaments and discs that protect the spine.

Back extension exercises will help keep your spinal erectors strong. Properly training your obliques for rotational strength will also help take some stress off the low back. Try these rotational exercises. Stretching the low back will help prevent injury by preventing the muscles from tightening up. Check out my previous blog on mobility for some good ways to stretch the spinal erectors and rotators and keep your back healthy and mobile.

A good warm-up before your round is extremely important to avoid injury as well so check this past blog out for some great info on getting prepared before you hit the course!

 

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