By: JOI Sport Performance Team/ Jon Stiffler PTA
Over the past 15 years, the technology and information on human performance for the sport of golf has significantly improved. We now see players hitting balls longer, swinging clubs faster, controlling ball flights with more precision, and most importantly staying healthier.
Thanks to the efforts of some golf and health/fitness professionals such as Titleist Performance Institute (TPI) certified professionals, even the recreational and amateur golfers have access to the same quality of instruction as the pros.
It has become a trend around the elite golfing community in recent years to employ TPI certified professionals as part of a team. This team consists of the golfer, the golf instructor, the fitness instructor, and the medical provider such as a Physical Therapist or a Certified Athletic Trainer.
These individual professionals work together to perform screenings and analyze biomechanics in order to observe weaknesses, stability and mobility issues, along with movement patterns and swing characteristics to incorporate these findings to provide the right swing for each specific golfer.
It is advised to consult with a medical provider before beginning any new training regimen; especially if pain is associated with the swing and activities of daily life. A functional screen is a very useful tool to determine the restrictions/limitations and weaknesses for an individual person.
From here the medical and fitness professionals can create a specific program to address the golfer’s needs, while the golf instructor can work with the individual on his swing mechanics by using drills and video feedback based on how the body moves and specific swing characteristics.
Because the majority of people in the world have desk jobs or are sedentary for most of the working day, we tend to develop poor posture, joint and soft-tissue stiffness/tightness, as well as weak and inhibited muscle activity and poor physical conditioning.
This is why screening the golfer prior to exercise is important, because your team may prescribe specific exercises and stretches to correct these deficits.
Some of the more common issues observed in golfers, whether they be recreational or competitive are poor thoracic (mid back), hip and shoulder mobility/stability, as well as glute and core weaknesses.
Each golfer may not present with all of the above. Even observing one of those failed tests may decrease performance on the course as well as cause pain and injury.
The average swing speed of a professional golfer on tour is about 113mph and drives the ball 290yds. An amateur will most likely not reach those speeds of the elite players, but can still generate around 70-90mph and distance of 214yds.
So for someone to repeatedly swing at these speeds it is easy to see how one may create an injury. The majority of complaints from golfers usually occur in the low back and secondary in the shoulders and neck. Wrist and forearm injuries are also common with repetitive contact to the ball and ground.
There are so many exercises and stretches that are used to help improve strength and speed as well as increase ROM and joint mobility that it is very difficult to choose one that reins supreme over all.
If one were to address these issues with exercise, there are five areas of golf exercises one should focus on which may be beneficial to overall fitness and well-being of the golfer.
These five areas of exercise are helpful in mobilizing and stabilizing the hips, spine, shoulder, and ankle in order to improve efficiency and ability to perform golf movements without compensations. To improve overall strength, conditioning, and performance, consult with a professional or a team of professionals for the most safe and effective way to reach your goals. The JOI Trending Page has many articles which may interest you. http://www.joionline.net/trending/content/5-shoulder-symptoms-you-cannot-ignore. If you want to learn more about the Jacksonville Orthopedic Institute, Call JOI-2000.
Jacksonville Orthopedic Inst. is the official sports medicine provder group for the Jacksonville Jaguars.