More than 24 million Americans enjoy playing golf. Even as a hobby, golf is an engaging form of exercise that allows people to spend time outdoors. Nonetheless, golf can be demanding on the body. Golf-related injuries can cause you pain, negatively affect your performance, and decrease your self-esteem. Our proprietary ARC Progression can help reduce the amount of pain you experience from golf injuries and help you develop the mindset needed to reach your performance goals.
Why Is Physical Therapy For Golf Performance Important?
Even though golf is a low-impact sport, golf injuries are common. The physical effort associated with a golf swing, as well as the hours spent hunched over a golf club, can cause wear and tear on the body. Some of the most common golf injuries include:
- Back pain. Players spend upwards of 4 hours in a bent-over-stance during a single game of golf, which can stress the spine and back muscles. The rotational movements required to produce a good swing can also put stress on the spine and lead to inflammation. Repeating these movements hundreds of times can cause pain and strains that can lead to greater, more severe back injuries.
- Knee pain. Excess torque on the golf course can cause kneecap and knee ligament injuries. Many golfers also experience knee pain when the cartilage in their knee joint diminishes as a result of chronic use and age.
- Rotator cuff injury. A rotator cuff injury can happen before, during, or after the golf swing or any time when the golfers’ arms are extended overhead. This injury is often caused by overuse, the repetitive motion of the golf swing, a poorly executed swing, hitting a root or rock during a swing, or a deep divot.
- Tendinitis in the elbow. The repetitive swinging motion that golf requires can put stress on the tendons in the elbow. If left untreated, this stress can cause tendinitis, which causes painful inflammation and swelling. Tendonitis, which is also known as “golfers elbow,” can also lead to weak elbows which can negatively impact golfers’ swing.
- Tendinitis in the wrist. The repetitive motion of golf combined with the high speed of a typical golf swing can put golfers at a high risk of wrist injuries. The most common golf-related wrist injury is tendinitis, which causes swelling in the tendons that allow the wrists to move. In addition to pain and tenderness, tendinitis of the wrist can also result in stiff wrists.
All of these injuries can affect the way golfers walk, move, bend, and swing, which can significantly impact golf performance.
Who Can Benefit From Golf Performance Training?
Even though all types of golfers can benefit from golf performance training, physical therapy can be especially beneficial for:
- New golfers. Golf is an intricate sport that requires a high level of mechanics, mobility, flexibility, and strength. All of these requirements can be challenging for new golfers to master.
- Golfers ages 50 and older. As golfers age, the swinging, walking, and twisting movements that golf requires can be hard on the body. Growing older can also affect golfers’ physical strength, flexibility, and vision.
- Golfers recovering from injury. Golfers recovering from injury may not play as well as they did prior. Some may experience decreased self-confidence, while others may be forced to learn new mechanics and techniques as a result of pain, inflammation, and limited mobility.
All of these golfers can benefit from golf performance training. The good news is our physical therapy program, the ARC Progression, can help you improve your golf performance and get back to the game you love as soon as possible.
How Athletic Physical Therapy Prioritizes Golf Performance
Tight muscles, restrictive joints, limited mobility, pain, and poor mechanics can all hinder golf performance. Physical therapy can help golfers recover from injury, increase their mobility, and improve their performance.
Through our proprietary ARC Progression program, our physical therapists can help golfers:
- Reduce pain that can weaken your swing. During the first stage of our physical therapy program, we focus on reducing pain and lowering inflammation. This can include techniques such as joint mobilization, soft tissue mobilization, and muscle stretching. As the pain and inflammation decrease, we will begin to work on increasing your flexibility and strength.
- Improve flexibility to help boost your mobility. Playing golf requires a wide range of motion. At this stage of the process, our physical therapists help you stretch and teach you several different types of range of motion exercises. These activities can include seated trunk twist, hip flexors, triceps stretches, standing quad or forward bend stretch, simple shoulder stretch, or standing IT band stretch.
- Increase the strength of your golf swing. The best golf players have resilient muscles. We help strengthen your muscles through exercises that are specifically designed to strengthen your back and lower and upper body. Our physical therapists will encourage you to exercise against gravity, a resistance band, your weight, or even water. You might also be encouraged to perform exercises with weights to help build up your strength.
- Restore power and performance to your golf game. Now it’s time to improve the power of your swing and your overall golf performance. During this time we’ll work on improving your balance and correcting any mechanical challenges that may be hindering your performance. We’ll also work on improving your core strength which can dramatically improve the power of your golf swing. Other activities we use to improve golf performance include squats, jump squats, and exercises to improve shoulder turn.
Different Types of Exercise For Improved Golf Performance
Some of the exercises we can use to help improve your golf performance include:
- Bear sit rotation. Golf is a rotational sport, but many golfers lack mobility in the hips and thoracic spine. This exercise can help golfers overcome this rotational limitation by getting their hips moving.
- Goblet squat. Goblet squats are full-body movements that can help you improve your form and build muscles in your legs. The stronger your legs are, the faster you’ll be able to swing a club, which can help significantly improve the performance of your game.
- Medicine ball parallel and perpendicular throws. In addition to increasing your core strength, medicine ball throws can help improve your ability to store and release energy, improving the speed of your swing.
- Standing Ys. This exercise can help improve shoulder mobility and counter the negative impact of sitting which can detract from your golf performance.
Our golf performance training program can also include the following therapies, based on your specific needs:
- Flexibility testing and exercises
- Walking (gait) patterns
- Footwear recommendations
- Balance training
- Risk reduction and modification education
As we work to strengthen your core, back, and leg muscles and increase the mobility of your shoulders and hips, you’ll notice significant improvements in your golf performance.
Start Improving Your Golf Performance Today
Golf is a tremendously fun but strenuous sport that requires good posture, balance, mobility, flexibility, strength, and endurance. Our scientifically proven ARC program can help you develop, improve, and strengthen those attributes while developing the mindset you need to reach your physical fitness goals. Let us help you reignite your inner athlete and take your golf game to the next level. Come experience the ARC difference. Contact us today to learn more.
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