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It appears that spring is just around the corner, and with spring comes time to dust off the golf clubs and hit the links.  For those of us who are strictly “fair weather” golfers and have not played during this mild winter, now is the time to start getting our bodies in shape for the upcoming season.  Contrary to what some may think, golf is a sport, golfers (at any level) ARE athletes and the golf swing DOES require a great deal of athleticism.

As with any sport, training to prepare or enhance your performance in golf must be specific to the game.  The golfer must incorporate strength, power, endurance, flexibility, core stability and balance exercise into their training routine to prepare for and improve their game. 

Stretching exercises performed regularly will help to increase range of motion, power and ultimately your swing speed and at the same time help to reduce the risk of many overuse injuries.  Exercises may include dynamic flexibility ex, best performed immediately prior to play, and static stretching exercises designed to increase your range of motion and flexibility.

Strengthening exercises are important to address any muscle weaknesses or imbalances that may exist or that may develop over time.  The golf swing generally is performed in on direction only, applying unequal forces on one side of the body.  This can lead to muscle imbalances great enough to either impair performance or result in injury.  To avoid this, strength exercises should involve all muscles involved in the golf swing, muscles on both sides of the body and agonist as well as antagonist muscle groups.

The aim of core strength and stability exercise is to target all of the muscles that help stabilize the spine and the pelvis.  These include the hip, abdominal and spinal muscle groups.  These muscle groups are keys to helping improve the efficiency of the golf swing movements and improve your body’s control and balance.

As with any exercise program it is important to get clearance from your Doctor prior to initiating your program.  For more detailed information on preparing or improving your golf game with an appropriate exercise program you can reach one of our exercise specialists at Baker Valley Physical Therapy, 523-8888 or stop by our office.  Also, look for upcoming information on our April Community Form where will discuss additional “Life Sports” topics. 

Written by Rob Bachman, PT

Published Feburary 2012

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