Get Back On Course After A Golf Injury – Part 2
By Lisa Holtan
Last month we talked about how 80% of golf injuries are due to overuse and how to stretch those tight, overused muscles. This month we are going to talk about how, through a few simple exercises, you can strengthen the weak muscles to keep your body in balance and reduce injury.
Let’s start with that low back pain by stretching the tight hip flexor muscle. One of the best ways to strengthen the low back and core muscles is with a plank. There are a couple different ways to do a plank and still get good results. Start with a modified plank, hands and knees on the floor. Hands are directly under your shoulders. Push your knees back so your hips and shoulders are in a line. Pull your belly button in. Hold for 30 seconds. Once you feel comfortable with your knees on the ground you can move to a full plank by lifting your knees off the floor and hold this position at 30-second intervals.
For shoulder pain we need to strenghten the latissimus dorsi and the chest muscles. A simple exercise to strengthen the mid-back is to do a row. Stand facing a cable cross machine or a row machine. Start with your arms straight and palms facing each other. With your shoulders relaxed and down pull the handles towards you, squeezing your shoulder blades. Slowly straighten your arms. Repeat for 10 repetitions.
If you have elbow pain it could be a sign you may have some level of golfers elbow, which is pain in the bottom part of the elbow, or tennis elbow, which is the top part of the elbow. Golfers elbow is usually from the bicep being too tight and the triceps being weak.
To strengthen those tricep muscles we want to do tricep extensions. Using 1 dumbbell split your stance and lean forward. Bend your elbow bringing the weight up to your ribcage. Straighten the elbow then bend the elbow. The only thing moving is your elbow. Repeat for 10 repetitions and repeat with the other arm.
The key to minimize your risk of golf injuries and overuse is to continue to stretch daily and add in the exercises you need to strengthen the weak muscles that help with the imbalances in your body. Take the time off the course to work on these stretches and exercises and you will find you are more flexible and pain free when you are on the course.