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Rotate Your Way to Longer Drives and Lower Scores

Jul 25, 2020

Imagine playing a round of golf with NO low back pain.

Imagine feeling flexible and being able to rotate further in your back swing than ever before.

Imagine being able to increase your speed and hit the ball further we a few simple exercises.

Rotate your way to lower scores!

The THORACIC SPINE does not receive as much attention as the low back and the neck, due to the fact that most people experience pain in those areas. The thoracic spine is made up of 12 vertebrae, and the structure of those vertebral bodies create a “rounded” look or “thoracic kyphosis”. A unique feature of the thoracic vertebrae is that they serve as attachment points for the ribs. The structure of the thoracic spine is set up for ROTATION and SIDEBENDING.

Below is a table for “Normal” ranges of motion in the spine and the hips. In this blog, we are going to focus on the thoracic spine.

 

 Thoracic Spine and The Golf Swing:

In the modern golf swing, emphasis has...

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Turn Your Neck to Better Golf

Jun 29, 2020

As a Physical Therapist, I see a lot of patients with neck pain. From people that work at a desk all day... to those that are texting too much. Non-specific neck pain has been shown to affect 2/3rds of people at some point during their life. Most of those affected are in their middle age. A study in 2011 found that out of 526 golfers, 20% of those injured reported their injury occurred at the neck. 

Some of the common golf injuries that Golf Physical Therapist treat:

  • Cervical Sprain/ Strain
  • Facet Syndrome
  • Cervical Disc Injuries
  • Spinal Stenosis 
  • Degenerative Changes 

These injuries are common to the non-golf community as well, however the golf swing can intensify these injuries. (Bonus: remember that just because you have pain in and around the neck -- that does NOT mean you have a herniated disc.)

The Neck and the Golf Swing:

During the golf swing the neck moves A LOT. In the Backswing, the neck will rotate to the left about 70 degrees, and then during...

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Shoulder pain during the golf swing and how to improve it

Jun 13, 2020

Do you suffer from shoulder pain? Have you been told you have a rotator cuff tear and surgery is the only way to "fix" it? Are you trying to improve your swing and your shoulder just won’t let you?

An area of the body that we do not think about getting injured during the golf swing are the shoulders. However, shoulder pain is a COMMON experience for golfers. The most common injuries are:

  • Rotator cuff tears
  • Bicipital tendinitis
  • Shoulder impingement
  • Labrum (SLAP) tears
  • Anterior shoulder laxity
  • Frozen shoulder

Common Physical Characteristics that can LEAD to shoulder injuries:

  • Too “loose” in the front of your shoulder
  • Too “tight” in the back side of your shoulder
  • Poor muscular strength 
  • Poor muscular balance 
  • Poor swing mechanics

Now add the stress of a golf swing to these common characteristics, and you may be putting your shoulder at risk for injury. The good news for you, you can improve these characteristics and bullet proof your shoulder...

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Play Better Golf with Better Balance

May 26, 2020

When you think about training for golf and improving your game, you probably don’t think "BALANCE". We spend a lot of time on the range working on our swing, trying to hit bombs. Would you believe me when I say that your ability to balance may be directly related to how good of a golfer you are?

Balance is the ability to maintain the body in equilibrium by keeping the center of mass within the base of support. Can you swing without feeling like you are going to fall out of your shoes? Balance is an important component of golf performance. Lower handicap (0-10) golfers have demonstrated superior balance on their dominant leg with compared to higher handicappers (10-20) (1,2,4,5). If a golfer is off balance during a golf shot it is going to affect their ability to rotate efficiently around their pelvis and can ruin their swing. Golfers that performed better on basic balance testing can created larger ranges of “X-factor”, creating more separation between their upper...

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Bulletproof your low back for golf

Apr 30, 2020

Golf is one of the few activities that can be played by people of different ages and skill levels. Currently, there is limited research on golf related injuries. However, it has been shown that the low back is the most common site for golf related injuries. As a golf physical therapist, I see strains/ sprains, disc injuries, facets syndromes, spinal stenosis, and degenerative disc disease. The most common injury tends to be a disc injury due to the combination of bending and rotation during the swing.

Did you know that during the swing, at peak compression the force on the spine has been shown to be 8 times bodyweight? That is almost 3 times the average compression force of jogging, which is 3 times the bodyweight (McHardy 2006). 

Are you at risk for having low back pain from playing golf?

Titleist Performance Institute (TPI) looked at the research and found:

Low predictors:

  • Trunk flexor endurance (plank) does NOT correlate to reduced low back pain.
  • ...
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Play Better Golf with a Warm-up

Apr 17, 2020

If you are like me, I am always trying to calculate the amount of time it takes to get to the course, so that I have enough time to warm-up. Well, what is "enough time"? Is my warm-up, by swinging clubs from wedge to driver, actually helping me play BETTER golf?

Continue reading if that sounds like you and if:

  • You are not sure HOW to correctly warm-up before playing golf.
  • You get to the course early to spend time at the driving range, only to get TIRED by the 14th hole.
  • You want to learn a golf specific warm-up routine that can help you play BETTER golf.

Did you know you can INCREASE your club head speed by performing a golf specific warm-up? Increasing your range of motion can help reduce your chances for injury as well as improving your golf performance. Research shows that static stretching alone (your "normal" or "typical" stretch routine) can NEGATIVELY affect your golf performance. Research also shows that a dynamic warm-up routine lasting >/= 10 minutes has a ...

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Club Head Speed and How to Get Some More

Apr 08, 2020

- Why do golfers want to increase their swing speed?

- Does club head speed matter in golf performance?

- How would you feel if you had easy ways to increase your swing speed?  

 - Imagine walking up to the first tee, knowing you are going to out drive the group?

 What is Speed?

We are going to have a short physics review before we get to the good stuff, so bear with me.

  • Speed is defined as distance/ time. 
  • Velocity measures change in distance/ change in time. 

  • Club head speed is the velocity at which a golf club impacts the ball. 

  • Impulse is the change in momentum of an object when the object is acted upon by a force for an interval of time. Impulse is directly related to the change in Momentum = mass x velocity.

  • Force = mass x acceleration. 

Impulse = force x time

Force x time = mass x velocity

If we want more CLUB HEAD SPEED, we need to increase the velocity at which the golf club impacts the ball. Based on the equations above, if we...

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