A healthy living blog from Marshfield Clinic Health System

Make your golf swing healthy and better than par

The lure of the links is hard to resist on a beautiful sunny day and the last thing on your mind is suffering a sports injury from a game of golf.

Injury can happen but there are steps you can take to make sure it doesn’t. To help keep your golf season injury-free, Ben Reich, a Marshfield Clinic Health System physical therapist, recommends pre-season conditioning and improving the technique of your golf swing.

Start with your short game

“An efficient swing with good balance will help make you a better player and prevent back and shoulder injuries,” Reich said. “Start the season by working on your short game and progressing to full swings, while incorporating flexibility, core stability and functional endurance exercises.”

Short-game practice includes putting, chipping and half-swings from 85 yards and less. Work on timing, balance, hand-eye coordination and ball striking. Trunk, back, hamstring and shoulder stretches can help increase flexibility.

“To improve endurance, make walking or biking part of a year-round fitness routine along with stretching and even yoga,” he said. “These activities will condition your body for walking the course.”

Swing fundamentals

Common golf injuries stem from overuse that can affect your back, elbows, knees and shoulders.

Reich recommends that every season, focus on technique by revisiting your golf swing and think about these four components:

  • Set-up
  • Back swing
  • Impact
  • Follow-through

“In addition to consulting with a local golf pro, many professional and amateur golfers use conditioning in their routine to improve performance and reduce risk of injury,” Reich said.

Golf swing basics

Golf swing basics - set-up illustration Golf swing basics - back swing illustration Golf swing basics - impact illustration Golf swing basics - follow-through illustraion

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