Last week’s blog discussed overtraining in spring, but how about those people that don’t train at all and just go out there and start swinging a golf club at the first sign of spring. This is when injury can occur. Although sports like golf are considered low impact, golf injuries are increasing at an alarming rate. A golfers shoulder, forearm and back are the most common injury areas. So what should a golfer do before he goes out swinging?
A stretching program is definitely recommended which should be initiated in the pre-season and then continued as a pregame warm up. Golf-specific stretching exercises should address those areas that are necessary for proper mechanics and subsequently the most injured, such as the shoulders, forearm, and back. Strengthening the forearm will also prevent “golfer’s elbow”. The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons recommends simple exercises such as wrist curls and squeezing a tennis ball to prevent elbow injuries.
Another recommendation is Resistance Training. Building up the muscles that have been left dormant during those winter months will do wonders to prevent spring injuries that could keep you off the course all summer.
And what about aerobic endurance? The average golfer walks 3 miles during the course of an 18 hole game which is certainly nothing to sniffle at! So how does a golfer prepare aerobically. Try a one mile walk and then build slowly over the pre season months to ensure that you don’t over do it. Look at walking programs such as PARC’s Walk This Way which is specifically designed for adults wanting to start a walking program. Remember aerobic endurance in the form of walking or cycling also has been shown to reduce the recurrence of low back pain after injury.
Remember, before starting any form of exercise or training program check with your doctor first and may all your balls be birdies!!
BRANDON, B. and P.Z. PFARCF. Training to prevent golf injury. Curr. Sports Med. Rep., Vol. 8, No. 3, pp. 142-146, 2009