The game of golf has the completely undeserved reputation as a low impact sport that you play in retirement. Most pro-golfers will testify to the strain the game puts on a player’s body and those of us who play socially know that playing well requires high levels of flexibility and athletic ability.
All this athleticism will be on display this month as The Australian PGA Championship returns to Brisbane from the 24 to the 27 of November. As well as an entertaining few days of professional sport, the tournament might also prompt us to pick up the clubs and get back on the green.
Like all sport, there’s plenty of ways that you can ensure you’re performing at your best and regular visits to your physio will help you with your strength and endurance. We’ll drive deeper (see what we did there?) into some injury prevention tips in a moment but first, let’s look at the real health benefits of golf.
Golf is good for you
A recent study concluded that golf is good for both your physical and mental health – and can even lead to a longer life. When played correctly, golf is excellent for both your cardiovascular health as well as your muscle tone and endurance.
Golf has been shown to improve your respiratory system and metabolic health as well as improving balance and general bone health – particularly in women. Although it can place excessive rotational stresses on the body, golf is recommended by the Australian Government’s Department of Health as one of the ways to ensure you are getting the recommended weekly amount of exercise for adults (2.5 – 5 hours of “moderate intensity” physical activity).
Acing it; things to avoid to ensure you’re always playing your a-game.
The age old “can you have too much of a good thing” question is relevant here; golf is very demanding on the body and if you are not properly preparing, you may suffer a common golf injury such as incorrect shoulder rotation. We recommended risk reduction strategies like warm up prior to playing and correct physical conditioning (through an exercise program – that’s where we come in!).
Here are some of the most common causes of golfing injuries, and how to avoid them:
- Overuse: practice does make perfect but, in the case of golf, it may also make injury.Balance your practice regime with rest days to ensure you’re allowing enough time for the body to adapt.
- Poor swing mechanics: bad technique will not just leave you with a high score but also increases your risk of injury – particularly to your lower back and knees. Correct posture allows your body to twist into the positions it needs to swing a club
- Ignoring previous injury: nurturing previous injury sites is the best way to ensure the injury don’t return.
- Not warming up and down: take the time to warm up and down before and after your games; five minutes of stretching – focusing on your neck, shoulders and back – will ensure your body is well prepared.
- Excessive rotational stress: also known as, a lack of rotational stability. The intensity of the twisting during your golf game puts pressure on the lumbar spine’s structure. Improving the muscles in your core (your tummy and back) will provide your spine with the support it needs.
Book an appointment with us and we can put together an exercise program to ensure you avoid these common causes of golfing injuries.
Playing the long game; golf for now and for the future.
We’re here to help you with strength, conditioning, and pain management – all things that will improve not only your posture, technique, and overall wellbeing but (perhaps more) importantly, your golf swing.
Don’t just take our word for it. Adam Scott, who will return to this year’s PGA Tournament in Brisbane after a three year hiatus from the game, has been open throughout his career about the difference engaging a professional coach made to both his performance on the green and his physical wellbeing.
On coaching himself, Scott said in May last year, “It’s an important message that’s worth golfers reminding themselves. Trust a good coach and stay focused on the things that will help you play better golf”.
Here’s a list of things we can help you with that, in the words of Adam Scott, will help you play better golf:
- Screening: we’ll make sure we understand your health history and run a series of tests to identify any niggles in your movement patterns; this is the ultimate injury prevention tool – we find it before it finds you.
- Treatment: your golf game is likely to be putting excessive rotational stress on your body – particularly your shoulders and back. Whatever your symptoms are, we’ll get you back on the green as quickly as possible.
- Physical conditioning: we’ll design an exercise program that will not only get you back in the swing of things quickly but will also improve your flexibility and athletic ability. You can do these with us in our onsite gym at Morayfield, or work on them in the comfort of your own home.
Make an appointment with us at one of our two locations; we can’t guarantee a hole-in-one, but we can guarantee that we’ll work with you to improve your physical performance, both on and off the golf course.
We’ve got two locations at Sippy Downs and Morayfield – book online now.