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Golfers

Posture exercise for golfers

“It makes sense to start with posture exercise for golfers in a sports rehab plan. Bilateral symmetry of upright stance and front to back alignment may not always be a prerequisite for good quality motion, but someone with good posture will find it’s far easier to learn to do just about any sport activity, golf, pitching, running, and any other motion well.”
“The alternative is to learn a motion – say swinging a golf club – and work towards better form in an adaptive body. Setting the athlete up for injury and postural stress.”

– Dr. Steven Weiniger

Click here to find out more about how posture exercise can help your game.


Chiropractic & Golf

Simple measures to help avoid back pain or injury and improve your game…

  • Purchase equipment that fits. Don’t try to adapt your swing to the wrong clubs: A six-footer playing with irons designed for someone five inches shorter is begging for back trouble.
  • It is a good idea to spend some extra time performing quality stretches-before and after your game-to increase your trunk flexibility. While men are traditionally stronger than women, they usually aren’t as flexible. Men need to improve their flexibility to maintain a more even and consistent swing plane and thus improve the likelihood of more consistent performance.
  • If you show some signs of arthritis in the hands, consider a larger, more specialized grip for added safety and performance.
  • For some, scores may not be as important as enjoying the social benefits of the game. Having clubs that are comfortable will increase the chances of playing for a long time without significant physical limitations.
  • Take lessons. Learning proper swing technique is critical. At the end of the swing, you want to be standing up straight; the back should not be twisted.
  • Wear orthotics. These custom-made shoe inserts support the arch, absorb shock, and increase coordination. “Studies show custom-made, flexible orthotics can improve the entire body’s balance, stability and coordination, which translates into a smoother swing and reduced fatigue,” Dr. Stude says. While the upper part of a shoe may score style points, what the foot rests on affects your game.
  • Warm up before each round. “Stretching before and after 18 holes is the best way to reduce post-game stiffness and soreness,” says Dr. Stude. Take a brisk walk to get blood flowing to the muscles; then do a set of stretches. To set up a stretching and/or exercise routine, see a doctor of chiropractic or golf pro who can evaluate your areas of tension and flexibility.
  • Pull, don’t carry, your golf bag. Carrying a heavy bag for 18 holes can cause the spine to shrink, leading to disk problems and nerve irritation. If you prefer to ride in a cart, alternate riding and walking every other hole-bouncing around in a cart can also be hard on the spine.
  • Keep your entire body involved. Every third hole, take a few practice swings with the opposite hand to keep your muscles balanced and even out stress on the back.
  • Drink lots of water. Dehydration causes early fatigue, leading you to compensate by adjusting your swing, thus increasing the risk of injury. Don’t smoke or drink alcoholic beverages while golfing, as both cause loss of fluid.

Fred Funk“I do believe Chiropractic has really benefited my game. Over the last three years, I feel I have become more exposed to, and knowledgeable about, the benefits of Chiropractic for me and my game. I realize how your body can get out of balance, and Chiropractic care helps…”

– Fred Funk

Tiger Woods“I’ve been going to a Chiropractor for as long as I can remember. It is as important to my training as the practice of my swing.”

– Tiger Woods


Swing Myths That Promote Injury

One of the biggest myths involves the notion that club head speed at ball impact is dependent on maximum spinal rotation during the backswing. Many golf instructors advocate this theory and recommend that golfers keep their pelvis as stationary as possible while the spine is maximally rotated. These swing positions are popular because it is believed that maximum spinal rotation somehow engages the “big” muscles of the back, allowing for a sling-shot effect during the downswing.

However, like the spinal muscles, the “big back muscle” called the latissimus dorsi has nothing to do with generating spinal rotation. Nor is maximal spinal rotation necessary for the latissimus dorsi to perform its normal function which is moving the arm, not the spine. Regarding spinal muscles, it is known that they provide only five percent of the torque generated during spinal rotation, the abdominal obliques doing nearly all the work.

The true source of power generation in the golf swing involves the creation of elastic energy (think of a rubber band), which is thought to be the power generator for most athletic maneuvers. Briefly stated, elastic energy is created by imparting a short, quick stretch on the muscles involved in performing a particular movement. In the case of the golf swing, it is generally thought that the rotator cuff, latissimus dorsi and pectoralis major muscles are the “power muscles,” as well as the muscles of the arm and forearm. To effectively pre-stretch these muscles, no spinal rotation is needed. The only purpose for pelvic and spinal rotation in the backswing is to achieve a body position that allows for effective club head delivery at ball impact.

The three main reasons to adopt a short backswing that reduces spinal rotation:

  1. A short swing with less spinal rotation gives a golfer more control of the golf club and club head throughout the swing, which translates into better control of the golf ball.
  2. Research has demonstrated that short backswings achieved the same clubhead speed at ball impact as long backswings.
  3. A short backswing will help to minimize the torsional stress in the lumbar spine.

Golfers should keep their shoulders and pelvis parallel to each other throughout the majority of the golf swing. This is called rigid parallelization, the loss of which can generate rotational strain in the lumbar spine.

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Flowood, MS 39232

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