By Dave Wieber, PT, ATC, MTC
Golf is a multifaceted game. It can be broken down mechanically into three parts:
1) Full Swing. 2) Chipping. 3) Putting.
But there is so much more the think about than just the mechanical elements. There is the mental game, physical fitness, the science behind the equipment and instruction in the mechanics.
At Wieber Physical Therapy, we discuss the physical preparation and break it down into both women’s and men’s preparation. I will be making general statements so this will not fit every player so adjust these ideas for your body’s abilities and deficits.
Generally, men have more problems with stiffness so we look at the best ways to help. A flexibility and balance program is where we begin. One of the big keys for men is to ensure that they have hip rotation, thoracic and shoulder rotation and neck rotation. If you fit a stiffer body type, you need to have a warm up before golf – hip stretches, thoracic rotation and chest opening. I hardly make it through a day at work without promoting yoga or some type of stretching program. Men need to embrace flexibility if they are going to succeed on the golf course. Weight rooms are predominantly filled with men and yoga studios with women but it should be the other way around for golfers.
Almost all golfers need help with balance. The best way to improve your balance is to do drills standing on one foot or heel to toe with eyes open or closed. Professional golfers can balance on one foot with their eyes closed for 20 seconds or more.
Now, for women golfers who need more strength: Hand and grip strength is very important and core strength is the key to creating a stable swing with consistently good contact with the ball. I like one legged dead lifts or “bows”, crunches and side planks.
If you would like the list of warm up stretches or the golfer’s core strength exercises, contact our front desk and they will get you everything you need. If you are not sure what you need, we offer individual 1-hour assessments here in the clinic and can tailor a program to your specific body type.
Just a little bit of work on your physical fitness can have you feeling and looking great out on the course!