Physio and Golf

Physiotherapy for Golf 

Golfers know that the golf swing is a full body movement. It was said by pro golfer Tom Armour that golf is an awkward set of bodily contortions designed to produce a graceful result. We can’t agree more. That’s why physiotherapy for golf is so important. What we frequently hear from golfers struggling with their game include: 

  • Stiffness in the body that is restricting your golf swing  
  • Losing your balance at the end of a swing 
  • Pain and soreness in the back and shoulders 
  • Difficulty coordinating the upper and lower body 
  • A feeling of trying too hard because the swing doesn’t feel right 
  • They’re just not getting it and they don’t know why 

Do any of the above sound like you? Well, golf is complex and before we find out where physiotherapy for golf comes in, let us explore what goes into a golf swing. 

Golf swing and physio

What you need in a Golf Swing? 

  1. Balance and stability through the lower body 
  1. The ability to turn one’s body while keeping the head still  
  1. Range of movement through the trunk and shoulders to swing  
  1. Wrist and finger strength to hold the club firmly 
  1. Core strength and power 
  1. Coordination of the head, shoulder, arms, trunk, hips, knees and ankles 
  1. Precision in each joint to hold steady 

Suffice to say, golf is far from simple! Joint stiffness and muscle tightness in any part of the body will hinder a smooth and graceful swing. Physiotherapy for golf includes reducing joint and muscle stiffness, increasing your range of motion, retraining muscles and building strength where it is needed.  

Exercises for Golf  

These are the top 3 exercises to try today to help with balance and mobility through the trunk and hips. 

  1. Open book 
    This mobility exercise focuses on movement through the spine and ribs. In the golf swing, the head and legs stay relatively stable as the trunk and shoulders rotate. To do this exercise, 
    – Lay sideways and have your head resting on a pillow 
    – Take a breath in as you twist your body open and reach your arms out 
    – Breathe out as you bring your body to the start position 
    – Repeat x 5-10 per side. 
  1. Forearm muscle release 
    The muscles in the forearms need to be strong and healthy to have a good grip on the golf club and maintain control of the wrists. The muscles on the inside of the forearm flex or bend your wrist forwards, and the muscles on the outside of the forearm extend or bend your wrists backwards. To do this muscle release,  
    – Sit with your arm resting on a table or some cushions. 
    – Rub with your thumb or fingers on the forearm muscle. Try to find a spot in the muscle where your thumb feels like it is pushing against resistance (something firm like a “knot” or “band” in the muscle). 
    – Hold each spot for 90 seconds 
    – Aim to find 2-3 spots per muscle group (3-5mins per muscle total) 
    – You may prefer to massage the forearm muscles with lotion, making longer strokes along the muscle for 3-5min. 
  1. (Balance + stability) 
    – Weight shift (lateral) 
    – Weight shift (front to back) 
Golf and Physio help

How does Barefoot Physiotherapy help golfers? 

At Barefoot Physiotherapy, we understand that golf is complicated, and we want to make things easier for you. Your Barefoot physiotherapist will assess how your nerves are functioning and treat any nerve irritation present so that the body is set up as best as possible for mobility and strength. Nerve irritation can present itself in the body as tight muscles, uncoordinated or restricted movement, and/or weakness.  

When the nerves in your body are functioning well, your physiotherapist will conduct a head-to-toe assessment of your muscles and joints. Through systematic testing, we will identify key muscles and joints that need treating, whether it needs releasing, strengthening or gaining control around the area. Not all tight muscles need stretches and it is a common misconception that we want to address. To learn more about the difference between stretching and releasing a muscle, you may read more here.  

We love to communicate with all members of your team, including your golf coaches. We can also join you at the driving range for a session so we can better understand your individual swing and incorporate our treatment to further improve how you feel in your swing. 

Whether you are new to golf or have been golfing for decades and your body is not moving as freely and smoothly as you’d like, we want to help you. Feel free to call us on 1300 842 850 or book online to get started today.  If you enjoyed this blog you should check out our blog on How to do a great squat.

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