Physio for Golf
May 22, 2019
In honour of the most recent Masters Tournament, this blog will be about how physical therapy can improve your golf game. A physical therapist can help manage several types of injuries that may be limiting your performance, but they an also create a golf-specific exercise program to potentially enhance your skills!
Targeting the mobility, stability and strength of the joints and musculature in the trunk, hips and shoulders are pivotal for improving one’s golf swing1. Two studies showed that strength training and plyometrics (explosive exercise) specific to these areas can improve peak speed of leading arms and hand in a golf swing, club head speed, and ball distance2,3. One of the common exercises between the two studies is the rotational medicine ball throw (Figure 1). This exercise is great because it both targets the desired joints and muscles stated above in addition to mimicking the explosive rotational component of a golf swing, resulting in the best transfer into your golf game!
More recent evidence has shown that improving grip strength with the use fat grips (figure 2) can also be of benefit to one’s golf game. A group of researchers determined that performing resistance training with fat grips around the bar handles improved ball speed, carry, driving distance and left-hand grip strength4. Although this is fairly new information, improving forearm and wrist strength wouldn’t hurt your golf swing because the energy transfer that originates from you hips and torso must pass through your forearms and wrists on the way to the club head!
These are only a few suggestions your physical therapist can provide for your own personalized golf training program. Visit your nearest Active Physio Works location for an assessment and treatment from a qualified Physical Therapist with locations in Edmonton, St. Albert and Fort Saskatchewan or call at 780-458-8505 today!
1) Evans, K., & Tuttle, N. (2015). Improving performance in golf: current research and implications from a clinical perspective. Brazilian journal of physical therapy, (AHEAD), 0-0.
2) Bull, M., & Bridge, M. W. (2012). The effect of an 8-week plyometric exercise program on golf swing kinematics. International Journal of Golf Science, 1(1), 42-53.
3) Fletcher, I. M., & Hartwell, M. (2004). Effect of an 8-week combined weights and plyometrics training program on golf drive performance. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 18(1), 59-62.
4) Cummings, P. M., Waldman, H. S., Krings, B. M., Smith, J. W., & McAllister, M. J. (2018). Effects of Fat Grip Training on Muscular Strength and Driving Performance in Division I Male Golfers. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 32(1), 205-210.
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