The majority of golfers, both amateur and professional, automatically assume that their swing is to blame when experiencing off games or feelings of pain and discomfort. While a poor swing could have something to do with these issues, it is more likely that the cause is physical weakness or lack of flexibility. Connor Mulvey of Chicago is an experienced golfer, qualifying for the California State Amateur Championship of golf a few years ago.
It may not seem like it to the average spectator, but Connor Mulvey explains that golf is a highly ballistic sport; it involves lots of sudden movements and twists and physical exertion. It also requires that players favor one side of their body over the other. Consider this, someone playing a round of golf might swing a club 100 times or more using only one side of their body. This often leads to imbalances in the muscles and repetitive strain injuries.
Before rushing off to hire a coach to inspect and improve your swing, it may be worthwhile to take a closer look at your physical ability. It is likely that you’ll find the key to a better (and more painless) game on the green is a fitness program that focuses on flexibility and mobility. Connor Mulvey reminds players to consult with their physician before starting any new fitness program.
According to Chicago’s Connor Mulvey, here are the four best exercises for golfers:
- Seated Rotation
The seated rotation, if performed properly, will greatly improve your ability to rotate — a key element of a great golf swing.
How it is done: Start by straddling a bench or a ball while holding a golf club behind your back, resting it in your elbows. Keep your palms flat on your stomach and, without rotating your hips, twist your torso to the left and then to the right. Alternating each side for 10 seconds.
2. Standing Y
The standing Y helps to improve mobility in the shoulders and reverses the effects of sitting for extended periods of time.
How it is done: While standing, bend over at the waist, keeping your back flat and chest high. Hold a golf club with your palms facing up. While pulling your shoulder blades back, raise your arms over your head to create a Y. Continue to raise and lower your arms for 10 reps.
Handwalks are a great way to prevent ‘golfer’s elbow’.
How it is done: Stand up and bend slightly at the waist, learn further and place your hands on the ground in front of you. Next, walk your hands out into a push-up position and begin to talk your toes towards your hands. Walk your hands back out to the starting position and repeat for 10 reps.
4. Pillar Bridge
Lateral bridges help to prevent back pain and injury by opening up the hips.
How it is done: While lying on one side, place your elbow under your shoulder and stack one foot on top of the other. Now, push your hip away from the ground, creating a parallel line from foot to shoulder. Hold this pose for five seconds. Repeat 10 times per side. A tip from Connor Mulvey: remember to keep your head and spine aligned.
If you are an avid golfer, it is important to take care of your body to reduce tension and sore muscles. By following these four exercises outlined by Chicago’s Connor Mulvey, golf enthusiasts can work on their flexibility as well as their swing.