Among the most common golf injuries are issues with the back. Golf is enjoyed by nearly 29 million people a year in the United States and the number one complaint has to do with back pain or soreness.
Many doctors, therapist, and trainers talk about the torque of the back as a cause and usually think that making the back stronger will improve the chances of having a sore back. Some companies are selling back braces for golfers, better shoes, or modifying their swing. All of which offer temporary relief, but it is temporary. Many people give up golf because they believe, or are told, that golf is bad for their back and it appears to be true. So they quit golf.
The Trick is Being Prepared
The truth is, golf is not bad for your back if you are prepared to play the game physically. I know your first thought is to get to the gym and lift more weights. We have seen Tiger Woods bulk up and the injuries he has endured since that time, correct? Well obviously, that is not working for him to avoid these common golf injuries.
You may have some buddies at the gold club that work out regularly, and yet, still have back pain. You may think the professionals are correct, golf is bad for my back. Don’t fret, there may be other reasons why your back hurts playing golf.
I have worked with golfers for years solving their back and knee pain and I can tell you the most important stretch for a golfer is not placing a club behind your neck and twisting on the first tee. I don’t know how that started, but it is the least effective stretch warm-up you can do for golf.
The Number One Stretch to Avoid Common Golf Injuries
The most important stretch for any golfer is the calf stretch. Every time you hit a golf ball and rotate your hips, that rotation begins at the ankles and goes up. You have four calf muscles and two bones in the lower leg. Like your forearm, the calves allow the lower leg to rotate while gripping the ground with your feet. Stand barefoot in your house or office and practice your golf swing. Feel how your body shifts from one side of your foot to the other and feel how the rotation in the leg occurs.
Most back pain and injuries occur because the golfer is trying rotate their hips without their calves. The rotation muscles in the hips are too small to force the larger calf muscles to release. This places a huge amount of pressure on the lower back. On top of that, as you stand over the ball, notice how your knees are bent and your body weight is resting on the upper quads, front of thighs. This too will add to the back problems when you stand.
This is What You Need to Do
So how do you solve this? Get a yoga strap and do the following calf stretch.
Do this every morning and evening to maintain great rotation in your golf swing.
Sit on the floor with your back and hips up against the wall. Lay one leg straight out in front of you. If you cannot sit on the floor, sit in a hard-backed chair with one leg on an ottoman. Recliners will not work as many older golfers have tried this and failed.
Place the yoga strap around the ball of your foot and gently pull the toes back towards. Stretching is not about force so you will not pull this too hard.
Feel the stretch up behind the knee, breathe out and allow the middle calf muscles to release. Hold 5 seconds and repeat the stretch 10 times.
Now rotate the leg inward and the stretch will shift to the outside of the calf and repeat the stretch.
Lastly, rotate the leg outward and repeat the stretch again.
Sign up HERE for my Tuesday Afternoon Tips to see videos of this stretch and many more that could help your golf game. You can view older Tuesday Tips to stretch your quads and soften your feet.
Where to Start
We’re happy to offer you a complimentary 30-min virtual consultation so you can experience this for yourself. Schedule your introduction to Stretch n Release now.
About The Muscle Repair Shop
Drawing upon his personal experience as a former competitive athlete turned wheelchair, obese and chronic pain sufferer, Muscle Repair Shop founder Butch Phelps decided to take his health into his own hands when at the age of 36 he was told he might not make it to his 40th birthday. Applying balanced nutrition advice from his doctor along with a sound exercise program, he went from 315 lbs. to 180 lbs. Motivated by his experience, he then acquired degrees in advanced therapeutic massage and aging sciences to help people eliminate chronic pain. This included applying his expertise in how people age, including the effects of dementia, anatomy, psychology, and the day-to-day struggles living as an older person to his practice and development of The Muscle Repair Shop’s one-of-a-kind Stretch n’ Release Technique.
Available through in-office and virtual coaching treatment sessions, this unique combination of stretching and breath work teaches the brain to release the emotional side of muscle tension and pain allows clients to find lasting relief and healing from stiffness, aches, injuries, and chronic pain. The at-home exercises come with customized instructional videos and virtual or in-office support, allowing clients to enjoy and experience life and sports as they did before limitations slowed or curtailed activities.