Summertime is golfing time for many of our patients! As the rounds start adding up, aches and pains can begin creeping in. One of the keys to staying healthy and maximizing performance in golf is maintaining your ability to rotate through multiple joints simultaneously. It may sound simple enough, but without consistent practice, maintaining the ability to rotate can be difficult! In this month’s blog, we are going to cover exactly how to do that quickly and efficiently.
At Inside Sports Clinic, we prefer to start our sessions with some self-administered soft tissue work. In the case of rotation for golf, using a foam roller and targeting the lat muscles can provide a nice stimulus to the muscle and help you to create more rotation with the upcoming exercises! Spending 30 seconds to 1 minute on each side is plenty of time to create the desired effect, being sure to spend more time on any particularly tender areas.
Once we have foam rolled the lats, it is time to begin moving through the complete range of motion. Thankfully, all you need is a golf club and a little space to get that accomplished! Grabbing the club as wide as you comfortably can, reach your arm out to one side, using the opposite arm to help push through the complete range of motion. After a few reps to each side, try reaching back by turning your shoulders, while still keeping your hips square. After a few reps of reaching back on each side, we can begin turning the hips with the shoulders. At this point, you should be rotating your whole body, reaching with one arm and using the opposite arm to help push you back further. Ideally, this should feel like a firm stretch from your shoulder, down through your torso, into your hips, knees, and ankles.
After foam rolling and stretching, it is time to work on strengthening the core musculature to improve your ability to control your rotation. For this situation, our go-to exercise is a plank series. Starting with the basic plank everyone is familiar with, being mindful of the position of your head, neck, and hips. We prefer 10 seconds of a high quality plank over 60 seconds of holding a plank just to hold a plank! If you feel comfortable, we can then progress to side planks, where you are on your side using one elbow to hold the plank position (hence the name side plank). If you feel comfortable with both the standard plank and the side plank individually, we can then begin rolling from the standard plank, into a side blank, back to the standard plank, and then to the other side plank. If you can perform a high quality rolling plank, your golf game will benefit!
Between foam rolling, our mobility drill, and our plank progression, you now have all the tools to develop and maintain rotation! Ensuring you can rotate means you can be confident in having the physical tools to have steady, consistent mechanics that allow for a more predictable swing from round to round while also reducing the likelihood of any overuse injuries that may arise from playing a lot of golf! If you or someone you know has pain with golf, schedule an appointment today.