Power or mobility? Range of motion or strength? As you begin to adapt your body for better performance on the golf course this spring, you need to figure out first what you need. This article will discuss the major stumbling blocks that I see the most with patients. These corrections are great for getting out of a chair the following day after a round of golf. They can also increase your power off the tee or on approach.
So, which is it, power or mobility? The answer is both, but mobility comes before power. Some of the longest drivers on the PGA Tour are not your typical gym rat. Dustin Johnson can crush the ball, but he doesn’t do it by bench pressing a Smart car. He has a unique blend of genetics (body size and mobility) and the training to control his body through all that range of motion. A swing coach I worked with told me that most of my patients would need surgery to have the range of motion of the top tour players, and nobody wants to go through that. So how do we up your mobility to take advantage of all the mechanics in the golf swing?
First, we need to make sure you have a good range of motion in your neck, wrists, and shoulders. If any of these feel tight, then try these basic stretches. If they feel painful, you should get it checked out by a physical therapist before embarking on a training program.
Next up is the low back and hips. The lumbar spine’s primary function is bending forward and backward. A common ailment for the recreational golfer is low back pain, and I almost always find some stiffness in the hips.
“So, I move fine, now tell me about the power!” The beauty of the golf swing is that control is more effective for distance than raw power. If you can take advantage of more range of motion with good control, you will maintain your ball striking and juice up your distance. These exercises are more about learning to control your movement than being able to use the strongest band or lift the heaviest weight.
Whether you want to enjoy 18 holes without pain or get 20 more yards out of your driver, it’s important to learn how to increase mobility while maintaining control. These exercises can help, but the best outcomes happen with personalized instruction. Everybody is different, and a physical therapist is a movement expert who has the knowledge base to work safely around old injuries while increasing performance. Stop into your local Athletico for a free assessment with a licensed physical therapist today.
The Athletico blog is an educational resource written by Athletico employees. Athletico bloggers are licensed professionals who abide by the code of ethics outlined by their respective professional associations. The content published in blog posts represents the opinion of the individual author based on their expertise and experience. The content provided in this blog is for informational purposes only, does not constitute medical advice and should not be relied on for making personal health decisions.