"Fore" Ways To Prevent Injury At The Start Of Golf Season
This is the year! Although I can’t promise you that this is the year your golf swing comes together, I can provide you with four tips on how to avoid injury while you try and get back into the “swing of things” at the start of the golf season.
1. Warm up before you play
After a good night’s sleep or after spending many hours seated at work or school, key muscle groups used in the golf swing move less easily. Stretching and use of moderate repetitive motion before play increases muscle range of motion and muscle temperature – both of which prevent muscle injury and increase efficiency. Before your first swing, remember to try and warm up for approximately 10 minutes. Start by stretching your hands, wrists, forearms, elbows, shoulder, back, hips and legs. After you’ve stretched these key areas, swing your golf club a few times, gradually increasing your speed and range of motion. This gradual repetitive motion will help coordinate and further stretch these muscle groups and help prevent injury.
2. Start slowly
If it has been several months since you have last swung a golf club, the first several club swings may not give you your desired result. Although it may be frustrating, remember to limit your initial time of play. It’s tempting to spend hours trying to fix that swing fault, but if your body isn’t conditioned for the strain, injury can easily happen. Remember to start slowly and work up to your desired level of activity.
3. Try to strengthen 2-3 times a week
According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle, Americans should perform 2-5 hrs a week of aerobic exercise and 2 days of strength training. Strength training not only promotes a healthy lifestyle but also helps prevent muscle injury. A great way to help achieve these goals and prevent injury in the golf swing is to focus on strength training golf swing muscles. Fortunately, you don’t need to build large muscles to have an injury free golf season or to have a great golf swing. After all, per PGA statistics, Rory McIIroy is the current FedEx Cup leader; he stands 5’10” tall, weighs 160 lbs and has an average driving distance of 312 yds.
4. Carrying the golf bag properly
Walking the golf course rather than driving a golf cart during play is a great source of aerobic activity that helps improve cardiovascular strength and stamina. However, carrying a golf bag improperly can lead to increased low back strain. Most carry golf bags have 2 straps; make sure that you wear both straps when carrying your bag to evenly distribute the weight of the bag across the back and reduce the chances of developing low back pain from an uneven load.