PLAYING GOLF MAY HURT YOU

Bob Forman, MS - Exercise Physiology
Certified Golf Fitness Instructor, Author, Speaker


Add another prominent player to the injured list.  Phil Mickelson, at the start of the season pulled out of his hometown event in San Diego after making the cut due to a low back concern.  He said he was good-to-go the following week in Phoenix, but time will tell.

Low back injury is not something that’s here today and gone tomorrow.  It lingers, as do most injuries.  And though the pain may subside somewhat, the mindset is that on any given swing, the back could go.  Not something you want to have to think about while trying to focus on your game.

Injury can occur as a result of an acute incident like slamming your 7-iron on a root that you didn’t see or twisting an ankle on a sprinkler head.  These often require immediate attention and might prevent the individual from swinging a stick for a period of time while the injury is rehabbed. 

A majority of injuries, though, are chronic in nature, developing over time and some without symptoms until the actual injury occurs.  These types of injury tend to hang around and/or reoccur on a frequent basis.  Common sites are low back, elbows, shoulders, hips and knees. 

The underlying mechanism that leads up to most of these chronic injuries is misalignment of the body due to muscle deficiencies.   These deficiencies, in the form of tight and/or weak muscles, pull the body out of balance, increasing the potential for those nagging aches and pains many golfers suffer from.  They, by in large, are a consequence of lifestyle. . . what we do and what we don’t do. 

Playing golf, for example, will develop imbalances in the body simply due to the fact that it is a repetitive, one-sided activity.  We are using a particular set of muscle groups in a particular movement pattern over and over again, and so we create an unevenness, if you will, in our bodies. 

The severity of the imbalances depend upon several factors such as the age an individual starts to swing a golf club (note how many tour players who started playing the game young are getting hurt. . . at least the ones we hear about), how often they swing a golf club, heredity to an extent, and whether or not a corrective exercise program is being done to prevent/alleviate the anatomical imbalance. 

Age, if you're wondering, is no longer an excuse.  It used to be when it was customary for people to become more sedentary as they got older.  We now know, however, that flexibility, strength and range of motion, which is crucial for maintaining balance in the body, can be preserved as we age.  We just need to work at it.

Activities of daily living will also take its toll on our bodies.  The amount of time we sit during the day and how we sit are huge factors.  So is how we carry bags, briefcases and babies.  Are you always holding them on one side or do you alternate sides?  Do you stand balanced on both feet or do you often shift your weight to one side?

These unconscionable “habits” that we develop will definitely have an impact on our musculoskeletal integrity as we age.  Trust me when I say that we all have imbalances in our bodies.  They are there just waiting for a trigger, like a golf swing or a reach down to tee the ball up, to set the pain reflex in motion.

Longer term consequences from misalignment include wear and tear on the joints of the body.  This is often cited as a big reason for the increase in the number of hip and knee replacements that are done each year, and the pain and discomfort that is experienced prior to these procedures.  

Assessing for imbalances in the body is not a difficult thing to do and is what is measured during a golf fitness assessment.  It is not labor intensive and takes very little time.  The information gathered is instrumental for designing a customized exercise program that will target the problem areas so that muscle deficiencies can be corrected in a time-efficient manner.  That helps return balance back to the body and equates to a healthier golf game.

Body balance should be a goal for everyone, regardless if you play golf or not, but especially if you do swing a golf club.  As golf, with its explosive, one-sided nature will add to the anatomical deficiencies and in many cases, as we have seen on tour these past few months, ignite the switch.  Identify and correct the imbalances and you not only improve swing efficiency and playing performance, you improve your chances for pain-free golf.

EXERCISE OF THE MONTH

Static Hamstring Stretch

 One of the main factors for low back discomfort is tight hamstrings, which can also affect hip mobility in the golf swing.

 

 

Check with your physician before starting any type of exercise program.

IMPROVE YOUR GAME

GOLF FITNESS
ASSESSMENT & TRAINING


A quality, customized golf fitness program will. . .
  • Enhance swing efficiency
  • Increase distance
  • Improve playing performance and satisfaction
  • Identify and correct golf-specific injury triggers

    All for much less than what another brand new driver that's going to "fix my game" would cost
     
click here for details

  


The golf exercises are going great.  I am hitting the ball the best I have ever hit it.  My back pain has gone away also. 
 
David R. 

more testimonials

HOST A WORKSHOP

If your Club or organization would like to host an informative golf fitness workshop, contact Bob at bob@golfitcarolina.com or 336-509-4610.

Bob came to my club and did a hour long session on the basics of his teaching and philosophy of fitness and how it relates to the golf swing and its performance.  My members thoroughly enjoyed the hour and wanted more.  I was impressed with his content and explanation.  My members were floored with his Q&A and his personal adaptation to their issues.  I was impressed with his interaction with attendants of the seminar.  If you are looking for someone to integrate your fitness program with the golf program, Bob is the guy to do it!  We will be booking Bob to come back to our club next spring.
Shannon Howell, PGA Head Golf Professional
Country Club of Sapphire Valley, Sapphire Valley, NC


"Bob Forman was fabulous!  He is a great presenter who shared some extremely valuable information related to how anatomical deficiencies such as: poor posture, flexibility, and balance impact our golf swing.  He not only shared what they are and how they impact the swing, but also demonstrated exercises to help correct them."
Ellen Gregory
EWGA-Wilmington, NC chapter

“Westchester is one of the Country’s largest private clubs with a membership that has high expectations for service and performance.  Bob Forman’s seminar on golf specific fitness and flexibility was extremely well received and motivated many of my members to begin a program of evaluation, exercise and follow-ups.  I highly recommend Bob for his knowledge, energy , and ability to connect with amateurs concerning golf fitness.” 
John Kennedy, Director of Golf
Westchester CC, 
Harrison, NY

Bob has a fantastic ability to understand and combine his expertise of the physical complexities of the human body with the PGA Professional’s trained eye with respect to the complexities of the golf swing.  Bob offers a refreshing angle that most amateur and professional golfers can understand and embrace.  Many times, a golfer will have physical limitations that prevents him or her from moving the way the PGA Professional is trying to instruct.  Bob can take the golfer’s weakest physical traits and focus a training program to better overcome those obstacles and allow the golfers to ultimately improve their swing. 
Dennis Nicholl, PGA Head Golf Professional
The Dunes Golf & Beach Club, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

IMPROVE YOUR GAME

Functional Golf Fitness Training is a comprehensive player improvement resource for golfers of all ages and levels, teaching professionals and coaches.  
A great manual for golf teams as well.  

Dedicated chapters on:
- how to identify and correct the common physical deficiencies most golfers have that are impacting their swing and injury potential
- over 40 golf-specific exercises and drills

- preventing/alleviating the #1 injury in golf, low back injury
- how to fix the more common swing faults

Amazon reviews:

"Very clear explanations of causes and fixes for main physical deficiencies affecting golfers. Easy to follow instructions. While other books may give a whole laundry list of exercises that end up not being used, Forman has selected a few for each issue and puts together a program that doesn't take long to do"

"This book not only tells you what to do but also why you need to do and what results you can expect.
I have every book in print about golf fitness and this book is by far the best."


Available in print at TheBookPatch

TheBookPatch.com Buy Now style 1 button
or as an ebook on Amazon

Go to
http://www.amazon.com/Functional-Golf-Fitness-Training-ebook/dp/B00FH88Q0Q

SWING FAULT PHYSIOLOGY

Swing mechanics are often influenced by physical deficiencies in the golfer's body.  Below are some of the more common swing faults, their physical causes and how to correct.

GOLF POSTURE

S-POSTURE AND LOW BACK PAIN

EARLY EXTENSION

SWAY & SLIDE

REVERSE SPINE

While correcting the deficiencies, you also need to rewire the brain-body connection in order to break out of the inefficient swing pattern.  

REWIRE THE BAD SWING HABIT

RADIO / PODCASTS

 

 

November 11, 2017
The top 10 fitness must haves for better golf.  Click on the pic and then "podcast."  
My segment starts at 1:10:30.

 
June 22, 2017
(go to 1:10:00 into the show)
golf posture, muscle imbalance, improving distance, stretching, hydration, Tiger and specialization, Rory and weight lifting



March 14, 2015
(go to 1:08:00 into the show)
fitness vs. golf fitness, strength training and slowing down the aging process, C and S-postures 


scroll down to 9/9/2013
(go to 23:15 into the show)
back injury