Living in a city where you can play golf 365 days a year, i definitely come across a ton of golfers. Heck, one of the most beautiful golf courses in the world, Torrey Pines Golf Course, is less than 2 miles away from my gym. Every time a golfer comes in to see me, they usually are dealing with one of the following issues (if not both):
Low back pain
Because of this, I’ve decided to share 3 exercises you can do that will deal with both of these issues so you can keep playing golf for the rest of your life. If you don’t start to address these issues your golf game will soon come to an end.
IT'S ALL IN THE HIPS
Obviously, golf involves a significant amount of rotation. The problem with most golfers, is they make the rotation come from the low back, which it’s definitely not designed to do. The low back is meant to flex and extend, not rotate. So where can we start getting a little more rotation? The hips! During your golf swing, both hips should be able to internally and externally rotate. If these joints can’t do their job, then the body will make it come from somewhere else…the lower back. Start incorporating Hip CARS into your everyday routine and soon your hips will start to do their job saving that lower back. Extra bonus, when the hips can rotate, all of the other functions of the hip (flexion, extension, abduction, and adduction) improve as well, eliminating that overall tightness in the legs.
ROTATION IN THE UPPER, NOT THE LOWER
Next up is all about your upper back. The vertebrates of your upper spine are designed to not only flex and extend but they also provide rotation. They have a completely different structure than their lower back counterparts. However, before they can rotate they must be able to go into flexion (bending forward). In the following mobility workout for golfers, play close attention to the seated thoracic rotation exercise. You'll first take your thoracic spine into flexion before performing rotation. This sets you up for optimal rotation from the thoracic spine. Just like with the Hip CARS from above, we're trying to get your joints to do what they're designed to do. So make your thoracic spine work nice so your lower back doesn’t take a beating.
HINGING IS A MUST
The final piece to the golf puzzle is the hinge. The hinge is the motion where your hips push backward and your torso comes forward hinging at the hips. The setup for your golf swing closely resembles this exercise. The hinge places the physical stress on the large muscles of the glutes, hamstrings, and upper back instead of the smaller muscles of the lower back. Stronger glutes and hamstrings go a long way in making everything easier in life, including golf. If you are just learning how to hinge, definitely do it unloaded and slowly progress to light loads. In the following strength training workout for golfers, we give you all of the coaching cues you’ll need to be hinging like a pro.
You've now learned my golf trifecta for anyone wanting to eliminate back pain and cure overall tightness. Start incorporating these into your daily routine and make sure you’re always ready for the golf course. Want even more ways to make that swing efficient? Then stay connected with us on Instagram, Facebook, or YouTube.
ABOUT COACH MATT PIPPIN
Matt is a Strength and Conditioning Coach and Level 3 Fascial Stretch Therapist with over 15 years experience in his field. After years of playing sports as a child, Matt gained an interest in health and wellness and decided to pursue a career in strength and conditioning. He graduated from the University of South Florida with a degree in Exercise Science in 2005. During college Matt played rugby and interned as a Strength and Conditioning Coach with the football team.
Post graduation, he worked with professional athletes as the Head Strength and Conditioning Coach for NFL Europe's Berlin Thunder. For 8 years, Matt worked in Chicago, IL at the East Bank Club as a Master Personal Trainer, Performance Coach and Fascial Stretch Therapist helping athletes and weekend warriors achieve their personal goals. Inspired by the overall quality and active lifestyle that California is known for, Matt and his wife Jennifer moved to San Diego in the summer of 2014 and haven’t looked back!
NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist
Level 3: Fascial Stretch Specialist
Level 1: Institute of Motion Health Coach
Certified FRC Mobility Specialist (FRCms)
Level 1 Kinstretch Instructor