Are you looking to improve your golf swing? Well, keep reading because in this blog, we’ll be outlining the top 5 exercises you can easily do at home with the aim of developing and maintaining mobility to help your golf swing and reduce your risk of risk of injury. Those of us that play golf know how important technique is, but know it’s not as simple as hitting a ball a few metres away into a small cup. There are many aspects to a golf swing from a physical and technical perspective. This blog isn’t a coaching lesson on your golf swing, but is a must read to improve your mobility that will be directly transferrable to your golf swing.
Why is mobility needed in golf?
The 3 main areas that require good mobility for a long, smooth shot are the thoracic spine, the hips and the shoulders. Good mobility through these joints are key in allowing the body to rotate from the ground all the way through the club. Better mobility means there is a better swing arc from the back swing, and then through the follow through. As you can imagine this has numerous benefits that will give you a better swing rhythm.
Let’s break it down…
Image credit: Rotaryswing.com
Many people lack mobility in their thoracic spine (upper back). Golf requires a lot of rotation which is heavily provided by the thoracic spine. If the thoracic spine is stiff, rotational forces will have to be provided elsewhere in the body. Often the lower back takes on the responsibility, and because it isn’t designed to provide much rotation, it can lead to lower back pain and injury. You can also imagine how much the golf swing will be suboptimal.
Depending if you’re a left or right-handed golfer, the lead hand will be different. Each shoulder is required to move a different way as golf is not fully symmetrical. For example, a right-handed golfer requires more external rotation in the right shoulder during the back swing. Having good mobility in the shoulders helps with technique and reducing excess force to the shoulder and other areas.
Having good rotational mobility through the hips helps significantly with correct loading and weight transfer during the swing. It is quite common for people to lack rotation of the hips, particularly internal rotation. This is partly to do with genetics and partly due to joint or muscle tightness. Limitations in hip range of motion can also result in excess loading in the lower back.
Exercises to develop and maintain mobility…
A good place to start is performing these exercises daily, at 3 sets of 15 reps (per side if exercise is one side).
It is important to remember that these exercises are a guide only. If you have any pain or significant restriction in the movements that you are trying, then it would be advisable to consul with a physiotherapist to further assess the problem, which will allow us to then tailor an exercise program to suit your specific needs.