Simple Steps to Prevent Common Golf Injuries
Most golf players think of this sport as a low-level activity without much risk of injury. While this may be true, injuries can happen. More than 131,000 Americans ended up in the ER with golf-related injuries in 2015 alone. Lower back pain, golf elbow, tennis elbow, and rotator cuff issues are just a few to mention.
No matter your experience and skills, you’re not immune to injuries. That’s why it’s important to take things slowly and ensure you have proper mechanics in your golf swing. Also, you need to stay in shape and maintain a strong core year round. These simple preventive measures can lower injury risk and improve your game.
Get in Shape
Before you even start thinking about hitting the ball, take the steps needed to get in shape. Do a mix of exercises that strengthen your muscles, especially the arms, shoulders, quads, hamstrings, and glutes. Compound movements, such as the squat and straight leg deadlifts, improve lower body strength and enhance core stability.
Train Your Forearm Muscles
Golf requires strong forearm muscles. Weak forearms may be the reason you experience hand tenderness or numbness. On top of that, they increase your risk of carpal tunnel syndrome, tendinitis, and wrist injuries.
To strengthen your forearm muscles, squeeze a tennis ball for at least five minutes several times a day. Use a light dumbbell to do wrist curls. Perform these exercises regularly to increase grip strength and build up your forearm.
Improve Your Swing
The golf swing involves repetitive movements that place stress on your joints and tendons. To stay injury-free, refrain from swinging the club too fast or too hard. Use your entire body, not just your wrists, to generate power.
Also, don’t hunch over the ball because it may lead to back and neck strain. Hold your spine straight and use your hips to control the movement. Keep your feet shoulder-width apart and rotated slightly outward. Watch professional players executing this movement – and then practice until you get it right.
Don’t hesitate to ask for expert help. A personal trainer, for instance, can teach you exercises and stretches that will prepare your body for the game. A chiropractor or a physiotherapist can make custom recommendations on how to stay safe and strengthen the muscles that are prone to injury.