October 24, 2011

Key To Injury Prevention Is Warming Up

In the not so distant past, golfers traditionally would not warm up before playing. Over the last couple of years, I have noticed that golfers are taking more time to warm up correctly.

By paying a little extra attention to warming up, injuries can be reduced. If you are a golfer who starts slow, and takes a few holes to loosen up, you probably could have lowered your handicap by just warming up for 20 minutes so that blood can get to the working muscles quicker.

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If you are a golfer who starts out quickly, but your scoring gets worse as you approach the back nine, you need to spend more time conditioning your golf muscles. In the mean time, while you are waiting to tee off, you can stretch some of those tight muscles.

There are traditional stretches that you can do, and that you have probably seen other people do. To improve performance, it is best to be educated by someone who can show you how to do corrective stretching.

By corrective stretching, I mean learning how to stretch those muscles that are in a shortened state rather than stretching muscles that have a normal muscle length to them, which would continue to give you muscle imbalances.

The point of doing a conditioning program for a golfer is to balance the body so that optimal performance can be achieved. When the body isn’t balanced, because one side of the body is weak, and the other side is tight, then maintaining your swing plane and driving the ball with consistency becomes a problem. If we can stretch those muscles that are tight and strengthen those that are weak, the body is in better shape to handle 18 holes on a consistent basis.

To understand the importance and execution of these stretches, it is best to seek a qualified professional to educate you so that you don’t injure yourself.

Michael Butler , B.A.; P.T.A.; CPT, is Director of Swingfit at Rancho Physical Therapy (in the Sports Club Center). You can visit online at www.Swingfit.org



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