September 13, 2012

Oh My Aching Back!

The pre round cocktail is routine. Tee time 8:15am, the power rub of ultra strength vanishing scent ointment, two over the counter muscle relaxers in by 7:30am. Are you an individual who is suffering from lower back pain? Is your lower back stiff and sore when you get out of bed and head off to the first tee? Probably everyone reading this article has experienced a lower back problem at some time or another in their lives. Speaking from experience they are not fun, and when it comes to golf, they certainly won’t help lower your handicap or help drive the ball 280 yards are, are you ready for natures cocktail?

I am not a medical professional but from my experience lower back problems are arguably the single biggest problem for the weekend player. An inactive or sedentary lifestyle along with the improper repetitive nature of the golf swing puts an enormous amount of stress on the muscles of the lower back. While there are many muscles to mention I promise to give you usable information without the exercise physiology lesson and all the big words.

Trunk rotation – at least the lack of it – is the most common problem for golfers who are prone to back pain. The more skilled and flexible you are, the more you can rely on your hips and trunk to rotate when you swing. From the physical side, a great golf swing requires proper thoracic mobility and core stability for proper kinematic sequence, this proper sequence is what gives power to your shots. If you don’t rotate well on the backswing, and have an improper sequence on the downswing, your arms – and especially your back – will have to do a lot of extra work to square clubface back to ball. End result, ball will travel right or left.

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Most back pain is preventable and often is caused by too little exercise, tight hip flexors, weak core muscles, lack of flexibility and or poor golf biomechanics.

Look at golf posture. When golfer’s think of the golf stance they don’t realize how difficult it is to maintain the proper golf posture over 18 holes. A poor posture (knee joints at address) puts tremendous stress and strain on the lower back. Emphasis on hip joints not knee joints is the key to preventing lower back pain. Strengthening the core muscles (abdominals, lower back, and the glute muscles) should be part of your fitness program. If you don’t have a strong core and flexible hamstrings you are in for big problems as well as poor performance on the course. 

How can regular exercise for golf help?
A well-constructed exercise program will help increase torso rotation and strengthen your core and glutes that will help to stabilize your trunk during movement. Most people don’t realize that strong abdominal muscles, thoracic mobility and flexible hip flexors are just as important as strong back muscles in the prevention of back pain and the avoidance of injury.

Remember, during a typical round of golf, you will twist and untwist your back muscles more than 200 times. Yet, golfers can go years without any major injuries to the back. Nevertheless, a lack of stretching and conditioning leads to a question of not IF but WHEN.

A professionally designed exercise program will focus on improving your flexibility to further decrease the chance of injuring to your back. If required, your program should also help you to lose a little around the middle so that your spine is not under increased stress. If you do not test, then it’s only a guess, so it is imperative that you undergo the golf fitness assessment to determine your strengths and weaknesses prior to the design of your program. The great thing about a professional fitness for golf program is that it can take less than 20 minutes a day to see dramatic improvements in your body and your game.  What a small price to pay, for increased strength, improved flexibility, more energy to play more rounds of golf.

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This article is written by Chris Ownbey
When it comes to Golf Performance, Chris Ownbey has for many years trained golfers, teaching them the secrets to increased strength, greater flexibility and better health. And here’s the great news for YOU.  With the Ultimate Golf Fitness Performance his “Online golf fitness system”- the secrets are now available in person or in the privacy of your own home.

Online golf performance visit www.chrisownbeygolffitness.com  (Free Golf fitness Workout) or simple call 214-457-9684

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