Ask most golfers what their most common injury is and 80-90% will answer “back pain”. Even professional players, such as Jack Nicklaus and Fred Couples, have had to contend with back pain over the course of their careers.
The main reason for this is that during a full golf swing, the muscles of the lumbar spine reach approximately 90% of peak muscle activity. The golf swing requires both golf specific strength and flexibility, specifically in the core area to withstand the stress the low back is under. If your core is weak or inflexible, all the pressure goes right into the lower back, glutes and even hip area.
Naturally, over the years, the repeated stress on your back can result in more serious injuries even to the extent of stopping you playing the game you love (although I believe it’s a love/hate relationship!).
Taking a Pilates class can provide the following benefits:
Learn safe and effective exercises to reduce risking your health
Improve your movement and the poor posture that causes your underlying pain
Learn specific techniques which allow you to relax and get a good night’s sleep
Arm yourself with the tools you need to maintain a healthy back for life
Exercises for Golfers
Single leg Stretch
This exercise will increase abdominal strength and mobilise the hips and knees.
Start with legs in tabletop position as shown, roll upper body into a forward curl position.
Keep the neck long by looking at your navel. Extend the left leg to the ceiling while placing both hands on your right knee, keeping the knees in line with the hips. Keep your lower back connected to the mat.
Inhale to prepare, exhale extend your left leg diagonally. Keep your pelvis still whilst moving the legs. If the lower back arches away from the mat, you have extended your leg too far.
Inhale to bring left leg back to centre, then exhale to change legs, so hands will now be on the left knee with the right leg extended.
Repeat leg change 10 times
This exercise increases range of motion in the hips and strenghtens the core.
Lie on your back with knees bent and arms extended to toes. Extend your left leg along the floor, without the back arching (if back arches, keep leg slightly bent). Extend your right leg towards the ceiling.
Inhale to prepare, exhale and circle your right leg clockwise, as if you are drawing a circle on the ceiling, whilst keeping the pelvis still. Keep the circle small and move slowly.
Inhale halfway through the circle and exhale to finish.
Repeat 8 times then change direction and repeat on the other side.