One of the biggest threats to the game of golf is injury. Golfers that can stay healthy will play more often and for longer.
I really enjoy golf and I want it to thrive.
The problem is that the golf swing has the potential to cause a lot of injury. There are a lot of moving parts and not everyone has the capacity to make full, complete swings.
This is why we have assessments in place to screen for mobility and stability in different joints and how that alters the swing.
For example, my left hip is limited in internal rotation. This is problematic going into my back swing. In order to make a full swing, I need to get the mobility from my upper back. Luckily, I have that mobility or else I could be looking at a back or shoulder injury.
The funny thing about mobility training is that each joint is related. A limitation in one spot means that another joint is affected. This can be good or bad depending on which joint and how it is affected.
If we go back to me, I must have a stable core to avoid a back injury. The hip and upper back are mobile, while the low back is stable. If my low back is not stable to compensate for my hip limitation, I could be subject to back pain. The extra motion that is not supposed to take place in the low back causes pain in a lot of people.
I want to look at 4 areas where golfers need mobility but the average person typically lacks.
T Spine Extension
The upper back has a lot more range of motion that the low back. Due to prolonged sitting and lack of activity the average upper back is tigher than it should be. We can see this as rounded shoulders in certain people.
To improve T spine extension, I like perform extensions on a roller. Placing the roller in the middle of your back protects the lumbar spine and unlocks the upper back.
The hips must move in golf. As Chubbs told us, its all in the hips. May he rest in peace.
In the back swing, our trail leg must internally rotate and our front leg must externally rotate. The rotation flips on the down swing.
To free up the hips, I like training the core for stability. Improving stability in the core allows the hips to become more mobile. It is almost like a lack of core stability puts a parking break on the hips. Remove the parking break and the hips can move freely.
Improving lateral core stability will help improve hip internal rotation. Most people are limited in internal rotation and that affects both parts of the swing. Try different side plank variations to improve lateral stability and rotation.
T Spine Rotation
Upper back rotation is tough to separate from the low back. The key is to move their the upper back only. Another mistake with rotation is to only move with the shoulder. This is just asking for cranky shoulder issues.
A challenging exercise for improve T spine rotation is the Spiderman with Rotation. I like this because the low back is not locked in place so even limited range of motion can still move into greater mobility.
Ankle mobility is interesting. A lack of ankle mobility will decrease the amount we can bend our knees in the golf stance. Someone who cannot get a good knee bend is going to struggle with their posture. The fault will usually be way too far over the ball.
I would ask a golf pro for the exact mechanism but I have been murdering the golf ball after getting a little bit more upright with my posture.
The following drill is very simple but very effective for improving ankle mobility.
If you are looking for some guidance on which exercises you should do for golf, look no further than our FREE report- the 15 Best Exercises for Golf. These exercises will help your strength and mobility to improve your game.