mobility training

Kinstretch For Golfers

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Strength and conditioning is starting to take precedence within the golf world.  

PGA players are starting to learn the importance of having a strong mobile body in order to put them in the best position to succeed on the course.

For most casual golfers, fitness is usually left on the backburner.  The result? Injury rates are at an all-time high. Low back pain is the number one reason golfers stop playing. If you struggle with any type of pain, hitting balls and walking the course will continue to get more challenging and frustrating.

Luckily, there are options that’ll help you maintain your body’s health.

First, you should assess whether or not you have the prerequisite mobility necessary for swinging a golf club. Our body needs adequate spine, shoulder, hip, knee, and ankle mobility.  Limitations at any of these joints can alter your swing mechanics, making you less consistent, while increasing your risk of injury.

When trying to alleviate pain and improve mobility, most people tend to use passive approaches. Passive modalities, like stretching, yield passive results. While your flexibility may improve, your ability to actively move into that position (mobility) doesn’t.  From a golf perspective, if you can’t actively rotate your thoracic spine more than 45 degrees, you’re not going to be able to during your swing.

There is a better way to build active mobility. Kinstretch is by far the best movement-based system out there to help achieve greater active ranges of motion.

As stated earlier, we need active range of motion to get into certain positions that replicate the golf swing. When thinking about movement this way, utilizing Kinstretch principles will be the most efficient way to achieve your mobility goals.

When we assess our golfers, our main focuses are the thoracic spine, shoulders, hips, foot, and ankle. If these joints move well, the rest of the body should follow suit. However, if one of these joints’ mobility is restricted, compensation occurs as well as an increase in the potential for injury.

Here are four mobility drills that we constantly prescribe to our golfers. Try them out to help better prepare your body for swinging a club.

1. Hip Sleeper PAILs and RAILs

2. T/Spine Rotation PAILs and RAILs

3. Shoulder External Rotation End Range Liftoffs

4. Toe Yoga

If you are interested in learning more about Kinstretch and how it can help you play your best golf, click below to claim 2 FREE Online Kinstretch Classes.   

Why Every Golfer Needs Better Mobility

When we look at the joint by joint approach to movement, we see that our body alternates between joints that need more stability and mobility. Mobility and stability are necessary for all joints, but certain joint articulations will be more stability-focused, while others are mobility-focused.

Joint by Joint Approach by Mike Boyle and Gray Cook

Joint by Joint Approach by Mike Boyle and Gray Cook

By understanding the joint by joint approach, we’re better able to train our body to maintain optimal function with whatever physical activities we partake in. Think of each joint segment as members of a football team. If the hips are tight and don’t do their job well, a surrounding joint will have to pick up the slack and of the limited joint. Similar to a player on a football team that is working too hard, fatigue kicks in faster and there’s a higher risk of injury as the game goes on.

This is an everyday example of the middle age golfer with tight hips that tries to play pain-free golf on the weekends. The lower back or knees have to work overcome the lack of hip motion to swing a golf club, carry groceries, or any other type of physical exertion. The end result over time? Pain.

Golf is a game of high repetition and high force that’s executed within the same plane of motion with each and every swing. We ask our bodies to rotate at high velocities hundreds of times in an attempt to drive a little white ball as far as we can.

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When our mobility becomes restricted, we ask our body to work harder to do this.  Lack of shoulder, hip, or ankle mobility can all cause increased forces to act on the spine, increasing your risk of injury.

Now, this might not have high implications on tomorrow’s round of golf. When we talk about taking hundreds of swings over the course of the next decade, however, these implications can be detrimental to your daily quality of life. The injury statistics are staggeringly high to backup this point.  8 out of 10 people (not specific to golfers) will suffer a bout of low back pain at some point in their lives. With low back pain being the most prevalent injury in golf, something has to change.

By creating and learning how to control those motions, we can inherently improve our joint health and make our bodies more resilient to the forces we place on it. This can be done through various mobility drills, good massage therapy, and strength training through full ranges of motion. It’s not difficult to improve the way you move, it just takes consistency.

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