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September 13 2013

11:32 AM

Fitness: Preventing lower back injuries

By Sean Cochran, Golf Fitness

Why It’s Important: Studies indicate 50% of golfers will incur a lower back injury during their playing careers. The occurrence of a lower back injury can cause difficulties in the execution of the golf swing, limit one’s activity levels on and off the golf course, and place the body in a position of discomfort.

The Common Problem: The athletic actions of the golf swing place compression, lateral, and shear forces onto the lower back region. These stresses can be exponentially increased due to biomechanical inefficiencies within the golf swing, limited mobility in the hips and thoracic spine, and/or poor stabilization capacities of the lumbo/pelvis/hip complex (i.e. the core). Over time the combination of these biomechanical inefficiencies and physical dysfunctions will typically result in an injury to the lumbar region of the lower back.

Solution: Prevention of lower back injuries requires a two-pronged approach. This approach will entail improving the biomechanical efficiencies within the mechanics of the golf swing, and developing improve hip/ thoracic spine mobility, and core stability.

Exercises:

Windshield Wipers – Hip Mobility

Set Up:
 Back flat, knees bent at 90 degrees
 Feet together, hands between both knees

Action: 
 Separate feet as far as possible keeping knees bent at 90 degrees
 Pause at end range of motion, return to starting position, repeat 15 times


2.      
Kneeling Club Rotations – Thoracic Spine Mobility

Set Up:
• 
Kneeling position with torso upright
 Arms extended straight overhead grasping a golf club

Action:
 Rotate upper body to the right as far as possible the right keeping arms extended
 Pause slightly, rotate the upper as far as possible to the left, perform 15 repetitions


3.      
Physio-Ball Roll Out – Core Stability

Set Up:
         Place forearms on top of physio-ball with the elbows bent
         Knees on the floor and back flat

Action:
         Roll elbows forward allowing upper body and torso to extend
         Continue to roll elbows as far as possible keeping back flat
         Return to starting position and repeat for 15 repetitions

To learn more about Sean Cochran and his golf fitness training exercises and golf fitness programs go to http://www.seancochran.com.

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