A leading physiotherapist says golfers can avoid pain by engaging their hips to generate power during the swing, rather than overswinging and overloading their back.
Urban Body’s Luke Hockley, who has played golf at a high level himself, says amateur golfers should learn the correct swing biomechanics before they even step onto the golf course this Spring:
Why a golfer’s swing can be painful
“A high percentage of amateur golfers who suffer lower back pain have poor flexibility in their lower trunk and don’t engage their hips during their swing. This causes them to over rotate their lumbar spine to generate power which, as a result, piles huge pressure onto the lower back. This inadequate technique is usually due to poor physical shape or a lack of flexibility.
The golf swing is a complex asymmetrical movement that places emphasis on restricting pelvic turn, while increasing thorax rotation during the backswing to generate higher clubhead speeds at impact. Increasing thorax rotation relative to pelvic rotation preloads the trunk muscle by accentuating the length, allowing golfers to use the energy stored in their elastic elements to produce more power.
As the thorax and pelvis turn back towards the ball during the downswing, more skilled golfers are known to laterally slide their pelvis towards the target. This contributes to final clubhead speed through impact of the ball (cole& Grimshaw, 2016).
Classes such as Yoga and Pilates improve overall agility and flexibility, while doing 4/5 stretches a day targeting your lower limbs will massively benefit your game.
When it comes to engaging your hips during the swing, start at the driving range. Turn your hips out before you go up on your backswing and get used to the feeling of your hip rotating through your swing. Don’t try to overswing, just begin by doing a half swing and focus on rotating your hips first.
Next, work on driving your hips down on your downswing to generate power through the ball, then try it all in one smooth swing. If you are unsure or don’t feel you are doing things correctly, seek a few lessons from a professional.
Ready to tee off
Warming up is essential before starting to play, just 5-10 minutes of dynamic stretches will increase flexibility and reduce the chances of experiencing back pain.
Learning the correct swing biomechanics before you head onto the golf course this season is paramount to lowering your chance of injury, improving your game and enjoying more golf in the long run.”
About Urban Body
Urban Body’s new physiotherapy and rehabilitation clinic is based on the Warwick Road in Olton, Solihull. Urban Body’s team of expert physios are trained at Degree level and lead physiotherapist Phil Evans has worked with England Cricketers, Team GB athletes and Loughborough University. The team focuses on the underlying cause of the patient’s pain rather than alleviating symptoms, offering step-by-step plans and effective hands-on treatment. Free assessments are offered to new patients.