My hommage to Golf
This week I focused on all things golf. From exercises on how to active the muscles you use during the sport to self-massage tutorials of some areas that may be sore from golf. It was all golf, golf, golf this past week. And now, on a Sunday, the only thing I want to do is go to the driving range, but unfortunately my golf clubs are in my partner’s car and you guessed it, he’s at golf, so maybe tomorrow!
So, golf. Hands up if you never realized was a sport? If you don’t play it, you most likely associate the sport with old men, going out to play early Sunday and having fun. But actually, it’s quite the full body workout. To be decent at the game, you have to have the core strength as well as the mobility of your mid back. You need your glutes to produce explosive power, while keeping your forearms steady. It’s a full body experience, there’s biomechanics involved, there’s physic involved. THERE’S SO MUCH SCIENCE THAT GOES INTO GOLF and that’s why it’s so IMPORTANT to prepare your body for golf.
Now, like I said, I’ve been posting about golf all week, but today I’m going to summarize everything up for you so you know which exercises to do, which muscles you’re using and where you should self-massage after a long day on the course, so let’s get to it!
Preparing your body for Golf
Golf is a seasonal sport here in Canada, so that means, unless you’re playing virtual golf courses in the winter, you go a good 5 months of not moving your body the way you do when you play golf. And this can lead to some serious injuries when the start of golf season begins. But good news! You can do exercises to keep the strength and power of the muscles you use all year round to prevent those injuries from happening!
In general, when planning exercises to keep your body in golf shape you want to think about your shoulder, back and hip mobility and strength of your hips, core and shoulders.
Here are some examples of mobility exercises
- Thoracic extension. 20 pulses
- Thoracic Rotation. 3 x 8
- Deep squats. 30 second hold x 2
You can find those exercises and other mid-back exercises here.
Some examples of strengthening exercises include:
- Shoulder flies 3 x 15. light weight, with fast movement to increase power and endurance of the deltoids
- Bridges 3 x 15
- Deadbug 2 x 30 second hold
Here’s a Reel of some of these exercises to make it make more sense.
So, from these exercises it should be clear what the main areas of the body we want to focus on are:
- the shoulders
- the core
- the hips
As long as you keep these areas in mind when you go to the gym or do a home workout, you’re body will be ready for that next round of golf.
Now, how should you treat your body after golf? Self-massage of course!
Self-massage for the Golfer
Now, speaking from experience, you may be sore in a different spot every time you play golf, or go to the driving range. Sometimes, I found my wrist and elbow would be sore, other times I would find my one glute medius to be sore. So, whichever part of your body is feeling it that day. That’s the spot you’ll focus on for your recovery. Some common spots to self-massage when it comes to golf are:
- elbows and forearms
- low-mid back
“Golf IS a sport “– Dylan Crake
Chances are your elbows and forearms are sore because of all the gripping. This can cause trigger points and really uncomfortable referral patterns down towards your hands. Therefore, the main goal when massaging your forearm and elbow is to find those knots, compress them until that referral goes away. Then apply heat.
The main goal when massage your glutes is to get them to “not feel tight”. This is very subjective feeling, so it’s helpful that you start to become attuned to your body. Anyway, all you’re going to do is sit on a ball around that iliac crest and around the femoral head and that will help “release” the glute muscles and stretch them out a bit. Because they are most likely very tired from being the force behind your swing.
Finally, when it comes to self-massaging your calves, the main goal is a combination of the forearms and glutes. You want to release any trigger points/knots you may find that are causing referral patters, but also you want to manual stretch out the muscle out through massage.
Here’s the self-massage tutorial in case you missed it that will give you some ideas on how to self-massage these areas.
In the end, golf is a sport and it should be treated as such. If you can continue to practice your swing year round, do that. This is the easiest way to prevent golf injuries at the beginning of the season. But also, just doing simple exercises to strengthen those big players will help your body immensely. That’s all for now, if you like what you see, be sure to follow me on Instagram for more fun tips on exercises and self-massage!
Want to learn more about muscles? Get your hands on my Muscle Trading Cards!