Perfect Your Golf Swing

By Rick Jusko, PT, Director and Phil Vande Pol, PT

Appeared in “Summer is Upon Us,” Cascade Golfer, 12/9/08

Time to hit the range and finally put together that perfect swing that is going to improve consistency, lower your score and eliminate those aches and pains. Improper swing mechanics may not only be harmful to your score, but could also be detrimental to your body.

An optimal weight transfer is essential in generating momentum and must incorporate rotation of the hips to maintain one’s body over the strong base of support created by the legs. In order to perform a proper swing successfully and repeatedly, it is vital to have the appropriate flexibility, balance, and strength of the hip musculature to allow for controlled rotation of the torso. Here are a few simple exercises you can perform to get started. By performing these exercises, you will help strengthen some key muscles that are waiting to be added to your golf swing. If you can generate better lower body control and balance, you will notice a more consistent and efficient swing. We can’t promise that it will drastically help your score, but it may help reduce that hip and back pain and get you hitting the ball more consistently. As with any exercise, you should cease the activity if you experience pain more significant than post-exercise muscle soreness.

Clamshells

Lying on your side with knee bent to 45 degrees and a thick towel placed between your feet, gently lift and rotate your top knee toward the ceiling as if “opening a clam shell.” Perform three sets per leg, featuring 10 repetitions per set. Be sure to keep your shoulders and pelvis from rotating backward with the elevation of the leg.

Standing Rotations With Tubing

Stand on your left leg with knee slightly bent and abdominals tight. Tighten the buttock of your stance leg and gently rotate your body to the left while using a band as resistance. Keep the hands in front of your stomach. Slowly return to the beginning position. Repeat 10 times. Turn around and repeat rotations 10 times in the opposite direction of rotation on the same leg. Then try the same exercise on the right leg.

Rotation With Weight

Using a medicine ball or other weighted object, stand in your address position with a neutral spine. Keeping your abdominals tight, practice swinging the medicine ball back and forth while using the hip rotators to transfer your body weight, eliminating or reducing the amount of slide your body performs from front to back leg.

Remember, you do not need to be injured to see a Physical Therapist … prevention goes a long way!