Getting Good Golf Shoulders
Spring is coming and the links are calling…but will your shoulders be ready for tee time?
“Playing golf well relies heavily on the strength and fitness of the muscles, tendons and joints in the shoulders just to drive the ball off the tee,” says orthopaedic surgeon Kevin Plancher, MD, ofPlancher Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine.
Weak shoulders can not only wreck your game but leave you prone to injury. To avoid major issues, “do sensible things, such as stopping play if your shoulder starts hurting during a game,” Plancher advises. “Avoid carrying a golf bag with a sore shoulder, and learn good technique for your swing.”
Plancher suggests the following preseason exercise routine to get your shoulders up to snuff.
Head rolls: Roll your ear gently to one side, toward the shoulder. Tilt head back and forth, repeating on opposite side. Continue for 60 seconds.
Shoulder stretches: Raise right arm in front of you, then bring to left, wrapping left elbow around right arm and pulling that arm closer to your chest. Reverse for left side. Continue 2-3 minutes.
Side stretches: With feet shoulder-width apart, raise right arm directly above head and lean shoulders to the left, swaying right hip slightly out. Feel the stretch along the right side of your body. Reverse for the left side. Continue 1-2 minutes.
Prone T: Lie face down on floor with a folded towel under your forehead. Arms should be out to the sides with palms facing floor. Squeeze shoulder blades together and left hands off floor until parallel to floor. Hold for 3 seconds and lower, repeating 10-12 times.
Lunge with a Twist: Stand in upright position and step forward with your right leg, maintaining your right knee over your right ankle. Rotate your trunk to the left and then return to the starting position. Repeat the exercise on the opposite side. Perform 3 sets of 10 repetitions on each side.
Forearm Plank with Arm Raise: Place your forearms on the ground with the elbows aligned below the shoulders. Raise your right arm out in front of you and hold for 2 seconds then lower back to the starting position. Repeat with the left arm. Perform 10 times on each side and then rest. Perform 3 rounds.
Reverse Chop with a Squat: Start in a squatting position, holding a weight or medicine ball with both hands next to your left hip. Keeping your arms straight, raise the weight across your body and overhead above your right shoulder while standing up from the squatting position. Lower back to the starting position. Repeat 10 times and then switch. Perform 3 sets of 10 reps.