1. You haven’t taken enough time off after sustaining your injury Golfers are a passionate bunch. You play when it’s windy, when it’s rainy and when your are in pain. Unfortunately, if you continue to play with an injury, you may delay your recovery time or cause further damage to the injured site. To get my clients to take time off, I have to negotiate with them incredibly hard. Most people feel that if they stop playing or practicing they will ‘lose their swing’ or ‘lose their feel’. As a golfer I can certainly understand this but for the most part, a short period of time off won’t hurt your game. It may actually help you, you are likely to come back energised, motivated and feel less pain. 2. You get into swing positions that increase your likelihood of injury Do you get into positions that cause you pain? Has a Coach or Physio recommended that you change your movement pattern? As you know the golf swing is a complex movement. Your swing may exposes you to positions that may place more stress on your body. Swing characteristics such as early extension, sliding and chicken winging can place more forces onto the body. See my article ‘3 swing positions that can cause golf injury’ for more information. 3. Your workload exceeds your capacity In simple terms, this means that you are overtraining. For each person, there is a certain amount of exercise your body can take. Factors that affect your exercise capacity include your golf practice schedule, other exercise habits and lifestyle factors (sleep, nutrition and stress). When you exceed your personal exercise capacity your body starts to ring alarm bells. These warning signs may include fatigue, decreased motivation, stress and/or pain. Obviously to be a great golfer you need to practice (a lot) and I understand that, but there are much better ways to practice than to hit balls for hours. A practice routine should be well scheduled with your coach or health professional. It’s the quality of practice that counts, not quantity.
Key practice beliefs of mine include
1. Having a structure, how long will you practice for?
2. Having a goal for each session, what are you trying to improve?
3. Putting yourself under pressure during practice
For example I practice for roughly 90 minutes once a week which includes:
1. Holing 8/8 x 3 foot putts
2. Holing 6/10 8 foot putts
3. Hitting centre of iron face into a net 7/10 times
4. Chipping to within 6 foot 7/10 times from 20 yards
5. 20 minutes of speed training with a radar
4. You haven’t developed a proper golf fitness program
A golf fitness program should focus on two things, performance and injury prevention. Your golf fitness program should target a number of areas, with those being:
(ordered in the level of importance)
Your program should also be altered regularly so that workouts are progressively changing. With most of my clients, I try to change something weekly, this could include changing the repetition range of a movement or giving a completely different exercise.
Be mindful when designing your fitness program and keep your goals in mind, what exactly do you want out of it?
5. You haven’t had your body assessed by a golf physiotherapist
When your car starts to squeak, you probably take it to a mechanic right? If you had a Ferrari you would probably take it to a specialist mechanic too yes? So this shouldn't be different for your body.
So many of my clients attend months down the track after sustaining an injury. For the most part, their injuries typically get worse which makes this harder to manage. If you get onto the problem fast you are more likely to get fast results and get back to the course playing great golf quicker.
Do you want to do something about our injury?
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