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The 5 physical limitations golfers normally have

Updated: Oct 9, 2023

I have been a golf physiotherapist since 2017 and over the years I have assessed hundreds of golfers. I have seen players from all different walks of like including beginners, weekend warriors and tour professionals. Below details the common physical limitations I see on a daily basis.

A TPI screen being performed with the TPI team

(Image above: TPI screening) 1. Lack of hip internal rotation flexibility

Do you struggle to clear your lead hip at impact? Then you probably have a hip internal rotation limitation.

Hip internal rotation is a critical movement which allows the body to pivot around your leg. If your hip movement is limited, you are likely to recruit the upper body to do more work. This can lead to the ‘over the top’ style of swing or cause you to become more ‘handsy’.

There has also been a study published linking poor lead hip rotation to back pain. It’s thought that because your hip isn’t able to ‘clear’ in the downswing, the lower back is placed into a provocative position (Murray et al., 2009).

To test your hip rotation, click the link to watch my Instagram video 2. Lack of upper back rotation

Do you struggle to make a full backswing? Then you probably don’t have full upper back (thoracic) rotation.

Thoracic rotation is very important to create the ideal width and depth for your backswing. If you lack rotation you are more likely to sway, lose your posture and have a flat shoulder plane.

If you want to increase your thoracic rotation, click the link here for my free mobility guide 3. Inability to balance on one leg

In the golf swing you may not be aware, but your weight is moving rapidly from side to side. For professional golfers, they normally transfer 70-90% of their weight into their trail leg in the backswing and quickly transfer 80-100% of their weight into their lead leg prior to impact.

If you have poor balance, you’re are unlikely to transfer your weight smoothly. This is likely to lead to inconsistency in contact, strike and path.

An easy way to train your balance each day is to stand on each leg for 30 seconds with your eyes closed while brushing your teeth. Your balance will quickly improve. 4. Limited core muscular endurance

How long can you hold front and side planks? If it is less than 90 seconds then you should work on this. When testing these planks, you are working the muscles that connect into your shoulders and spine.

Dr Stuart McGill in the USA has done extensive research in back pain prevention and treatment. His research often shows that patients who experience back often have decreased muscular endurance.

If you have good muscle conditioning, it’s likely that a number of back related injuries can be avoided.

5. Poor force development

How high can you jump? The vertical leap is a great way of testing your lower body power and it is a great way of testing your potential for swing speed.

On the PGA tour, the average vertical jump is now 23” which is a great jump. To now put that into perspective, male long drive athletes have a vertical jump of roughly 36”.

The physical traits of professional golfers are changing rapidly to suit the current demands of the game. Athletes are getting bigger, faster and stronger and you should be doing the same.

Do you have stiffness? Do you get soreness? Do you want to strike the ball better?

Book in for a golf physiotherapy screening with me. This is your fast tracked and personalised way to play better golf. This can be performed anywhere in the world, or face-to-face here in South-East Queensland. I guarantee that you will move better, feel better and play better golf.

Click book now below


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