It is off season for golfers at the moment and a time in clinic when any active players come in and see us with a number of ailments and aches and pains. SPEAR Physio Karen, wrote this blog to answer a pretty important question.
If coaches identify parts of the body that are not working well in the golf swing we can look to see if there are any physical reasons that are causing or contributing to this; and give golfers a treatment or exercise plan to improve the issues found.
We are fortunate to work with some fabulous coaches:- Neil Marr, Andrew Locke, Spencer Henderson and further afield Andrew Nicholson, David Torrance and Gregor Monks. These are like minded people who are fully invested in their players and like us realise that when looking to improve performance you need to surround yourself with a team that work together to make improvements.
When putting together a plan for a golfer it is important to feedback findings to the coach so they are aware of the limitations of the body and what areas need more input to create feels and sometimes more creative drills. All players are different and need different approaches to fix issues.
Our skills are around identifying movement deficiencies, as a physiotherapist eye in analysing movement is finely tuned. We also have a bank of stretches, stability exercises and strength exercises to give clients to work on the deficits seen, and we then link with golf coaches who progress these movements into golf specific drills so that the player can use the new found movements in their golf swing.
Sometimes if a player has particular difficulty activating a problem area or if stretches on their own are struggling to get something moving we can compliment an exercise programme with some hands on treatment.
Hands on treatment works by giving sensory input to an area to help reconnect it with the brain, facilitating the correction of normal movement patterns. The positive effect of this is well documented in the literature but the effects are only short term if not followed up by exercises to make the correct movement pattern more normal so it can be used in the swing.
At present we are seeing a number of golfers and profiling them to see what parts of the body are not working so well, and linking this with the performance issues they are working on in the off season.
There is a long period of dark nights in front of us and it is a great opportunity to work on the areas that causing problems technically. My husband hangs his clubs up for the winter, but now switches his attention to getting his body ready for next season. He knows from feedback from Neil Marr at Meldrum House what areas are most important for him to focus on.
As a physio I look at what is causing the tightness and give him exercises and release work to do to get these areas moving. In the gym in our garage (some barbells and a bench), he works on improving the strength in his legs, core, chest and shoulders as a long season has taken their toll on these areas.
If he was a professional, he would be working on these areas throughout the season but he works full-time and has a young family, so the strength and conditioning side of his training does get neglected through the season like most amateur golfers. Working on this during the off season to get the body working optimally again is a good idea.
The body is the engine to the golf swing and if the engine is faulty, inconsistencies can occur during the season. There are lots of do’s and don’ts for golfers in the gym and it is important to work on the right things, but most importantly something is better than nothing so get started and then fine tune it from there.
We are happy to help you look at what you should and shouldn’t be doing from a golf perspective and then you can link with a personal trainer or your local gym to help them put a golf specific programme together for you.
A number of our golfers work with Darren Mackenzie at The Fit Room in Aberdeen; and he puts some golf specific programmes together for them, trains them and monitors progress. Further afield Kenny McKenzie at First Tee Fitness in Glasgow is a golf fitness expert putting programmes together for a number of tour players.
SPEAR Physio David posted some exercises on SPEAR you tube to help with mobility: the first one is for the upper body:
and the next one is for the lower body:
We we be creating a series of strengthening exercises for the core, legs and shoulders over the coming months and we will share this via SPEAR you tube.
For more help on golf fitness over the winter why not come to our golf fitness classes on a Tuesday evening with SPEAR Physio David at our Westhill clinic. Any questions? Just get in touch.