The dreaded lower back pain. According to the American Chiropractic Association, approximately 70% to 85% of all Americans experience low back pain during their lifetime. If you are a golfer, the odds are against you. Golfers spend hours bent over the ball repeating the same movement over and over. Additionally, the rotational movements of the golf swing put lots of stress on the muscles and spine, especially, if you have a weak core. If you want to continue to golf, the odds will continue to stack against you. The good news is that you can prevent future pain by working on core stabilization and strength.
Dr. Stuart McGill, Director of the Spine Biometrics Laboratory at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada, is the Jack Nicklaus of low back pain research. He concluded that lower back pain occurs due to a lack of spine stability combined with poor hip mobility. What exactly does this mean for us golfers? Due to years of bad habits, when our hips aren't moving the way they are supposed to move, the spine kicks in to help. This array of movement is very taxing on the muscles surrounding the spine. Learning how to stabilize the spine by strengthening those muscles is a great way to manage and prevent lower back pain.
In today’s video we will learn McGill’s favorite exercises for reducing your risk of lower back pain. For the following movements, focus on using perfect form. If your form starts to falter, stop and rest. Always remember that these movements are the foundation of any exercise you do at the gym. If you can’t control your spine doing these simple movements, you are most likely not ready to do more difficult movements. Would you teach someone how to swing a club without teaching them how to grip the club first? Didn't think so! Same principle applies here!
The goal for these exercises is to progress slowly and improve. Start by doing a 7 to 8 second static hold at the top of each repetition. You can start by doing 5 repetitions of each exercise. Remember, these exercises require perfect form. Always pick quality over quantity. As you get better, you can increase the duration of the static hold and increase the number of repetitions. For better results, these exercises should be performed daily.
Hope this exercises help alleviate your back pain! Happy golfing!
DISCLAIMER: If you are experiencing back pain, you might have a more serious condition and you should seek medical attention as soon as possible.
For more info visit Dr. McGill's guide here.
Carolina Romero. Fit Golfer Girl. All Rights Reserved