6 Activities You Should Avoid Prior To Playing Golf
Below are a few activities that you should avoid doing prior to golfing. This will give you the best chance of performing to the best of your ability while reducing your chance of injury.
- Repetitive Flexion: When the weather is nice enough to golf, there is plenty to do outside. Planting flowers, raking leaves or even building in a deck involves a lot of bending forward. Repeated flexion can set your low back up for failure by putting excess strain on your lumbar muscles and discs. These repetitive movements can fatigue your spine and leave you susceptible to injury by the high forces of swinging a golf club.
- Compression: Lifting heavy at the gym, moving stones for your landscaping, or moving your family into a new house cause compressive loads on the spine. Similar to flexion, compression of the lumbar spine can prime your back for injury by disc desiccation. This dehydrates the discs causing less space in your spine. Less space puts more pressure on the lumbar facets as well as the intervertebral discs. This can cause a decrease in range of motion which can cause compensation mechanisms or even injury to the spine and surrounding musculature.
- Core Fatigue: We highly encourage everyone to strengthen their core, but maybe not right before you were planning an outing. The reason being that we want your core nice and strong to stabilize the rest of your body while you are golfing. If the muscles are exhausted, then they will have a harder time keeping up and let other, less effective, structures take the brunt of the force. So keep your core routine light prior to golfing to limit post onset muscle soreness and fatigue. This will help to ensure your best performance on the golf course.
- Dehydration: Your body needs water to keep itself working properly, and that includes tissues like muscles, ligaments, tendons, and discs. When tissues are dehydrated they are more susceptible to damage. That means that drinking excessive alcohol or caffeine or just not drinking enough water can highly increase your body’s risk of injury.
- Improper Warmup: Overstretching until you feel a burn in your hamstrings does not qualify as a warm-up. Feeling a burn while stretching a short amount of time can injure muscles and leave you more tight than when you started. Gentle stretching does bring blood flow and some increased flexibility but overstretching can cause more harm than good. Warm-up stretches should be a light stretch that you can get farther into and not have to back off because of pain or burning. Be sure to add in some dynamic movements to get muscles prepared for the movements they are about to complete.
- Static Loading: Sitting or for long periods of time with poor posture is one of the worst forces you can put on your discs. Sitting for a long period on your glutes can inhibit their ability to function. Standing for long periods can fatigue your balance and coordination muscles. Poor posture will create muscle imbalances and make you susceptible to a bulging disk. Your body needs to warm up and balance before jumping into a strenuous activity like golfing.
If you have to do some of these activities prior to golfing, it is important to seek professional advice. Getting chiropractic care and knowing how to properly warm up prior to golfing is key to reducing your risk of getting injured. Looking to improve your game, schedule an appointment today.
To schedule an appointment please call the office at (815)-717-6483, or schedule online at your convenience. For future updates, hours, and news about MVP Chiropractic follow us on facebook!
Written by Dr. Kyle Bastean
Edited by Dr. Michael Veerman