By Buddy de Joya
Golf is the only sport that requires body rotation. It only means one thing – the spinal column is a vital part when we swing the golf club. There is a bit of danger when the spine is incorrectly angled whenever we swing, sit, stand, bend forward and rotate.
Keeping the spine comfortably straight is the best way to prevent any back injury. To do this, we need to strengthen our core or abdominal muscles. Thus, learning various ways to make our core muscles stronger is a plus.
We should always be aware of our body motions on and off the golf course. If not, injuries are easy to get. When we tee-up the golf ball, we need to watch out for our back. After holing in, just the same we need to watch out for our back. When swinging, a comfortable straight back is ideal.
Walking is also a major part of the game. Imagine yourself walking tall with good
balance all the time.
The following pointers will greatly help in achieving one’s awareness to avoid back injuries. So, let’s read on!
- Setting-up or Addressing the Ball
- Angle your upper and lower back correctly by bending forward from your hips (not waist). Push your rear-end backward while keeping your chest out. Make certain that legs are straight before bending forward.
- Swinging the Golf Club
- Throughout the swing, the spinal must be kept in a neutral position. From the takeaway to the top of the backswing and into the forward swing and finish, the forward tilt must be maintained.
- Teeing Up the Ball
- Try to avoid bending over from the waist. Squat down as much as possible.
- Use the “Golfers Lift”. As you bend your upper body forward from your hips, lift one leg to counterbalance your weight. Keep in mind to keep your spinal column at neutral position.
- Retrieving the Ball from the Hole
- Use deep or diagonal squat to pick-up ball from the hole.
- You can also use suction cup ball retrievers to avoid bending all together.
- Use the Golfer’s Lift.
- Picking Up your Golf Bag
- Use a full squat when picking up your clubs.
- Put the strap/s on your shoulder with the golf bag close to your body. Stand up with your spine at neutral position.
- Carrying the Golf Bag
- Alternate shoulders when carrying the bag.
- Carry your bag across your back.
- A double shoulder strap is strongly recommended. It distributes the weight of the bag evenly on the shoulders.
- Pulling the Cart
- When pulling, keep handle close to your side. This will avoid the rotating tendency of your upper back against your lower back.
- When pushing the cart, keep the handle in front of you to ensure the back muscles are working symmetrically.
- Sitting on a Bench
- Sit back with your hips and lower back in contact with the back support. This will avoid unnecessary pressure on your lower back (lumbar).
- If bench has no back support, try to at least maintain an arch in your lower back.
- Retrieving Ball from Water
- Avoid bending from your lower back.
- Squat to lower your center of gravity and adopt a wide base of support.
- Raking the Sand Trap or Bunker
- Avoid bending, reaching and twisting when raking the trap (bunker).
- Move your feet and legs in the direction you are raking.
There is no harm in doing the points mentioned above. The more points you remember, the longer and more enjoyable you will play the game.
*Reference: Keeping Fit For Golf (Produced and Published by Chartex Products International Ltd.)