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Golf Fitness – How to Prevent Golf Shoulder Injuries

   Dec 20

Golf Fitness – How to Prevent Golf Shoulder Injuries

According to Dr. David D. Nedeff, M.D. the shoulder is the fourth most common injury in golfers (after the elbow, wrist and low back). Not only is a shoulder injury painful, it can stop you from playing golf for a long time while you rehab.

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The golf shoulder injury is most likely a strained, inflamed or torn rotator cuff muscle or tendon, or perhaps bursitis on the cuff.

What are rotator cuff muscles and tendons?

First, consider the shoulder joint.
When you raise your upper arm, the round end of the bone in your upper arm (called the humerous) rotates in a cup-shaped cavity (called the glenoid fossa) in your shoulder blade (called the scapula). The entire shoulder joint is called appropriately the glenohumeral joint (connecting the glenoid fossa with the humerus).

Fittingly, the shoulder joint has been likened to a golf ball (head of the humerus) sitting on a golf tee (glenoid fossa). Because the glenoid fossa is shaped like a golf tee (or a shallow saucer) it is not as stable as your hip joint which has a deeper socket.

Now consider the rotator cuff and its muscles. The rotator cuff is the set of four tendons attached to and overlapping the capsule of the humerus. Each of the four tendons an extension of a rotator cup muscles attached to the shoulder.

Now consider what a golf swing does to the rotator cup muscles and tendons. If you are a right-handed player, imagine the movement of your left shoulder as you go through your backswing. Try it in slow motion. Move slowly to the top of your backswhing and feel the stretch in your upper left arm and shoulder. If those muscles and tendons are weak and tight and you repeatedly try to hit the ball hard with a full backswing and downswing, you are end up with a rotator cup golf injury.

When right-handed golfers seek treatment for their golf shoulder injury, nine times out of ten it’s their left shoulder that’s injured.

How to prevent golf shoulder injuries

Always warm up before playing. And regularly do cuff exercises as part of your golf fitness routine.

As with any prudent exercise program, if you have shoulder problems check with your doctor before you start. If you experience any pain, stop at once.

  • Arm circles. Hold each arms straight out to each side. Do slow circles, keeping arms straight. Do 20 circles and relax. This is a good warm-up exercise before playing golf or before other stretching exercises.
  • Arm circles with weights.This exercise is just like the previous one, except you are holding light weights in your hands with your thumbs pointing downward. Don’t raise your hands above shoulder level. Do 20 slow circles and relax.
  • Back cuff stretch. Grab your left shoulder with your right hand. Then grab your right elbow with your left hand and gently pull your right arm to the left. Hold the stretch for 15 to 20 seconds. Then relax for a moment then repeat, stretching the left arm.
  • Underside cuff stretch. Place your right hand behind and against your head. Grab your right elbow with your left hand and gently push back against your right elbow until you feel a stretch in your left arm and shoulder. Hold the stretch for 15 to 20 seconds. Then relax and repeat, stretching the right arm.
  • Front cuff stretch. Grasp your hands together behind your back. Slowly raise your arms until you feel a comfortable stretch. Hold for 15 to 20 seconds then relax.

3 benefits from rotator cuff exercises

  • reduced risk of golf shoulder injuries.
  • stronger and longer golf shots. Added strength in the rotator cuff muscles results in a more controlled swing with increased clubhead speed.
  • better posture. Rotator cuff muscles that become shortened and tight due to lack of stretching can lead to rounded shoulders and poor posture.

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Golf fitness is a part of good golf,
John Janson

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