In the past 15 years I have worked with golfers from all walks of life. I’ve seen the 60 -70 year old man that has sat at a desk for the past 30 years, the lady that struggles with distance because her lack of upper body strength limits her ability to generate any clubhead speed. The golfer that works out religiously, but isn’t doing much to help with rotation, and the tour professional that is traveling non-stop and then has to play 6 days a week all while walking. What do they all have in common? All their bodies are designed the same!
Let’s do a quick anatomy lesson. The body is made up of mobile and stable joints, and when a mobile joint is not mobile and a stable joint is forced to be mobile is when we see injuries in golfers.
If we look at the lower back, the lumbar spine (joints in the lower back) is stable only designed to bend forward and extend back. The thoracic spine the joint above the lumbar is supposed to be mobile (twist, turn, flex and extend). The hips, below the lumbar spine, those are supposed to be very mobile, again twist, turn, flex and extend.
When we make a violent turn, like the golf swing, if the thoracic spine and hips are not mobile for whatever reason, that poor lumbar spine is forced to rotate. When it does, muscles around tighten up to protect, they pinch nerves and boom! Your lower back hurts.
When rotating and swinging the club this pattern happens throughout the body in all stable joints, knees, and elbows for example.
So, next time you have pain or discomfort, take a look at the joint above and below the painful area and see how much mobility is there.
Take a look at this video I created to better explain this and check the most common joints for mobility.