Get Ready to Tee it up….

by Jeffrey Petersen, PT, MOMT


“There are two types of golfers…those with back pain and those that will have back pain”, attributed to Jack Nicklaus

tiger woods

According to Peter Kostis (CBS sports analyst) The reverse curve of the spine typified by 1950’s -1960’s golfers put a lot of stress on the low back. Modern day “power swings” add additional stress to the lumbar spine. All of today’s professional golfers are involved in some type of fitness routines

It has been well established that improved fitness can improve your golf game. Ironically there may be a point of diminishing return Exercise routines that emphasize high intensity activities may in fact predispose you to injury. How does one proceed?

Begin with a fitness routine appropriate to your current level of conditioning. The greatest gains in your golf swing will happen with slight improvements in balance, flexibility and strength.

Secondly be sure you have sound swing mechanics. To see examples of a “tension free” golf swing google Sam Snead and Tom Watson. Peter Kostis calls Snead “the poster child of the tension free swing and Describes Watson’s swing as being built to last.

As far as fitness goes, a beginning routine should include the following elements:

  1. Dynamic warm up stretches
  2. Static stretching
  3. Balance activities
  4. Core strengthening
  5. Hip and leg strengthening
  6. Shoulder strengthening


Dynamic warm up:

  1. Start by swinging a 9 iron (in your golf stance) in small slow arcs progressing to greater range and speed. Perform for 25 reps
  2. Repeat slow swings with holding your club with 1 hand right then left for 15 repetitions

Static stretches:

  1. Hamstrings
  2. Quads/hip flexors
  3. Calves
  4. Trunk rotations/side bends holding club over head
  5. Shoulder Internal rotation stretch with club
  6. Posterior capsule stretch

Balance activities:

  1. Single leg swings

Core strengthening

  1. Planks
  2. Side planks


Hip and leg strengthening

  1. Air squats
  2. In line single leg lunges

Shoulder strengthening

  1. External shoulder rotations holding a club or light weight
  2. Pushups
  3. 1 armed rows

If you have questions contact us at 480-833-1005.

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