04 Mar Tips to Improve Your Golf Swing
By: Adrian Haughey (Physiotherapist/Pilates Instructor)
Golf is dynamic, explosive and quite one sided. Unless you work as a golf pro it is unlikely your day to day exertions are helping your golf game. Swing mechanics can be altered and lessons really help but most often your body mechanics, mobility and strength will determine your scope for improvement.
It has long been established how far you hit the ball is directly correlated to your handicap. Increased Speed=lower scores. Through a strength program and/or Pilates we can gain more control, mobility and strength through our spine, hips, pelvis and shoulders, as well as increased proprioception and awareness to hit those important golfing positions. Tiger woods transformed golf with his strength and commitment to training. A new generation of athletes has progressed the game making 300 yard drives the norm and ensuring every professional golfer works not only on their golf game but fitness.
Dustin Johnston, Rory McIlroy and Brooks Keopka may be the most noted and celebrated examples of how training has improved and defined their explosive games but last years biggest transformation arguably came from 49 year old Phil Mickelson. Having been diagnosed with Psoriatic Arthritis several years ago, Phil has taken great strides to improve his health and well being to not only curb the pain and negative impact of the condition but to also improve his club head speed to keep up with the younger long hitting generation. A new diet, a commitment to a Pilates based core workout, the addition of a weights program and an increase in Plyometric exercises have increased his driving distance again and reduced his everyday aches and pains despite his advancing years.
Golf requires the player to perform repeated explosive movements during the course of the round. The stronger you are the less likely you’ll break down. A key power move in golf is the ability to disassociate the hips and the shoulders to create a solid base and ensure the downswing starts from the ground up. Pilates focuses on strength and mobility and can be applied to all levels of ability and injury. A particular favourite golf specific exercise of mine is focusing on a stable pelvis whilst increasing Thoracic rotation. Variations depending on ability include squats with theraband upper body rotations, advanced to standing sprinter with rotations or most advanced single leg squatting with rotation.
With Physiotherapy assessment and one on one Pilates training an individual and specific home exercise program can target and improve any functional limitation or compensation throughout the body and swing. Book an appointment with our golf specialist Adrian Haughey today!