One of the most important factors in improved performance and reduced risk of injury in any sport is technique. Many overuse injuries are attributed to doing repetitive actions with poor technique. This can cause excessive stress to be applied to particular joints or muscles which can contribute to an injury developing. Over time, symptoms of injuries caused by poor technique can worsen if technical faults are not addressed and could lead to a more serious condition. Injuries are not the only by-product of poor technique – performance levels will also be decreased by bad technique as this will prevent optimum strength, power and speed in the particular movement or shot.
When we think about dealing with issues of technique the first thought is often to seek out a coach to address these problems. Whilst the role of the coach is invaluable in teaching correct sporting technique, maybe the first point of call should be a physiotherapist?
Why a physiotherapist? Well, you can’t successfully bake a cake without the correct ingredients in the right quantity. And you can’t perfect your sporting technique without the correct physical ‘ingredients’ in the right quantity. A musculoskeletal screen by a physiotherapist can determine this by assessing such things as joint mobility, muscle strength and flexibility, balance and co-ordination and core strength. Through analysis of sporting technique in various sports, Coastal Physiotherapy has been able to develop a series of musculoskeletal screens which are specific to the needs of each individual sport – these have been branded as our ‘Fit 4 ..’ programs. We have successfully launched our ‘Fit 4 Golf’ program and this has been followed by ‘Fit 4 Running’ and ‘Fit 4 Swimming’, with more programs currently being developed.
‘Fit 4 Golf’ is a 4 step golf specific program:
Step 1: Assessment of tight and/or weak muscle areas that are affecting the golf swing
Step 2: Treatment of affected areas by utilising Soft Tissue Release and other physiotherapy modalities
Step 3: Self-management of targeted areas through a home based exercise program
Step 4: Monitoring and upgrading of strengthening exercises and stretches as required
The program provides the golfer with a proactive approach to the management of preventable conditions and the ability to play and practice longer without their swing breaking down. Upon completion of the program and having addressed any highlighted issues it is then the ideal time to seek out the assistance of the golf pro to work on the golf swing itself. With improved strength and flexibility the golfer can generate more power with less effort, thereby producing a smoother swing with greater club head speed. A study of golfers who performed specific strengthening and stretching exercises for eight weeks increased their club head speed by 5.2mph (www.shark.com/sharkwatch/fitness/fitness17.php)
Here are the thoughts of Simon Whittle, a keen golfer on the Sunshine Coast following his recent ‘Fit 4 Golf’ assessment:
“I have always thought I was reasonably fit and flexible. Like most golfers I have had my share of physio visits over the years with minor injuries. Paul identified four areas that he thought were not as flexible as they could be. Areas I wasn’t aware of. I have been doing simple exercises for about a month and am amazed how much better I feel. I am confident it will lessen my chance of future injury and am noticing improvements in my golf swing”.
‘Fit 4 Golf’ is ideal for golfers of all abilities and is performed by an experienced physiotherapist. The program cost is $220 which includes the complete Fit 4 Golf assessment, provision of home strengthening and flexibility program, and follow-up visit to provide Soft Tissue Release treatment and review your home program. Call today for an appointment (5443 6634) and discover a new way to improve your golf fitness, reduce your handicap and ensure the longevity of your game.