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Exercise: The Critical Roles of Mobility and Strength in Golf Performance

Updated: Nov 1

The pursuit of the perfect golf swing marries art with science, demanding a meticulous balance of precision, strength, and mobility. Though golf may seem leisurely, enthusiasts recognize its physically demanding nature, necessitating a well-conditioned body. The effectiveness of a golfer's swing, in terms of power and accuracy, hinges on two fundamental physical attributes: mobility and strength.

To unravel the biomechanics underpinning these vital elements, we've curated two educational YouTube videos delving into their significance. Our initial video, "Master Your Mobility: Five Golf Exercises for Peak Performance," outlines how specific mobility exercises can enhance your swing, improve control, and increase power. The subsequent video, "Develop Your Strength: Six Golf Exercises for Peak Performance," focuses on strength-based routines aimed at boosting your swing's power. Collectively, these videos furnish a holistic regimen to refine the physical aspects pivotal to excelling in golf.

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The Game-Changer: Mobility Exercises

In the realm of golf, mobility refers to the golfer's ability to move their body through the necessary range of motion to execute an efficient golf swing. This is vital for achieving the desired swing arc, generating power, and maintaining control throughout each swing. Let's dive into the exercises from our first YouTube video that focus on enhancing mobility.

  1. Dynamic Hip Flexor Stretch: Start in a half-kneeling position with one knee on the ground to perform this stretch. Keeping your body upright, press your hips forward to create a stretch in the front of your hip on the kneeling side. The primary muscles involved here include the iliopsoas and rectus femoris. By increasing hip flexor mobility, this stretch improves the range of hip rotation, facilitating a broader swing arc and contributing to swing power.

  2. Glute Bridges: Lay on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Push your heels into the ground and lift your hips by squeezing your glutes until your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. The gluteus maximus, hamstrings, and core are the primary muscles engaged. Enhanced glute strength from this exercise contributes to power generation during the downswing and impact phases.

  3. Combination of Shoulder and Core Exercises: Use a golf club or broomstick for this set. Holding the stick overhead, perform lateral flexions and rotations, ensuring your movements are controlled. These exercises target the obliques, latissimus dorsi, and deltoids. Improved shoulder and core mobility can lead to a more extensive and controlled swing arc, enhancing both swing power and accuracy.

  4. Lateral Lunge: Start standing tall. Step out to the side, bending the stepping leg while keeping the other straight. Push off the bent leg to return to standing. This exercise primarily targets the adductor muscles, glutes, and quadriceps. Improved lateral hip mobility from this exercise allows for a broader base and better weight distribution during the swing, contributing to power and control.

  5. Single-Leg Deadlift: With a golf club, broomstick or dumbbell, stand on one leg while lifting the other behind you as you lean forward, keeping your back straight. This exercise targets the hamstrings, glutes, and core for balance. Enhanced hamstring and hip mobility can contribute to a more stable and controlled swing, and can help increase the power of the downswing.

Incorporating these exercises into your routine can enhance your mobility, which in turn can significantly improve your swing, control, and power, leading to overall better golf performance.

Exercise Demonstration Video

Master Your Mobility: Five Golf Exercises for Peak Performance - Optimal mobility is a game-changer in golf, influencing your swing, control, and power. Our video details six exercises to boost this mobility. It begins with dynamic hip flexor stretch (00:15), then glute bridges (01:45), followed by a combination of shoulder and core exercises (02:50). Later, it covers the lateral lunge (05:45) and ends with a single-leg deadlift (07:02). These routines can enhance your swing and overall golfing experience when done regularly.

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The Power Booster: Strength

Strength in golf refers to the ability of the muscles to exert force. It plays a crucial role in determining the power of the swing, the distance of the drive, and the overall stability and control of the golfer. Let's explore the exercises from the second YouTube video, focusing on building strength and their biomechanical implications for golfers.

  1. Russian Twist: Sit on the floor, leaning back slightly with your feet off the ground. Hold a weight or medicine ball and rotate your torso to touch it to the ground beside your hip, then twist to the other side. This exercise targets the obliques, rectus abdominis, and transverse abdominis. By strengthening the core, it improves rotational control, leading to a more powerful and precise swing.

  2. Bent Over Row: Start with a bent-over stance, holding dumbbells or a barbell, and pull the weight towards your lower ribcage. This targets the latissimus dorsi, rhomboids, and biceps. By improving upper body strength, this exercise enhances the control and power of the backswing and follow-through.

  3. Squat Press: Holding dumbbells at shoulder height, perform a squat, then as you rise, press the weights overhead. This exercise engages the glutes, quadriceps, deltoids, and triceps. The squat portion builds lower body power for driving force, while the press enhances shoulder and arm strength for control and stability.

  4. Lateral Raise: Holding dumbbells at your sides, raise your arms out to shoulder height, then lower. This exercise focuses on the deltoids, particularly the middle portion. Improved shoulder strength allows for a wider swing arc, translating to greater power and control.

  5. Straight Leg Raise: Lie on your back and lift one straight leg at a time, engaging the hip flexors and lower abdominals. Enhancing strength in these areas aids in stabilizing the hip region during the swing, contributing to consistent and powerful shots.

  6. Glute Raise: Start on your hands and knees, then extend one leg straight back, engaging the glutes. This exercise targets the gluteus maximus and hamstrings, crucial muscles for power during the downswing. Strengthening these muscles helps in driving the ball farther and maintaining balance throughout the swing.

These strength-building exercises target key muscle groups involved in golf performance. By enhancing strength in these specific areas, golfers can increase their swing speed, driving distance, and overall control and precision. Just as with mobility, strength is a fundamental component of golf biomechanics that can be developed and refined through targeted exercises. It's a game-changer in achieving peak performance on the golf course.

Exercise Demonstration Video

Six Golf Exercises for Peak Performance," breaks down six specific exercises designed to amplify your strength, ultimately enhancing your swing and driving power.

Starting with the Russian Twist (00:25), we work the core and improve your rotation for better control and accuracy. The Bent Over Row (01:40) follows, enhancing upper body strength for a robust swing. We then dive into the Squat Press (02:35), boosting lower body power and stability. The Lateral Raise (03:56) comes next, focusing on shoulder strength for an improved swing arc. The Straight Leg Raise (05:20) and Glute Raise (06:24) conclude the routine, further stabilizing the lower body and boosting power. This series, when done regularly, can enhance your golf game significantly.

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Golf is more than a game; it's a complex interplay of mobility and strength. The perfect swing requires a balance of these two vital elements, a synergy that enhances both power and precision.

Our exploration of golf biomechanics offers practical exercises that can truly elevate your game. By focusing on targeted mobility and strength routines, golfers at any level can find improvement, more control, and greater enjoyment on the course.

Keep practicing, keep learning, and remember that every swing is an opportunity to grow. With dedication to these principles, the path to mastery in golf is not just attainable; it's waiting for you. Here's to the journey ahead!

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Dr. Abelson is committed to running an evidence-based practice (EBP) incorporating the most up-to-date research evidence. He combines his clinical expertise with each patient's specific values and needs to deliver effective, patient-centred personalized care.

As the Motion Specific Release (MSR) Treatment Systems developer, Dr. Abelson operates a clinical practice in Calgary, Alberta, under Kinetic Health. He has authored ten publications and continues offering online courses and his live programs to healthcare professionals seeking to expand their knowledge and skills in treating musculoskeletal conditions. By staying current with the latest research and offering innovative treatment options, Dr. Abelson is dedicated to helping his patients achieve optimal health and wellness.

Despite being in the field for over three decades, Dr. Abelson remains open to welcoming new patients at Kinetic Health, save for the periods he dedicates to teaching or enjoying travels with his cherished wife, Kamali. However, be forewarned, he will anticipate your commitment to carry out the prescribed exercises and punctuality for your appointments (smile). His dedication towards your health is absolute, particularly in ensuring that you can revel in life unimpeded. He genuinely delights in greeting both new faces and familiar ones at the clinic (403-241-3772).


Revolutionize Your Practice with Motion Specific Release (MSR)!

MSR, a cutting-edge treatment system, uniquely fuses varied therapeutic perspectives to resolve musculoskeletal conditions effectively.

Attend our courses to equip yourself with innovative soft-tissue and osseous techniques that seamlessly integrate into your clinical practice and empower your patients by relieving their pain and restoring function. Our curriculum marries medical science with creative therapeutic approaches and provides a comprehensive understanding of musculoskeletal diagnosis and treatment methods.

Our system offers a blend of orthopedic and neurological assessments, myofascial interventions, osseous manipulations, acupressure techniques, kinetic chain explorations, and functional exercise plans.

With MSR, your practice will flourish, achieve remarkable clinical outcomes, and see patient referrals skyrocket. Step into the future of treatment with MSR courses and membership!



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