Tips for Pain-Free Golfing

Playing golf is a great way to keep yourself moving, decrease stress, and take time for yourself. Your body is capable of the swinging and twisting motions required for golf, but it can be normal to experience occasional pain. Follow this guide to adjust your golf game when you experience pain, so that you can continue playing and turn down the pain alarm system.

Strategies to Turn Down the Alarm System

  • Moving more will increase your capacity to tolerate all kinds of movements, including golf. The exercises in the Hinge Health program are a great way to keep yourself moving.

  • Whether you golf once a week or once a month, preparation is important. Getting the golf club out two or three times a week and taking a few minutes of practice swings will allow you to improve your resilience to that motion and twisting.

  • Before playing a round, or before practicing at the driving range, warm up with some practice hits or swings at 50 to 80% of maximum force to get used to the movement.

  • Your body needs time to recover so that you can become more resilient. If you are experiencing pain and play a lot of golf, it may be beneficial to balance your golf game with some lower-intensity play.

    • Try mixing in playing 9 holes instead of 18 or swinging at 80% throughout the round instead of 100%.

    • There are a lot of options for modifications, so please reach out to your coach if you need some guidance.

  • If pain prevents you from playing, you can gradually increase how much you play, starting with practice swings at 50%.

    • Adjust the intensity of your swing so that the pain is at an acceptable level and so that you do not have an uptick in pain that lasts more than 24 hours following the session.

    • Gradually increase your game by swinging faster, or practicing more frequently, or move to a golf range to see if you can tolerate a little more each week.

The exercises in your Hinge Health program will improve your resilience for all types of movement. In addition, the exercises below target movements like twisting that are especially important for golf.

Seated Core Crunch

  • Sit toward the middle or front of a chair with your feet on the floor and your arms folded across your chest.

  • Rotate to the side and bring your left elbow toward your right leg (your elbow does not have to touch your leg).

  • Repeat on the opposite side.

Perform this exercise 10 times on each side, take a short break (30 to 60 seconds), and complete 10 more repetitions on each side.

Core Stability Press With Band

  • Tie a knot in the middle of a band and close the knot behind a door to anchor it securely.

  • With the door to your side, sit upright on a chair or exercise ball, grasping the end of the band in both hands.

  • Sit far enough from the door so that there is no slack in the band.

  • Hold the band with both hands and your arms extended.

  • Slowly draw your hands to your chest while counting to three.

  • Count to three as you press the band directly in front of you, away from your body with your arms fully extended.

Perform this exercise 10 times, take a short break (30 to 60 seconds), switch sides and repeat. To increase the difficulty, try a standing position.