Low back pain is a major problem in golf. It can reek havoc on your golf swing and the amount of time you spend playing the game. I wanted to spend some time with this post to focus on a fun golf fitness exercise that will help you avoid low back pain by improving lower abdominal strength and pelvic mobility. There are quite a fee rehab exercises that help reduce low back pain once it has started that I will post soon, stay tuned!
Ok Ok let’s get to it! Pelvic mobility is really important to a good golf swing. Go into your DVR at home and pull up the last tournament. Watch the players set up over the ball and you will notice that most of them tuck or tilt their pelvis posteriorly (back or flatten) in their set up or at the start of the downswing. The best way to spot it is by watching them down the line and looking at their belt. It will tilt slightly horizontal when they tilt their pelvis, you will have to watch in slow motion. This does a couple of things that really improve ball striking. First, it engages the lower abdominal muscle group, which is hugely important for developing power and maintaining spine angle. Secondly, it creates space for your hands and arms to move through impact. If you are unable to tilt your pelvis posteriorly or flatten your belt line then it is going to be more difficult for you to turn your hip and maintain your spine angle as a result your hips may get closer to the ball which can cause a slide through the ball, standing up during the swing, an outside to in club path or all 3 swing flaws happening together.
“Woah!” “Slow down partner!” Two things you have every right to say at this point! The good news is that there are a lot of fun ways to improve lower ab strength as well as pelvic mobility. I thought I would share one that incorporates both elements to save you time in the gym. This is also a great exercise to do between sets of bigger lifts to save you time in the gym.
- Lie on your back (on a mat) with your knees bent, hold a golf club over your shoulders with your arms straight.
- Lift your knees up and try to bring them under the club. Think about tucking them under the club. The first time will be difficult but as you do more reps try to engage your lower abdominals by lifting your butt off of the ground. You will naturally cheat by lowering your arms toward your knees, stop doing that! Repeat this patter…knees up, knees down 15 to 30 times.
As you can see from the exercise your low back “rounds” during the exercise. What is happening is your lower abdominal muscles are pulling your pelvis backward or tilting it posteriorly, this effectively reverses the normal lordotic curve of your low back and “rounds” it out. The cool thing about this exercise is that you are tricking your body in to a posterior pelvic tilt and at the same time building a stronger core. If you want to reduce your chances of developing low back pain and improve your golf swing have fun with this exercise.
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