By Dan Goldstein, PT, O/SCS, ATC, GFS –
With the South Florida weather cooling down, time on the golf courses and tennis courts are increasing. These are fun, physical activities that require some preparation in order to enjoy playing and limit your risk of injuries. As a Physical Therapist, with additional training in orthopaedic and sports medicine, I have many clients with injuries that relegate them to spending time in my office and not out having fun.
Tennis and Golf are mainly rotational sports where we create power by twisting the body. Frequent bending is required in each sport. Tennis involves more overhead arm mobility while golf, especially in the short-game, requires more forward bending (followed by sitting and bouncing in the cart). Tennis is more constant activity therefore requires more aerobic training while golf is an endurance sport.
While we would like to enjoy these sports, many of us spend the day sitting, walking straight ahead and (hopefully) exercising at the gym. However, gym activities usually involves working on machines that provide some, well needed, strengthening for individual muscles or treadmill walking, which might help the aerobics, but does not prepare us for the physical requirements of our sports.
Exercise considerations for golf and tennis:
1. Rotational sports require flexibility of multiple body parts as you turn over a fairly, stable balanced stance. Appropriate stretching of the leg, hip, low back, shoulder-blade and arms muscles must be part of your daily exercise routine. When we were teenagers we could run out and play and no have to think about warm-up—sorry, the body changes and flexibility needs to be a priority.
2. Balance needs to be part of your daily exercises—ask any golfer “How important is balance in the golf swing?” You know it is critical; balance involves the interplay of may muscles and needs to be worked. More on golf balance next month.
3. Rotational sports involve the coordinated activity of multiple muscles. So while lifting on machines may help some strengthening, sports-specific training will allow you to play with less risk of injury.
There should be NO PAIN with any exercises—gentle stretching is to increase mobility of the joints and muscles. If you have physical limitations consider Physical Therapy; my job is to work with your doctor and assess muscles, joints, ligaments, strength, flexibility, movement patterns, balance, gait and posture.
If you would like a copy of my initial golf and tennis warm-up exercises just e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or send your address to my office: 1896 Palm Beach Lakes Blvd., West Palm Beach, FL 33409.
(561) 371 – 6021
1896 Palm Beach Lakes Blvd, Suite B
West Palm Beach, FL 33409