Mobility doesn’t sound exciting on the surface, but if you consider that better mobility means better ball control, more consistency, and greater power…now we’re talking. Having great mobility isn’t just about twisting around with your golf club for a few minutes on the first tee box. To really realize the benefits of better mobility takes practice. At first you’ll need to start off with these exercises a couple of times a week (say 2-3) and then once you’re moving better 1-2x/week will suffice to maintain the gains you’ve made.
Foam roll the hips
Using a foam roller correctly is a great way to provide a momentary boost to your muscular flexibility meaning that when you go to do the rest of the exercises in this post you’ll already be working in a greater range of motion than if you started cold. To use a foam roller correctly the best advice is to be slow and steady. Focus on the points of discomfort and relax into them instead of rolling right past them. If you think about it this way, the exercise may be called “foam pressing” instead of “foam rolling”.
Double knee rotations
This is a great way to lightly get your hips ready for both your takeaway and your follow through. When you find restriction see if you can relax into it. To really get the most bang for your buck out of this exercise practice going back and forth with your feet at different widths (close, middle, wide) until you have smooth motions transitioning from one side to the other with each.
Hip flexor stretch
This stretch is a vital component of your follow through. The back hip needs to rotate forward and extend to be pointing towards your target. If your hip extension is limited you will have difficulty getting your hips through and may also have difficulty maintaining contact between your back foot and the ground during your follow through.
Rock backs – close – middle – wide
This is a slightly more aggressive hip opener than the double knee rotations above, mainly because now you’re using your body weight to work your hips into opening up. If you’re working on external rotation keep your heels together, while keeping them apart and aligned with your knees will help with your internal rotation.
Caution with this exercise: You should not feel a lot of pinching in the front of your hips, if you do, lighten up a bit.
Chair with twist
This exercise works on both hip mobility and stability and begins to touch on the thoracic spine. To perform correctly keep your feet and knees together. As you become more balanced your can sling a golf club across your upper back and hang onto it with both hands, focusing on pointing the ends of the club up at the ceiling/sky as you rotate.
Chair with twist is a great way to finish up your mobility work because it gives you a way to immediately use the range of motion you just worked so hard to get. This goes a long way towards getting your body to keep the range of motion. Let’s be real, the best way to use the mobility is to hit the driving range right afterwards 🙂 This gives us a great segway into our upper half mobility for golfers post. click here to move to upper half mobility blog
If you’ve golfing through pain and working on mobility as a strategy to help try these exercises for a few weeks. If you’re still having difficulty give us a call at The Doctors of Physical Therapy, we help golfers like you get better every single day and return to playing pain-free.