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GOLFHEALTHY
by David Brien, BSc(PT) Physiotherapist : Back on Track Physiotherapy
Don’t Forget Your Neck
The exercise is very similar to the self assessment test. To improve rotationAt first glance, it appears that the neck is not vulnerable to injury during the golf
you will simply repeat the head rotation test (in good posture) and then use theswing. However, a closer look reveals that the neck requires full rotation from
hand on the side to which you are turning to gently stretch your neck to itsleft to right in order to achieve a full shoulder turn while keeping your head still
comfortable limit. Your hand should be on your cheek and never pulling on theover the ball. In addition, significant neck muscle strength is needed to support
jaw (picture 1). This stretch should be held for 10 seconds and repeated 3 timesthe head in the address position and complete a full swing. If either the
on each side.flexibility or strength is lacking, the result is a stiff and sore neck….or worse,
a poor golf shot!
The strengthening exercises are again similar to the self assessment test. Lay
on your stomach with a small towel rolled up under the forehead. Gently tuckTo determine if you have either of these limitations, a few simple self assessment
your chin toward your throat and lift your head so your forehead is off the toweltests can be performed. First, to test rotational flexibility, sit with good posture
(1 inch) and your face is parallel to the ground (picture 2). Try to hold for 5and attempt to turn your head to the right. If you experience discomfort or a
seconds. If unable to hold for 5 seconds start with 1-2 seconds and build upstopping point prior to your chin being over your shoulder, you have decreased
your duration over time. To progress this exercise further, try rotating the headrotational range of motion. Repeat to the left. Make sure you are not compensating
to the side while in the lift position (picture 3). To work the muscles on the frontby turning you shoulders or tilting your head to the left or right. Secondly, to test
of the neck, do the same exercise on your back with a small towel rolled upmuscle strength, lay on your back with your head on the floor. Attempt to lift
under the neck (picture 4). Remember to gently tuck the chin towards the throatyour head 1 inch and hold for 5 seconds. If you are unable to perform this test
before lifting.without discomfort of excessive strain, you have a strength deficit in your neck
muscles. Perform the same test from your stomach.
If any of these exercises cause discomfort or do not improve with time, see a
physiotherapist that knows the game of golf to determine treatment options.If these tests were easy for you, congratulations you have sufficient strength
and mobility in your neck. For the rest of us, a few simple exercises can
eliminate these limitations.
Picture 1 Picture 3
Picture 2 Picture 4
76 FGM
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