Stay Strong in the Offseason
Middlesex Health physical therapists demonstrate stretching exercises that focus on your trunk, shoulders, hips and knees.
Snow and cold temperatures should not prevent you from working on your golf game.
You may not be hitting the links, but you can perform exercises at home to maintain your flexibility, strengthen your core and stay in shape.
“Off-season conditioning is a great idea for avid golfers,” says Dr. Mark Lorenze, an orthopedist who serves as Middlesex Health’s chair of surgery. “Not only will it make the transition to full-time play easier, but it will help with performance and also prevent potential injury.”
Brian Taber, a physical therapist and director of Physical Rehabilitation for Middlesex Health, agrees.
“Golf, and many sports, bring our joints and muscles through motions that are far greater than typical everyday use,” he says. “When we take a break from these movements in the offseason, decreased joint and muscle flexibility can occur, resulting in a slower return to the season and an increased risk of injury.”
During the offseason, Taber says you want to maintain your peak season flexibility to ensure that you are ready to return to the golf course.
Flexibility training is important, Dr. Lorenze confirms, explaining that the more flexible an athlete is, the less susceptible they are to muscular and soft tissue injuries. Improving flexibility will also help a golfer more easily incorporate any swing changes that are worked on during the offseason, he says.
And don’t forget your core!
“Core strengthening is the key for improvement in golf,” Dr. Lorenze says. “By strengthening the core, a golfer can improve their power and distance.”
Preseason conditioning is helpful in any sport, but Dr. Lorenze says it is becoming increasingly more important for golfers—even amateur ones. “As golf becomes more popular and more higher level athletes are playing golf, tour-level golfers are bigger, stronger and more athletic than ever before,” he says. “The weekend golfer, or the high-level amateur, has to keep up!”
If you are new to exercising, it is recommended that you discuss starting an exercise program with your doctor, or a physical or occupational therapist. Please note that exercises should not cause any pain or lasting discomfort. If you do experience pain, especially pain that remains after you’ve stopped exercising, you should hold off on any further exercise until you can consult with your physician or physical therapist.
For more from Middlesex Health, visit MiddlesexHealth.org/Golf.
If you did not have the opportunity to play golf during the winter season, or if you do not already have a regular strength and flexibility routine, don’t worry. It’s never too late to start a strength or stretching program.