Get Ready to Tee Off Safely This Season

By Michael T. Lu, MD

Golfers are keen on their game! This detail-oriented sport demands skill, focus and a competitive spirit. There are more reasons to keep swinging: golf gets you outside and on your feet for a great social workout. But, keep in mind that even though golf is a low-impact exercise, it can still be hazardous, especially to the lower back, wrists and elbows. Thankfully, by conditioning your muscles and learning proper technique, not only can you decrease your risk of injury, but you can also improve your game and lower that handicap.

I recommend the following exercises to help keep you limber and potentially help your game.

  • Warm up for five to 10 minutes before you hit the fairway to reduce your risk of injury. Try these warm-ups: brisk walking or jumping jacks.
  • Trunk and upper-body stretch. Hold a golf club with both hands in front of your chest, rotate slowly to the right and hold for 10-20 seconds. Then rotate to the left and repeat.
  • Shoulder Stretch. Raise your arm above your head. Slowly move the arm in a clock-wise and then counterclockwise windmill-like circular motion. Repeat with the other arm.
  • Side stretch. Stand with arms above head, holding the club with hands shoulder-width apart. Slowly bend to the right and hold for 10 seconds. Then bend to the left and hold. Repeat.
  • Calf stretch. Place both hands against a tree at chest level, and stand arm’s length away. Keeping your right foot on the ground and leg slightly bent move your left foot back behind you, keeping the knee straight. Hold for 10 seconds and don’t bounce. Repeat with the other leg.

Board-eligible orthopedic surgeon Dr. Lu is a member of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and specializes in general orthopedics, with emphasis on all aspects of shoulder and elbow surgery, including fracture care, joint replacement and arthroscopic surgery. He has an office in Perth Amboy, will soon add another in Woodbridge and is a member of the Human Motion Institute at Raritan Bay Medical Center. To make an appointment, call 1-855-5-MOTION.

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