How to Protect Your Back and Improve Your Game

By Steve Silverman

The back is clearly an important part of nearly every physical activity. That is especially true of golf. The spine needs to be kept relatively straight as the body bends forward at waist level. Golfers who have had back problems can exercise to build strength in that area and improve their overall game.

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderate
Step 1
Use an exercise ball to build flexibility and strength in your core and your back. Sit on an exercise ball and find your balance point. Pick up three-pound dumbbells in both hands and curl them to your shoulders. Do 10 lifts, take a 30-second break and repeat the set.
Step 2
Lay down on an exercise ball with your back pointing toward the ceiling. Your stomach or waist should be over the middle of the ball. Grasp the ball with both hands and roll forward until your neck is over the middle of the ball. Roll backwards so your waist is once again over the middle of the ball. Repeat this stretch 10 times.
Step 3
Address the golf ball squarely. Make sure your left shoulder is facing the target and that your left foot is directly underneath your shoulder. You should be about two feet away from the ball and you should be bent over slightly from the waist, but with a straight spine. This is the correct athletic position for your golf swing; maintaining this position will protect your back.
Step 4
Build a smooth and steady swing and do not try to overpower the ball. Although this is good advice for all golfers it is especially true of golfers who have had to overcome back problems. Swinging too hard will put extra stress and pressure on the back. A smooth swing that includes a full hip turn is much better for your back and more productive on the course.
Step 5
Wear comfortable golf shoes when you play the game. Golf shoes are essential but make sure they are in good shape and they have not worn out. If you play two or more times a week in a given golf season, you should think about replacing them every other year. Maintain them so they can take care of your feet and back.

Tips & Warnings

Stretch on the first tee and if you ever have to wait during the course of your round. By placing a golf club in the crook of your arms and locking it into place behind your back, you can twist right and left to loosen your back.
Relax when you swing. Trying to hit the ball too hard could injure your back and it will not help your game.

About The Author

Steve Silverman is an award-winning writer, covering sports since 1980. Silverman authored The Minnesota Vikings: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and Who's Better, Who's Best in Football -- The Top 60 Players of All-Time, among others, and placed in the Pro Football Writers of America awards three times. Silverman holds a Master of Science in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism.

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