Every week my colleague Ron Kaspriske, Golf Digest Fitness Editor, presents Fitness Friday on the Instruction Blog. This week he shows you how to prevent elbow--and even shoulder--pain. Look for Weekend Tip tomorrow, and remember to follow me on Twitter: @RogerSchiffman*.
Here's Ron: Some of your body's joints are designed to be super mobile. And some aren't. One of the most-common areas where golfers feel pain and succumb to injury is at the elbow joint. Why? There are many reasons, including the repetitive stress placed on your elbows from striking the ground over and over. But another big reason is that you lack mobility in the joints that surround--and protect--your less-mobile elbow joint. And when those joints don't do their job, the elbow has to take an added amount of punishment. Your cartilage wears out. Tendons get inflamed. You feel pain. Sound familiar?
If you're looking for help to prevent this pain from recurring, you need to improve your shoulder mobility, particularly before you play. Increasing the shoulder's range of motion and also getting the blood flowing through the joint will allow you to swing the golf club without adding stress to your already banged-up elbows. And, as an added bonus, you'll also be protecting the rotator-cuff muscles of your shoulder from tearing. That's a less-common injury for golfers, but it can happen.
Your shoulders are extremely mobile, as evidenced by the amount of flexibility a pitcher, swimmer, or gymnast has in performing their sports. So before you tee it up, get those muscles nice and warm. Click on the video below to see Dave Herman, fitness trainer to PGA Tour pros Gary Woodland and Trevor Immelman, demonstrate a few ways you can get your shoulder muscles primed.