Get rid of lower-back pain and improve stability with these four moves
If you experience low-back pain, you’re not alone. Golf Digest 50 Best Fitness Trainer Carolina Romero explains that this problem is common among golfers because many don’t know how to hinge their hips properly and lack the strength needed to control the position of their pelvis.
The result is usually a golfer who has an exaggerated arch, or anterior pelvis tilt at address (below).
Romero says women are more susceptible to this improper posture over the ball, because they typically have more flexible hips than men, making it easier to slip into this position. Understanding how to hinge your hips properly is the first step to fighting low-back pain. Use Romero’s quick drill to practice hinging from the hips instead of arching your back over the ball.
Grab a wedge or an iron and hold it vertically along your spine, just like Romero is in the clip above. If your pelvis is in an anterior position, there will be a gap between the club and your back. To get into a neutral pelvis position, tuck your hips until the club rests along your spine. From this position, tighten your abs and practice hinging from the hips like Romero. Try to keep your club relatively flat to your back as you bend from the waist.
You can also reduce low-back pain by rehearsing a neutral pelvis position and strengthening key golf muscles, such as the glutes and abs. Because the glutes and abdominal muscles are responsible for stabilizing the swing, you should notice your back pain starting to subside (hopefully) and an improvement in your ball-striking.
Add Romero’s stabilizing exercises to your fitness routine to start training a strong and stable swing.
These help you practice getting your pelvis into a neutral position, which is key for maintaining proper posture over the ball. As you complete the exercise for 10 to 12 reps, tighten your abs as you tuck your hips and press your back into the floor. Notice how Romero isn’t moving much during this exercise. This is a small, controlled motion.
Your glutes are among of the most powerful muscles in the body, and perhaps the most important in the golf swing, Romero says, “Not just because they’re responsible for creating power and speed, but because they’re also responsible for stabilizing the body."
Notice that only Romero’s lower back, hips and pelvis are moving while she completes this exercise. Do 10 to 12 reps, be sure that you’re stable as you press through your feet to lift your hips and engage your glutes.
“A strong, stable core helps you maintain and protect your spine when you are doing fast, rotational movements,” Romero says. Her curl ups are a great way to strengthen your core and practice maintaining a neutral pelvis position, which means less pressure on your lumbar spine.
As you lift your head and shoulders off the ground, think about moving them as one piece and engage your core as you raise and lower your upper body. This will help you achieve the same neutralposition as Romero at the top of the exercise.
Romero says to watch out for two common mistakes: 1) Curling too much at the top. 2) Using your hands to pull your head and shoulders. Remember that the goal is to maintain a neutral spine while igniting the core. Complete 10 to 12 reps on each side at a slow-and-controlled pace.
When you have a stable core, you’re subconsciously able to produce more speed because you’re able to swing hard and fast without fear of injury, Romero says. Deadbugs are a great way to strengthen your core and stabilize your body.
As you lie on your back, remember to tuck your pelvis so you’re in a neutral spine position, similarly to how you practiced tucking. While you straighten the opposite arm and leg, keep your core tight and hold the position a few inches off the ground, just like Romero in the clip above. Focus on staying balanced and stable throughout the exercise and complete 10 to 12 reps on each side.