The Loop

Fitness Friday: Two easy ways to save your back

January 08, 2016
Back-pain exercise

The ugly truth about swinging a golf club properly is that your body isn't designed to do it without stressing certain parts to the point where pain/injury is a probable outcome. But if you're like me, the game is too good to quit simply because there's an increased chance I might hurt my wrists, elbows, shoulders, neck, back, etc., etc., etc.

So assuming you've accepted the risks associated with repeatedly swinging a golf club, there are some things you can do to reduce the odds of injury if you're willing to get a little sweaty. This is especially true of the most common area where golfers experience pain—the lower back.

Most health-and-fitness experts agree that golfers greatly increase their risk of back issues if they lack good mobility in the mid-back region of the spine—known as the thoracic spine. Among them is Michael Cummings, the performance specialist for the fitness-product company SKLZ, which is based on Carlsbad, Calif. The muscles that surround the spinal column in this area are what allow you to fluidly rotate your trunk back and forth as required in a good golf swing. So what happens if these muscles aren't doing their job properly? Well, if you plan on making a backswing and through-swing, you'll need to get your trunk rotating some other way. And that's where the trouble begins. The minute you excessively mobilize the bottom part of your spine—the lumbar—in order to provide rotation in the golf swing, you're putting yourself on a probable path to back pain.

So what can you do to help improve mobility in the mid-back? Cummings has a simple two-step procedure to help you avoid back pain and, perhaps, make a better golf swing. Click on the video below to see him demonstrate it.