Quick Tip for Golfers with Back Pain

I have treated a lot of golfers with back pain and this can be very challenging. The thing about back pain is that the cause can come from many different problems. So it takes a systematic assessment to help guide the exercise program.

I have personal experience with back pain and can tell you the one thing that gives me the most relief when I have a flare up is an exercise called the static back. It’s goal is to unload the spine and decrease pain and spasm. So anytime you have a flare of low back pain try this simple exercise. Good Luck!


Posted under Exercise Tips, Golf Injuries

This post was written by Mark Tolle on November 23, 2008

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Exercise To Correct That C-Posture In Your Golf Set Up

The set up to the golf swing is one of the most fundamental aspects of the swing. If your set up posture is bad, your swing will be bad. A common set up fault is the C-posture, that is, the slumped over position we often see. Your head is forward and curved down and the upper back and shoulders are excessively curved forward. This hunched over position really limits your shoulder turn and your ability to make a good backswing.

Sometimes the cause of this C-Posture is just a poor understanding of the golf set up position, but for the majority of golfers it is caused by muscle imbalances and joint restrictions that developed over time. The muscles in the upper back become weak and or tight. It is common for the lats and shoulder rotators to become tight. The lats attach on the back of the pelvis and go up the back and come under to the front of the shoulders. This is why the pelvis can have a strong influence on the shoulders & our upper body posture.

There are several exercises which help in restoring correct posture and upper back mobility. Here are 2 good ones I use quite often. If you have a C-posture in your set up, try these.
Good Luck!

Posted under Exercise Tips, Swing Faults

This post was written by Mark Tolle on November 23, 2008

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A Poweful Golf Swing With Super Stifness

Because of my background in sports medicine & rehabilitation I take a special interest in injury prevention and rehab in golfers. I deal with a lot clients that have a history of back pain or have back pain when playing golf. Part of my interest is due to the fact that I also suffer from back pain from time to time. However, I have minimal flare ups because of my exercise program.

The reason I mention this is because I am always interested in what back pain research is telling us regarding prevention and sports performance. One individual that has influenced the way I work with golfers with back pain is Dr. Stuart McGill. I have read his books and heard him speak at workshops. I subsequently implemented some of his ideas into my programs (including my own).

He has taken the concept of “bracing” (stabilizing through the core) a step further when he applies it to sports performance. We have trained athletes and patients in abdominal bracing for many years but I really like his explanation and application of what he calls “Super Stiffness”.

Now, how does this apply to golf? Well, the stability training we do in golf is essential in transferring forces through the body and out into the club head at impact. What I am going to do is let you read an article he wrote regarding the principle of super stiffness. The importance of the article is to reinforce the importance in systematically training for sports performance. So go here to read about super stiffness.

Posted under Exercise Tips

This post was written by Mark Tolle on November 23, 2008

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What Is Holding You Back?

I recently read a report and viewed a video by Rich Schefren regarding constraints in your life that my be holding back your success. The information was specific to an internet business, but as I was reading I realized that his principles can apply to anything. So if you check out the information look past the specific examples and focus in on the underlying strategy.

The main points he refers to is that your success in anything is determined by your constraints, that is, the deep core beliefs that limit your success. If you apply it to golf you must look deep down to see what is really holding you back.

When it comes to improving your golf game we often use the reason of not having enough time to practice or exercise. This may be true but what is actually eating up your time during the day?, and how can that be changed? So if you are truly trying to improve your game or wanting to get into better physical shape, think hard on what may be holding you back. I know I’m going to contemplate this question on a daily basis.

So check out his blog and get his report by clicking here. Believe me when I say his report is worth the read. Good Luck!

Posted under Motivational

This post was written by Mark Tolle on November 23, 2008

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Two Exercises To Increase Your Shoulder Turn

A good shoulder turn into your backswing & follow through are essential in having a powerful swing. Often times golfers tend to twist from the low back (lumbar spine) rather than the upper back (thoracic spine)during the swing. The low back was not designed to rotate to the degree it often does during the golf swing. This can lead to extra stress and ultimately injury. The upper back on the other hand is actually designed to rotate much better and to a greater degree.

With all the bad posture positions we put ourselves in, like sitting at a desk or driving a car, we tend to get stiff over time. This stiffness in the upper back limits our rotation/shoulder turn during the golf swing.

We are always looking for ways to increase our flexibility, so try these 2 exercises
today to help increase that shoulder turn.
Good Luck!

Posted under Exercise Tips, Swing Faults

This post was written by Mark Tolle on November 23, 2008

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The Secret To Your Golf Game

I subscribe to the Golf Fitness Magazine and a while back they published an article entitled The Secret To Your Best Golf. I am not going to say much about it because I will not be able to give it justice, so please check it out yourself by clicking on the link.

Essentially it is a discussion on how Ted Purdy met and then worked with Bob Proctor, and then learned how to apply the Law of Attraction to his golf game. It also includes an interview so read the entire story and absorb as much as you can.

And for the record I believe in the Law of Attraction and have seen it work in my life. I recommend you learn as much as you can about it!

Posted under Motivational

This post was written by Mark Tolle on November 23, 2008

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How A Golf Specific Fitness Program Can Help Correct Your Swing Faults

We are always looking for that perfect golf swing. You know, that one swing that consistently gives us long drives and accurate shots. Actually books have been written about searching for that perfect swing. However I think most of us amateurs accept the fact that a perfect swing does not exist or is not likely achievable.

What we do focus on when working on our golf swing is to minimize swing faults or significant errors in the swing that contribute to a variety of bad shots. Also, we just try to get a repeatable swing that works for us. A teaching professional is the key person in helping golfers understand and correct swing faults. But something else to think about is how a golf specific exercise program can help correct problems in your swing as well.

In the past I have written about how posture problems such as the C-posture & S-posture can cause specific problems in your swing. There are actually about 12 -15 different swing faults depending on who you talk to. So, if you think about it, there are many, many, parts of your swing that can cause those bad shots. In the future I will be discussing individual swing faults and how specific exercises can help eliminate them, so I won’t go into it now. The important thing to remember is often times the swing error is directly related to a posture, mobility, or stability problem. These Problems can be improved with the correct exercise program.

Posted under Swing Faults

This post was written by Mark Tolle on November 21, 2008

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Baby Boomers Need To Be Ready

Ready for what? Getting older that’s what. As a baby boomer, I am always thinking about what I am going to be like when 60, 70 & 80. I certainly want to be able to play golf and even walk the course.

I recently read an article in the New York Times that spoke specifically to the issue of maintaining physical function and having the ability to do the things we currently love to do. As stated in the article, exercise is the tonic for staying active.

We know that as we age, we lose muscle and bone mass as well as, strength, power and flexibility. This results in loss of mobility, independence and the ability to do the things we we love to do. And playing golf is one of things we love to do.

So if you want to maintain or improve your current level of function, make sure you are on a regular exercise program and take care of yourself!

Posted under Motivational

This post was written by Mark Tolle on November 21, 2008

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Research Continues To Prove The Benefits Of Fitness

I am always interested in research related to golf and fitness. A more recent study conducted a comparison of fitness components between 2 levels of players. Players with a low handicap index between 0-9 and those with higher handicaps of 10-20. The researches specifically looked at strength and flexibility in the torso, shoulders & hips, as well as single-leg balance.

Each of these fitness components are considered important for improving both distance and accuracy in your golf shots. Check out the study here on my resources page.

Posted under Exercise Tips

This post was written by Mark Tolle on November 21, 2008

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How To Train Your Glutes For An Improved Golf Swing

I often times get questions about core training for golfers. Usually people want to know what the best exercises are, and how it can make them hit the ball farther. The core is very important in the golf swing, but training and exercise selection is often times misunderstood.

The truth about core training is that it is more about stability and control than pure strengthening. More specifically the core musculature; the abdominals, glutes, and hips, need to have the ability to stabilize and move at the same time. What this means is that the nervous system & muscular system work together to control movement, and transfer energy from one body part to another. This certainly is an important component of the dynamic golf swing.

Now, in order to control and transfer energy, your muscle need to function correctly. In other words, they need to be doing the job they are meant to do. For example if the glutes are not doing their job someone else in the body has to work harder and take over their function. This is called compensation which can lead to problems. In this example, the back muscles take over for the glutes and work overtime, resulting in back pain.

It is important then to first make sure your glutes are functioning correctly, and then train them to stabilize and control movement so that energy is transferred efficiently through your golf swing.

Here are 2 exercises you can use to help insure your glutes are working properly and to help improve the stability & control through your pelvis and hips. Good Luck!


Hooklying Gluteal Contractions

Focus on contracting both gluteals at the same time. There should be very little movement in the low back or pelvis. Then try contracting one glute at a time and alternate left right.

Single Leg Bridge With Opposite Side Hip Flexion

Pull one knee to your chest & hold. Bridge up with the opposite leg and focus on using your glutes. Hold for 5 seconds & repeat 10 times on each side.

Posted under Exercise Tips

This post was written by Mark Tolle on November 21, 2008

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