Golf and back problems … an all to common connection.
Why do so many golfers have back problems? What is it about golf that makes us vulnerable?
First, golf involves a torso twisting motion.
Second, there are a lot wrong ways to swing – ways that put tremendous stress on back muscles and / or the spine.
Is there a way to swing that makes these injuries less likely? … or can even allow them to heal?
Surprising to some, the answer is yes, there is a way to swing that greatly minimizes any stress on the back.
That swing with low – or no – stress on the back is a more upright swing.
Even Tiger Woods has recently illustrated this. The swing that gave him so many back problems – even surgery – was flatter than the swing he used to win so many tournaments both as an amateur and as a professional. Why he would abandon a swing that brought him so much success is beyond me … but that is a discussion for another day.
As if golf doesn’t put enough stress on the body, swinging the club behind you on the backswing, rather than swinging it above the shoulders, puts even more twisting and tilting pressure on the back. That is exactly what was wrong with Tiger’s swing. He was torquing his back and losing both clubhead speed and driver control in the process.
Swinging more vertically – so your hands are above your shoulders at the top of your backswing – not only decreases that likelihood you will have back problems, but also makes hitting straight shots much easier. The club travels on a more vertical angle during your swing. That means the clubhead path is closer to the target line for much of your swing.
There are several good checkpoints to make swinging this way relatively simple. These go along with this proper swing plane. The swing checkpoints are here: Some Checkpoints For Straight, Long Shots.
Set up checkpoints are here: Simple (and Easy) Swing Adjustments