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Shoulder & Core Injury Prevention for Golfers | Tips & Workouts

Shoulder & Core Injury Prevention for Golfers | Tips & Workouts

The Journal of the Canadian Chiropractic Association published a study by Dr. Gregory J Lehman in 2006. This study showed a full workout program for golfers to prevent injuries and improve performance. We've pulled a couple of the workouts from this program that are focused on the shoulder and the trunk for you to look at

For the full study, take a look here.

 

Shoulder Injury Prevention Exercises

These exercises were designed as a part of this study to improve shoulder control.


Lower Trap Arm Raise

While lying face down the participant lifts their arm to a position 45 degrees lateral to and at the level of their head. The arm should be in line with the lower trapezius fibres. This exercise trains the trapezius, deltoid, external rotator cuff and rhomboids.


External Rotation

Using a dumbbell with their arm abducted and elbow flexed, the participant should eccentrically lower the dumbbell (internally rotate) and then raise the dumbbell to the starting position via external shoulder rotation. This exercise trains the external rotator cuff. Athletes should focus on keeping their shoulder blades back and down.


Push Up Plus

The athlete begins in push up position and allows their shoulder blades to “roll together”. The participant, while maintaining a neutral spine, attempts to push themselves up further by pushing the shoulder blades farther apart (Scapular Protraction). This exercise has been shown to maximize serratus anterior & subscapularis activity while minimizing upper trapezius activation. The external rotator cuff is also active.

 

Trunk Injury Prevention Exercises

These exercises are designed to stabilize your core and help improve core strength during your swing.

Curl Up

Golfer lies on back with one knee bent 90 degrees and the second leg straight. Hands should be placed under the low back to prevent spinal flexion. Golfer “curls” their shoulders 2 inches off the surface. The neck should should stay in a neutral position. Strain should be experienced in the abdominal region. The golfer should focus on curling the ribcage toward their pelvis.

Bird Dog

Golfer starts on hands and knees. From this four point kneeling position the golfer should extend one leg parallel to the floor, hold for 3 seconds and return to the starting position. Repeat with other leg. Additionally, the opposite arm can also be raised. The golfer must maintain control of the spine and minimize twisting and excessive movement.

Side Support

Golfer starts in side lying position and raises their torso off the floor. Their weight should be supported by their knee and their forearm. To increase difficultly support the weight from the forearm and the golfers lateral feet.

Front Support

Rolling from the side support position the golfer maintains a neutral spine and supports their weight on their forearms and the balls of both feet.

 

For more workouts and the full program, check out the link above.

5 Ways To Support & Strengthen Your Ankle

5 Ways To Support & Strengthen Your Ankle

We deal with ankle injuries and improving joint health every day. Here's some of the best ways to improve your ankle strength or provide extra support that we've learned from PTs and athletic trainers. All of our sources are listed below in case you want to look any of the scientific papers up.

 

Ankle Braces

An ankle brace can be great for support. Ankle braces lock down the joint, and if you already have weak ankles from an injury, are a great way to limit motion during rehab.

However, there are some strong downsides to a brace. First, if you wear it every day for injury prevention, you are likely to weaken your ankle from the consistent use. This is because your ankle relies on small micromotions to improve its strength over time. These motions are limited, if not impossible, when you wear a rigid ankle brace, so in the long term your ankle does not have a way to improve itself.

Ankle braces are best when used for a brief period of time and only on the rehab side of an injury, not for prevention.

 

Ankle Tape

Ankle tape is most often used for injury prevention, but it again comes with the same downsides as ankle braces. When you support the joint in such a rigid way, the lack of flexibility ends up weakening the joint over the long term, so these are another red flag when it comes to using them every day.

Additionally, tape requires some level of expertise to apply because the patterns in which it is applied matter to the support you will receive. You need some sort of training or an educated professional to use this product effectively, and this means it isn't accessible for everyone.

However, if you need support for that one game, or you are looking for a one time use case that can fit into your regular shoes, tape could be a good solution. Just be warned that consistent and prolonged use may result in a weaker ankle.

 

Flexibility Exercises

Flexibility exercises are great for the ankle because they help the ligaments and tendons stretch within the joint. When those tendons and muscles can stretch and elongate, it can make them less prone to injury, because their range of motion is greater.

Some flexibility exercises you can try are:

  1. Inversion
  2. Eversion
  3. Dorsiflexion
  4. Plantar Flexion
  5. Ankle Rolls

Here's a video that shows these motions.

 

Strength Exercises

Strength exercises help strengthen your joint and its ligaments and tendons. These are important when you get to the extremes of your motion, that your body is conditioned to handle situations in which injury could occur. Strengthening a joint can be really great to improve performance, or a key part of a rehab program put together by your physician.

Some strengthening exercises are below:

  1. Calf Raises - Video here
  2. Scissor Hops - Video here
  3. Bounding - Video here
  4. Squat Jumps - Video here

 

Balance Exercises

Last but not least, balance exercises are one of the best way to help your brain's connection with your foot and ankle. Balance training helps with proprioception, which is the body's way to know where it is at any given time. Proprioception helps your body put your foot down in a safe way even when you aren't watching it.

These are a few balance exercises that you can implement into your routine to help strengthen your ankle.

  1. Stand on one leg - 30 seconds at a time
  2. Balance + Activity - Stand on one leg and throw a ball with a partner or off of a wall. Repeat on the other leg
  3. One leg mini squat - On one leg, do a half squat with the other leg straight out in front of you. Do 10 and repeat on the other leg. 

 

If you have any questions, we've cited all of the studies we used to write this article below.

References
Garrick JG, Requa RK. Role of external support in the prevention of ankle sprains. Med Sci Sports. 1973 Fall;5(3):200–203. [PubMed]
Miller EA, Hergenroeder AC. Prophylactic ankle bracing. Pediatr Clin North Am. 1990 Oct;37(5):1175–1185. [PubMed]
Tropp H, Askling C, Gillquist J. Prevention of ankle sprains. Am J Sports Med. 1985 Jul-Aug;13(4):259–262. [PubMed]
Firer P. Effectiveness of taping for the prevention of ankle ligament sprains. Br J Sports Med. 1990 Mar;24(1):47–50. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
Hollis JM, Blasier RD, Flahiff CM. Simulated lateral ankle ligamentous injury. Change in ankle stability. Am J Sports Med. 1995 Nov-Dec;23(6):672–677. [PubMed]
RARICK GL, BIGLEY G, KARST R, MALINA RM. The measurable support of the ankle joint by conventional methods of taping. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 1962 Sep;44-A:1183–1190. [PubMed]
Pope MH, Renstrom P, Donnermeyer D, Morgenstern S. A comparison of ankle taping methods. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1987 Apr;19(2):143–147. [PubMed]
Tweedy R, Carson T, Vicenzino B. Leuko and Nessa Ankle braces: effectiveness before and after exercise. Aust J Sci Med Sport. 1994 Sep-Dec;26(3-4):62–66. [PubMed]
Anderson DL, Sanderson DJ, Hennig EM. The role of external nonrigid ankle bracing in limiting ankle inversion. Clin J Sport Med. 1995;5(1):18–24. [PubMed]
Capasso G, Maffulli N, Testa V. Ankle taping: support given by different materials. Br J Sports Med. 1989 Dec;23(4):239–240. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
Stover CN. Air stirrup management of ankle injuries in the athlete. Am J Sports Med. 1980 Sep-Oct;8(5):360–365. [PubMed]
Sitler M, Ryan J, Wheeler B, McBride J, Arciero R, Anderson J, Horodyski M. The efficacy of a semirigid ankle stabilizer to reduce acute ankle injuries in basketball. A randomized clinical study at West Point. Am J Sports Med. 1994 Jul-Aug;22(4):454–461. [PubMed]
Surve I, Schwellnus MP, Noakes T, Lombard C. A fivefold reduction in the incidence of recurrent ankle sprains in soccer players using the Sport-Stirrup orthosis. Am J Sports Med. 1994 Sep-Oct;22(5):601–606. [PubMed]
Karlsson J, Andreasson GO. The effect of external ankle support in chronic lateral ankle joint instability. An electromyographic study. Am J Sports Med. 1992 May-Jun;20(3):257–261. [PubMed]
Rovere GD, Clarke TJ, Yates CS, Burley K. Retrospective comparison of taping and ankle stabilizers in preventing ankle injuries. Am J Sports Med. 1988 May-Jun;16(3):228–233. [PubMed]
Leanderson J, Wredmark T. Treatment of acute ankle sprain. Comparison of a semi-rigid ankle brace and compression bandage in 73 patients. Acta Orthop Scand. 1995 Dec;66(6):529–531. [PubMed]
Laughman RK, Carr TA, Chao EY, Youdas JW, Sim FH. Three-dimensional kinematics of the taped ankle before and after exercise. Am J Sports Med. 1980 Nov-Dec;8(6):425–431. [PubMed]
Paris DL, Kokkaliaris J, Vardaxis V. Ankle ranges of motion during extended activity periods while taped and braced. J Athl Train. 1995 Sep;30(3):223–228. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
Konradsen L, Ravn JB, Sørensen AI. Proprioception at the ankle: the effect of anaesthetic blockade of ligament receptors. J Bone Joint Surg Br. 1993 May;75(3):433–436. [PubMed]
Feuerbach JW, Grabiner MD, Koh TJ, Weiker GG. Effect of an ankle orthosis and ankle ligament anesthesia on ankle joint proprioception. Am J Sports Med. 1994 Mar-Apr;22(2):223–229. [PubMed]
Johnson MB, Johnson CL. Electromyographic response of peroneal muscles in surgical and nonsurgical injured ankles during sudden inversion. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 1993 Sep;18(3):497–501. [PubMed]
Jerosch J, Hoffstetter I, Bork H, Bischof M. The influence of orthoses on the proprioception of the ankle joint. Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc. 1995;3(1):39–46. [PubMed]
Lentell G, Baas B, Lopez D, McGuire L, Sarrels M, Snyder P. The contributions of proprioceptive deficits, muscle function, and anatomic laxity to functional instability of the ankle. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 1995 Apr;21(4):206–215. [PubMed]
Robbins S, Waked E, Rappel R. Ankle taping improves proprioception before and after exercise in young men. Br J Sports Med. 1995 Dec;29(4):242–247. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
Robinson JR, Frederick EC, Cooper LB. Systematic ankle stabilization and the effect on performance. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1986 Dec;18(6):625–628. [PubMed]
Pienkowski D, McMorrow M, Shapiro R, Caborn DN, Stayton J. The effect of ankle stabilizers on athletic performance. A randomized prospective study. Am J Sports Med. 1995 Nov-Dec;23(6):757–762. [PubMed]
Verbrugge JD. The effects of semirigid Air-Stirrup bracing vs. adhesive ankle taping on motor performance. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 1996 May;23(5):320–325. [PubMed]
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Ankle Exercises You Can Do At Your Desk

Ankle Exercises You Can Do At Your Desk

Many of us spend a large part of our workday sitting. Try implementing a few of these ankle exercises to help  increase flexibility, muscle dexterity, and increase strength.

 

Perform the alphabet to increase range of motion – it’s as easy as ABC.

With your foot elevated or with you heel on the floor, “write” the letters of the alphabet. If you choose to elevate your foot, you can simply hold your foot in the air with your leg extended or cross your left leg over your right leg, resting the middle of your left calf on your right thigh.

  • Cross your right leg over your left and repeat “writing” the alphabet with your right ankle/big toe.

 

Tap your toes! -- & listen to your favorite tunes!

    Tap your toes. Sit up straight with your heels on the floor. Keeping your heels on the floor, tap your toes up and down. You can exercise one ankle and then move to the other, or you can alternate feet with each tap.

    • Aim for one minute of continuous, steady tapping per ankle, increasing the time, varying range of motion, and speed of your tapping each time you do this exercise to continue shock the muscles.

     

    Roll your ankles! – not the way you’d injure them lol

      Cross your right leg over your left, resting your right calf on your left thigh. Slowly rotate your right ankle clockwise in big circles.

      • Then rotate the same ankle again, this time counterclockwise.

       

      Seated Heel Lifts – which also may remind you of calf raises.

        Sit tall. Tight abs. With your feet parallel to the ground with toes facing straight ahead and legs hip width apart or close together. Flex your calves upward until you are on your tiptoes.

        • Be sure to keep your heels behind the ball of your foot throughout the exercise.

        Perform ankle turns – with an exercise band, jump rope or old t-shirt. While sitting on a chair, slide a jump rope or exercise band under one foot. Pull on the left side of the band or rope so that your ankle is pulled left. Then push against the force of the band and turn your ankle slightly to the right.
          • Reverse the motion so that you pull on the right side, pulling your ankle to the right as you push left.