Golf is a popular recreational activity played by individuals of all ages, gender and skill level. Although it is a low-impact sport, many golfers do suffer from injuries to their lower back, elbow, wrist and hand and shoulder due to poor mechanics and overuse. An understanding of how the body moves and the muscle activity needed during the golf swing can help to minimize golf-related injuries that many develop.

The Golf Swing

The process of swinging to hit the ball can be divided into (5) phases:

  • Backswing
  • Downswing
  • Acceleration
  • Early follow-through
  • Late follow-through

Taking an example of the backswing phase (sequence 4), golfer needs to bring his upper limbs, trunk and hip into a certain position (may also refer to the breakdown below) to achieve fundamentally good golf swing. When the body is too stiff to get into this functionally optimal position due to poor flexibility, the golfer’s efficiency in transferring energy gets diminished, leading to poor swings and even injuries.


– Trail Hand (Rt)

   External rotation (outwards rotation at shoulder joint)

   Retraction (squeezing back of shoulder blade)

– Target Hand (Lt)

   Internal rotation (inwards rotation at shoulder joint)

   Protraction (pushing forward of shoulder balde)

   Adduction (bringing hand towards body)

– Spine


– Trail Hip (Rt)

   Internal rotation (inwards rotation at hip joint)

– Target Hip (Lt)

   External rotation (outwards rotation at hip joint)

Due to this, we would recommend golfers to have a comprehensive assessment done with trained Physiotherapist. Not only would you gain an understanding on whether your body is moving in its functionally optimal form, you would also learn to correct unwanted compensations that can increase your risk of injuries.

Article by Lim Jo Lyn

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