5 moves to save your spine

Golf Digest (South Africa) - - Contents - – Ron Kaspriske

Why now’s the time to strengthen your back.

Even the most tech­ni­cally sound swings cause stress on the spine, but golf doesn’t have to sen­tence you to fu­ture back pain.To avoid dis­com­fort, says Golf Di­gest Fit­ness Ad­vi­sor Ben Shear,“strengthen the mus­cles at the bot­tom of the spine, and im­prove flex­i­bil­ity in the mid and up­per back.” All you need is a sta­bil­ity ball, and you can put to­gether a back work­out with these five moves.


Lie face down, folded over the ball with your hands be­hind your head, el­bows flared. Rise up un­til your spine feels straight. Ro­tate your torso to the left and to the right as far as you can. Re­turn to start and re­peat (10 reps). The goal: Strengthen the erec­tor spinae and other low-back mus­cles that pro­tect the spine from tor­sion forces.

walk-out prone plank

Get in a push-up po­si­tion with the ball rest­ing un­der your up­per thighs. Keep­ing your spine flat, walk for­ward with your hands un­til the ball is un­der your feet. Re­turn to start and re­peat (10 reps). The goal: The core mus­cles around your mid-sec­tion need to be strong to sta­bilise the body as you swing.


Start on all fours. Reach un­der and across your body to rest the back of your hand on the ball. Push the ball away from you as you ro­tate your trunk and head in that di­rec­tion. Re­turn to start and re­peat (10 reps, each di­rec­tion). The goal: Im­prove mid-and up­per-back ro­ta­tional mo­bil­ity to lessen stress on the lum­bar ver­te­brae.

re­verse pat­tern

Lie on the ball so your back and spine flex to­wards the ground with your arms ex­tended up. Lean back and ex­tend your arms as far as you can. Hold the po­si­tion for five sec­onds, re­turn to start and re­peat (10 reps). The goal: Negate the ef­fects that pro­longed sit­ting can have on the an­te­rior trunk mus­cles. This ex­er­cise strength­ens the mus­cles, al­low­ing you to swing on plane.

side stretch and crunch

Lie on your side on the ball and flex to­wards the ground, ex­tend­ing your top arm over your head as far as you can. Hold for five sec­onds and then put that hand be­hind your head and con­tract that side into a crunch (10 reps, each side). The goal: The mus­cles on the side of your trunk (obliques) im­prove lat­eral and ro­ta­tional move­ment of your up­per body, re­duc­ing stress on the lower back.

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