Archive for tag: golf

Train Like a Pro Golfer

Hey National,

I have rounded up and combined my favorite exercises that address the most common deficient movement patterns and muscle imbalances in golfers. This program is designed to do the following (all of which I've proven using myself as a case study): 

  • Increase your drives by 20+ yards
  • Decrease your pain
  • Increase your practice time without pain
  • Increase swing balance/stability

2012-11-19_golfMy Golf Workout Plan Goal 

Get as strong as possible with heavy weights and incorporate functional movement/mobility and stability and golf specific performance exercises:

1.  Incorporate Massive Strength

2.  Mobility/Stability

Workout Plan

  • Functional Day - Monday
  • Strength Day - Wednesday
  • Performance Day - Friday

Functional Day

30 min workout (go one to the next, alternate upper body lower body)

  1. Hip Mobility Lunges
  2. Thoracic Spine Rotation w/hand behind neck
  3. Monster Walks
  4. Scapular Wall Walks
  5. Dead Bugs
  6. Lower Trap Activation Exercise Kneeling Ys
  7. Bird Dogs
  8. Chop and Lifts
  9. Kettlebell Swings 
  10. Prone Scapular Contractions
  11. Side Bridge Endurance
  12. Curl Ups
  13. Glute Bridge
  14. Open Books Rib Cage and Reach Turn
  15. Shovel Pass (standing Russian twist essentially)
  16. Quadraped Hip Abduction And Mobility Rom Maintaining Core

Strength Day

30 min: Heavy Compound Exercises. 2 Sets 5 Reps. Max Exertion.

  1. Seated Row/Yates Row
  2. Squat
  3. Bench Press
  4. Tricep/Close Grip Press

Performance Day

Golf movements with weight and balance exercises and Nike golf exercises.

  • Extremely important for increasing proprioception. Balance with eyes open/closed
  • Training in all 3 planes is KEY
  • Add in an aerobic run ( 180 - age - 10) to prevent adrenal burnout and maximize fat mobilization and utilization. True cardiovascular endurance replicated on the golf course/tournament round.

If you're into golf or treating golfers, I hope this helps. :)

Stay classy,

Golf and Chiropractic


Last week I got a pretty awesome text I wanted to share. It was from my old high school golf teammate, Kim Donovan, who was an All American on the Duke Women's Golf team. Kim said, "OK, I've decided I'm going to make a push for the LPGA tour IF you get me out of pain."


Seriously, best text ever. Why? It's been my childhood dream to become a professional golfer and make the tour. My dad and I used to always joke about moving to Florida when I made it and playing golf all over the world. Fast forward: I didn't make a golfer...BUT, could I make it as a treating physician? Yes, I believe I can.

TIP: You interested in treating golfers? At any level? Check out Titleist Performance Institute Seminars.

Golf Seminars and Free Info:


So what can chiropractors do for golfers?

Here's my thought process for a high level golfer who seeks both pain elimination and increased performance... (After watching her swing)

Initial Swing Evaluation: Searching for the Cause of Her Pain

*Patient appears to lack anterior stability through the hitting zone and into the follow-through that allows the lumbar spine to hyperlordose and jam the facets. I also imagine there is some lack of hip internal rotation causing the lumbar spine to get chewed up into excess rotation through the swing causing pain and inflammation locally.

*Initial Rehab and Functional Corrections will focus on 3 things:

1. Core Stability: This will stabilize the excess movements through the lumbar spine and reduce the risk for further injury and progress treatment faster and hold treatment pain relief longer through the round by building endurance.

  • Side Plank hold until failure
  • Dead Bug
  • Bird Dog
  • Curl Up 
  • Glute Bridge
  • Glute Med Walk with Band

2. Hip Mobility: Increasing hip internal rotation. (If congenital antroverted hips, may need to flare out lead foot to get this.)

  • Side Line Hip Internal Rotation with Band
  • Tri Planar Hip mobility to open up all ROM

3. Thoracic Mobility:

  • Kneeling Thoracic Rotation - 2x sets 10 reps each side
  • Cat Camel 10-15 reps focusing on only thoracic mobility

*Progression into performance once stability and endurance have been established

  • Chop and Lift
  • Russian Twists with Med Ball
  • Advanced Ball Work
  • Kettle Ball Swings
  • Tri Planar and Single Leg Glute Firing in all Planes
  • Farmer Walks with Different Weights For Side Bracing Endurance

All of these will improve with physical treatment as I work on fixations, soft tissue adhesions, facial train hypertonicity, and the rehab will improve her instability. I will also look to balance her adrenal/thyroid axis for ligamentous integrity and inflammation levels. Supplements, homeopathy and emotional work will be used on an as-needed basis through physical exam, history and manual muscle testing. Restoring normal breathing patterns, abdominal bracing, and increasing intra-abdominal pressure with DNS and Triple Flexion positions is definitely in order for lasting relief, stability and performance.

Prognosis and Goals:

  • Pain Relief:  1-2 weeks
  • Rehab Level 1: 2 weeks
  • Advanced Rehab: 2-4 weeks with ongoing RE-eval for increased performance, variety and goals.

Well, that was just a window into my head on what I was thinking while treating a Division 1 athlete and hopefully a professional athlete soon! Chiropractic has a lot of incredible tools, my friends! LEARN THEM! You can never have too many tricks in your pocket for the tough patient that comes along.

Stay Sharp,

FORE - Golf Seminar

The 4 Movements To Increase Your Driving Distance and Reduce Your Pain

Hey Everyone, 

This past weekend, Motion Palpation Institute hosted a "master's series" golf seminar on National's campus. I love golf. In fact, my dream was to play on the PGA tour when I was younger. I've been wishing MPI put on a golf seminar since my first trimester here when it was brainstormed. It's safe to say I want to treat golfers and "Adjusting Tiger Woods" is LITERALLY ON MY BUCKET LIST. I intend to--seriously.

MopalThe seminar was mainly taught by Drs. Corey Campbell, Brett Winchester, and Todd Neider. Dr. Mark King, president of Motion Palpation Institute, was also in attendance and led the adjusting portion of the seminar.

During these master's seminars, they put together a bit more "lecture" material than the customary "palpate and adjust routine" of chiropractic seminars. Topics included published research on the golf swing, muscles and biomechanics involved in the swing, as well as a functional look at the whole kinematic system during a swing.

In true "modern DC" style, we took a functional approach to reducing a golfer's pain and injury risk, as well as blended performance techniques to those that treated a higher level golfer. For example, most people think of golfers coming in with back pain. Of course, chiropractors are notoriously known for treating LBP as our bread and butter. But, why do they have back pain? Why are their lumbar facets jamming or muscles overfiring causing nociceptive pain in the lumbar/SI/Sacral area?

The big take-aways from a functional approach to preventing pain and improving performance in golfers are:

  1. Check the Foot!
    You need Calcaneal EVERSION on the back foot at the top of the golf backswing. This "screw home mechanism" during the gait cycle is absolutely essential to helping the glute max and med LOAD and fire during the swing. Since the glutes are considered the "cannon" of the golf swing, it's important to get them firing optimally for distance and consistency.
  2. Hip Internal Rotation
    CHECK IT! If a golfer doesn't have enough hip internal rotation on either the lead or hind legs, you're going to have a compensation (usually through the lumbar spine) to get that motion to finish your swing. Since the facets of the lumbar spine are in the saggital plane that anatomically prevents more than about 5 degrees of lumbar rotation, if the hips aren't moving well in the transverse plane (think rotation), you're going to chew up your lumbar facets and cause pain.
  3. Thoracic Rotation
    BLAST IT! While the lumbar spine doesn't like to rotate, the thoracic spine does! Many people don't understand this, but mobility in the T-spine is essential in relieving the rotational pressures in the lumbars. This will also help increase speed through impact and increase distance.
  4. Scapulothoracic Stability
    Got golfer's elbow? Here's some knowledge being dropped on you. "Central instability leads to peripheral hypertonicity." What does that mean, you say? If your scapula isn't stable, then all the distal muscles in an attempt to stabilize central joints will overwork/overfire and increase risk of injuries like shoulder impingement, tennis/golf elbows, and even some carpal tunnels. 

That's the 80/20 of the information we learned. If you could assess, treat and improve the 4 listed movements, I guarantee you reduce the amount of pain in your golfer patients and improve their performance (distance, consistency, etc). 

Happy Golfing! See you on the range!