Summer is almost here, and many of us are itching to get back out on the golf course. But before booking a tee time, Mike Piscitello, a physical therapist and Titleist Performance Institute (TPI)-certified clinician (pictured above, right), has three tips for reducing golf knee pain. These tips will also help you improve your overall golf skills and avoid golf-related injuries.
1. Stretch Your Hamstrings
Having flexible hamstrings not only reduces the force through your knees but it also reduces the strain on your lower back.
If you are right-handed, this is especially important for your left leg, as your left knee holds a lot of your body weight during the twisting motion of your golf swing. Over time, this pressure and turning motion on the knee can lead to meniscus tears.
To stretch your hamstrings, first start in a standing upright position with a chair or step in front of your body. Lift one leg to rest your heel on the chair with a very slight bend in your knee.
Bending at your hips, lean your trunk forward until you feel a stretch in the back of your upper leg and hold. Hold for 20 seconds and do five reps.
Practice this once daily. Also, make sure to keep your back straight during the stretch.
2. Strengthen Your Quads
By strengthening your quads, you are building a base to transfer power from the ground to the body and into the clubhead.
Start in a standing upright position with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding a dowel or a club in both hands.
With your hands shoulder-width apart, raise the dowel or club overhead with your elbows completely straight. Squat as low as you can, keeping your heels flat on the ground. Do this for 10 reps.
While you squat, keep your hands above your head and in line with your feet. Also, be sure not to arch your low back during the exercise.
3. Improve Your Balance
Good balance will help you achieve consistent accuracy and distance as well as a more controlled swing.
Stand on one leg for at least 15 seconds and then repeat with the other leg. Practice this with your eyes open and then with your eyes closed. When you get good at that, try swinging a club while standing on one leg.
You can hold a chair for support during this exercise if you need it.
Overall, while playing golf is fun, the sport can put a lot of force on the knee. Compensating for pain may lead to knee injuries, both above and below the knee. By doing these strengthening and stretching exercises, you can support your knee joints, minimize golf knee pain and focus on having fun on the course!
Looking to up your golf game this year? Our Titleist Performance Institute (TPI) program in our Cincinnati market is here to help. It is specially designed for golfers of all ages to prevent injury and boost their game. To schedule your appointment with one of our TPI-certified team members at one of our 13 locations, call 513-985-1273.
Also, learn more about all the sports medicine and orthopedics services we offer at Mercy Health.