Guest Blog Post from Matt Palazzolo- a Golf Digest Top 50 Golf Performance & Movement Coach
Golf is a very dynamic sport. The complexity of the golf swing can place a tremendous toll on the body. Golfers tend to focus on two major aspects of their game when it comes to physical performance: distance and longevity. Exercise & recovery are paramount to golf and facilitating the effectiveness of both distance and longevity.
In this article we will focus on longevity. When it comes to sustainability, it’s important we look at how to best engage in recovery protocols from a weekend of golf.
Here are three tips that golfers of all levels can utilize to promote recovery:
#1: Mobility Work
Watch any Tour event on TV and you will see several different types of swings. When you work with a golf coach they’ll often compare your swing to that of a professional, possibly suggesting you feel “laid off” at the top or “less rounded” at impact. Not surprisingly, the best typically do it the most efficient way because they do it for a living. They have thousands of hours behind it. Most amateur golfers don’t have that luxury so we need to work on improving mobility to increase the swing efficiency.
When it comes to mobility, we also see the importance of working on increasing range of motion within certain parts of our bodies, regardless of our “swing type”. There are plenty of resources available on any number YouTube and Instagram pages (for example: @coach.palazzolo) where you can see stretches and exercises that help with a golfer’s mobility. When referencing these sources, look for exercises that help with hip internal rotation, shoulder external rotation, thoracic mobility, and ankle/big toe (yes, big toe) mobility.
#2 Soft Tissue Work
If you’ve ever gone to a chiropractor or physical therapist, they’ve probably done some minor massage or soft tissue work to help with joint function. The beauty is that a lot of the basic but very helpful soft tissue work that your therapist may perform, you can perform on yourself with practice and a few essential “tools”. All you’ll need is a foam roller or lacrosse ball.
I also use Therapist Preferred’s 400mg THC Free CBD Sports Cream when working areas like my calves, upper traps and lats (shoulder/upper back and neck) to help with getting a little less friction when working these tissues.
Note- for direct advice about specific conditions and to learn these maneuvers first hand, it’s always best to speak with your trusted therapist/sports medicine professional.
#3 Golf Specific Movement
When it comes to gym work, we definitely see the importance of strong hips, a strong back, and a functional core. There are tons of exercises that we can do that help with increasing our strength and function here.
But how often do you train rotation? And more importantly, how often do you train your pivot, especially with load? When it comes to golf, it’s super important for us to keep our joints healthy and our bodies comfortable within the position we swing from. Taking a club across your chest while in your living room or on the course waiting to hit your shot and working on your pivot will pay out dividends when it comes to the longevity of your golf game. As you advance, you can begin to take resistance bands and bars to work on tour pivot. Again, it’s suggested that advancing from bodyweight to load should be done and monitored by your trainer or therapist.
Golf is an amazing sport because you can continue to play as you get older. Performance and distance are at the forefront right now. Everyone wants to hit it further. As much as performance coaches like myself want to help you as golfers get there, we also know the importance of prioritizing quality movement patterns and recovery protocols. If you’re serious about the game, and serious about staying healthy for golf, what you do in the gym and at home should heavily reflect what you want to feel and do on the course. For me and my golfers, this becomes the priority, as does the utilization of proper recovery tools and supplements.
To learn more recovery tips for golfers, follow me on IG @Coach.Palazzolo or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Author:
MATT PALAZZOLO – PERFORMANCE & MOVEMENT COACH
In 2013 Matt received his certification from Nike as a Golf Performance Specialist. Matt spent 2 years in Florida working as the Director of Performance at an elite junior golf academy and now works in a private club in Manhattan and remotely. With a strong background in human movement and understanding the dynamics of the golf swing, Matt has worked with players of all skill levels ranging from beginner to players on the Symetra Tour and LPGA. Matt was also named a 2020 Top 50 Golf Fitness Trainer by Golf Digest.