The MOVE by BJC Blog

Avoiding Injury Through Movement

Wednesday, October 05, 2022

Fall is, by far, my favorite time to golf. Lucky for me, I don’t have to prepare my body for fall golf because I’ve been doing my best all summer to book rounds of 18 regularly. Additionally, as a golf instructor, I’m always moving in golf-like fashion with my clients. Not everyone plays or teaches their favorite sport year-round as I often do. For those of you who seem to increase your activity in the fall, whether it be for school sports, 5K fun-runs or leisurely bike rides, it is important you prepare for the increase in activity.

If you were an athlete at any age, you probably know that you won’t become a better athlete without practicing your sport. To be more specific, you won’t become a faster runner without trying to run faster. You won’t suddenly swing a golf club faster without practicing swinging faster and you won’t be a more agile soccer player without practicing agility. I say this because sometimes it is difficult to understand the link between what – and how – you should prepare for your upcoming return to sports or leisure activity. Not preparing can mean injury.

Unfortunately, injury proofing yourself can be a difficult task to figure out, because it means adding in some very important components to your activity that you may have not thought of. It’s not as easy as running to become a better runner or swinging faster to increase your club head speed. At our fitness center, we spend much of our time completing corrective exercises with our clients. Corrective exercises are those that help to mobilize or stabilize a joint, and therefore help someone move better.

In order to mobilize yourself, try the following:

  • Prepare for activity actively by performing high knee steps, walking toe touches, leg kicks, hip swings, and walking lunges with rotation. The last exercise – a walking lunge with rotation – is pretty magical. It utilizes every major muscle group in your body at once and promotes movement in multiple planes. Here’s how you do it:
    • From a standing position, take a BIG step forward and drop your back knee all the way to the ground. That’s the Lunge part. Now raise both arms straight out and rotate your upper body towards the leg that is in front of you. So if you lunged forward with your right foot, rotate clockwise and vice versa. Complete 10-20 reps to get your legs, glutes, core and shoulders all warmed up.

In order to help stabilize yourself, try the following:

  • Joint stability is a very important component in injury prevention. Practice promoting stability with exercises such as wall sits, planks and supermans, and single leg layouts. A single leg layout can be a bit advanced, but it’s a wonderfully effective exercise to strengthen and stabilize all at once:
    • From a standing position, balance on one leg; but rather than bringing the leg that isn’t on the ground in front of you, you will push it behind you. As the leg goes farther back, bend at the waist and extend your arms above your head. Soon, you’ll be a position like superman flying except your one leg is planted on the ground with a soft knee. Hold this position for 1-5 seconds, bring yourself back up straight and repeat. 4-6 reps on each leg and you should feel your ankles, knees, hips and core all feeling stable but ready for movement.  

- Aaron Gutjahr