By Dr. Wade Roberts

This is perhaps one of the most common questions I get from golfers about their game as it relates to the physical side of golf.

The golfer will often say, “Wade, I’m not making a big enough or efficient turn and it’s killing my consistency and distance. I need some stretches to help improve my flexibility.”

It’s at this point that I reassure them that they’re in the right place and that there are a lot of things we can do that will improve their turn.

However, this golfer is making a bold assumption…that their lack of turn they may be feeling is because of muscle tightness and that stretching will help improve it….Sounds reasonable right?

It does if, in fact, it’s the muscles that are what’s tight and that stretching is the most effective remedy.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of different reasons why someone may not have good ‘flexibility or mobility’ in their body.

To name a few, it could be due to:

  • Joint limitations
  • Neural tension
  • Fascial tension
  • Trigger point activity
  • Hypertrophy
  • Scarring and fibrosis
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Guarding
  • Overload
  • Fusion
  • Inflammation
  • Ischemia

While I don’t expect you to know what each of these means, the point is, there are multiple reasons why a person can have a limited range of motion in a particular part of their body.

The Key: Know the underlying problem that’s limiting YOUR mobility.

I can’t emphasize enough that only once you know the underlying cause of your limited mobility, can you be prescribed an effective ‘flexibility’ routine. Some mobility problems cannot simply be solved by exercise or stretching alone.

Specific to stretching, it may feel good when you’re done, and it may in fact be the right intervention for you, but that’s only if that was determined by a thorough evaluation to sort through all the potential problems listed above. Otherwise, you may not ever make a lasting change, chasing your tail stretching over and over again, never realizing your full potential for a complete turn in your swing.

Getting to the root cause of why someone is lacking the mobility to make a good turn in their golf game, fixing it through whatever appropriate intervention is warranted, and then following that with a good stability/strength routine afterwards to hit the ‘save’ button on your gains in motion, is one of the most common things I do.

Do you think something is limiting your turn? Let’s get you on a path to success with a targeted, golf-specific mobility program put together by a Doctor of Physical Therapy and TPI Medical Professional.

Hit em’ straight –

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Dr. Wade Roberts is a contributing writer for Central Links Golf. He graduated from Liberty University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Kinesiology. He then earned his Doctor of Physical Therapy from Lynchburg College. Dr. Roberts is able to provide specialized therapies for a variety of patients but has a special interest in decreasing pain, increasing speed, and achieving longevity in the golf community.