Knee pain is very common for people who play golf. That being said, there are a few things that you can do in order to minimise the impact of this sport on your joints.
Here we will discuss the ways in which you can prevent serious injury if you choose golf as your sport of choice by investigating;
- 10 exercises to practice, preventing knee injury
- How to strengthen knee flexors
- What exercises are good for golfers
- Exercises that are hard on knees
10 exercises to prevent injury in golf
Below are ten exercises that you can perform to strengthen your knee and help to avoid injury to your joints on the golf course!
1. Chair knee extensions
Start by sitting on a chair. rest your foot on a chair opposite you to keep the knee slightly raised. Gently push the raised knee towards the floor using only your leg muscles. Hold this position for five to ten seconds and then release.
Repeat five times on each leg.
2. Heel slide knee extension
Lay on your back, keeping the left knee bent and left foot flat on the floor. Slowly slide the left heel away from your body until both legs are parallel to each other.
Hold for five to ten seconds, then return to starting position. Repeat this five times on each leg.
3. Knee flexion
Sit on a chair and loop a towel or elastic under your foot. Gently pull on the towel with both hands to bend the knee, keeping your foot raised a few inches off the floor.
Hold for five to ten seconds, then release. Repeat five times on each leg.
4. Hamstring stretch
While standing put one foot in front of you with your toes pointed up. Place your hands on the small of your back and bend the opposite knee until you feel the hamstring stretch.
The upper body should come forward at the hip.
Hold for five to ten seconds, then release. Repeat this five times on each leg.
5. Stair step-up
Place the left foot on the first step of a stairway and your hand against the wall or bannister.
Slowly step up onto the first step with your left foot so you are standing tall on your left foot, and your right foot’s off the ground. Hold for a second, then step down off the step onto only your right foot, so there’s no weight on your left foot.
Repeat up to six times. If needed, take a short rest between steps.
Change legs, and repeat up to six times.
6. Up and downs
Sit in a firm, armless chair with your feet flat on the ground. Slowly stand up using deliberate, controlled movements, until you reach your full height. Hold for a few seconds, and then slowly sit down again.
Repeat this exercise for about one minute.
A firm cushion can be placed on the chair if this move is difficult at first.
Check your knees, when going up or down, they should never move forward beyond your toes. Also try to keep your knees pointed forward, avoid pointing them inwards or outwards.
7. Leg flexes
Sit on the floor with your legs together and extended out in front of you. Place your hands on the floor behind you for support. Slowly bend your left knee, slide your heel along the floor toward your body until you feel a gentle stretch in the thigh muscles.
Hold for about five seconds, and then slide your foot forward, still on the floor, straightening your leg.
Rest a few seconds. Do ten times. Change legs, and repeat ten times.
8. Knee rolls
Lie on your back, either on a soft carpet or an exercise mat. Bend your knees until your feet are flat on the floor. Keep your arms at your sides and your eyes on the ceiling.
Slowly lower both knees to the right trying to keep your knees together as you do so. Go until you feel a slight stretch in your thighs and lower back.
Hold the stretch for five seconds, and then slowly lift your knees back to centre. Lower your knees to the left side, hold, and repeat.
Repeat ten times on each side, with short rests in between.
9. Hip extensions
Lie on your stomach, either on a soft carpet or an exercise mat. Look down at the floor, keep your legs and back straight, and slowly lift your right leg a few inches off the floor.
Try to hold the lift for a few seconds, and then slowly lower the leg.
Do five times, switch legs and repeat. Keep your movements smooth and controlled, nothing sudden.
10. Leg lifts
Lie on your right side, either on a soft carpet or an exercise mat. Use your right hand to support your head and your left hand to steady your balance. Keeping your legs straight, slowly lift your top leg straight up, as far as you comfortably can.
Hold for a few seconds, and then slowly lower the leg.
Complete ten times, switch sides and repeat. Slow, controlled movements will bring the most benefit.
Frequently asked questions
How do I strengthen my knee flexors?
The best way to strengthen your knee flexors is to practice exercises that concentrate on this area and the muscles around it.
This can prevent your knees from feeling tight and overall prevent injury from physical activity and sports, including golf. It is especially important after major knee surgery or injuries in order to maintain the range of motion.
Is golf bad for your knees?
There are three main causes of knee pain that can occur from playing golf. All of these can be avoided with the proper technique, strengthening exercises and supports or compression sleeves to help with circulation and stem swelling.
- Aggravating existing knee conditions; Knee pain may occur after golf from the strain placed on an already weak or injured knee. This is generally from the pressure to stabilize the rotation of the hip axis at the beginning of a swing. If you suffer from arthritis you may experience increased pain and issues from the pre-existing damage. Bending and squatting to retrieve balls and the amount of walking on the course can put more stress on the weight-bearing knee joint.
- Injury to soft tissues; The extreme pressure on the knee joint can result in torn ligaments, cartilage, or other soft tissue damage. The twisting of the knees during golf swing can damage the soft tissue which results in pain and swelling.
- Overuse injuries; This is often a result of poor swing mechanics. It is important to know how to undertake a proper golf swing and warm up to avoid these injuries.
What exercises are good for golfers?
Try some cardiovascular exercises like jogging, but also some weight training coupled with stretching is important to keep your body in the best shape for golf.
What exercises are hard on knees?
The worst exercise for bad knees is full-arc knee extension including full, deep lunges, deep squats, and Hurdler’s stretches.
These exercises place excessive strain on the knee joints and can increase pain and the risk of injury.