Shoulder Exercises Saved My Game of Golf

By: Nick Bryant

The last thing you expect when you tear your rotator cuff is to end up with a better game of golf, but that is exactly what happened to me. Unfortunately it was not as simple as that. I ended up not playing golf for the best part of a year but when my shoulder was better, I had a much stronger game.

I had torn my left rotator cuff about a a year ago. I lifted some furniture that was too heavy, felt a twinge in my shoulder but thought nothing of it. Over the next few days my shoulder gradually became stiff and grew weaker, Any attempt to raise my arm out to the side or front caused pain, getting dressed and showered together with lots of day to day activities became difficult.

My golf game fell apart. I could manage short putts but using the woods was impossible. So I had to mothball my clubs.

I will spare you the boring details of the story but I ended up with nine months off from my favourite game whilst my shoulder healed. A big part of the recovery process included shoulder and rotator cuff exercises to strengthen my shoulders. A rotator cuff injury involves a small group of muscles that surround the shoulder blade and shoulder forming a cuff of muscle around the joint. They help the shoulder by pulling the head of the humerus into the socket of the shoulder, holding it in place as we use our arms.

They are small but important muscles that stabilise the shoulder whenever it rotates. Consequently they are fairly important to your golf swing. Try hitting a golf ball without rotating your shoulders.

Unfortunately, most of us tend to ignore these muscles as we age so they gradually get weaker. This makes our shoulders weaker. About a third of people over forty can expect to damage their rotator cuff. This figure gets higher with age.

By injuring my shoulder I was forced to exercise my shoulders properly. A balanced exercise programme that took in all the muscles of the shoulder including the smaller rotator cuff muscles. What I ended up with was a pair of shoulders that were better than before, despite the injury.

Better shoulders meant better golf.

So if you fancy winning a few free rounds at the club house, put down the golf bag and start exercising your shoulders properly. It does not even involve going to the gym. Rotator cuff exercises can easily be done at home, they use little or no resistance or weight and only take about ten minutes at a time. You will see an improvement in your game within days.

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