Flexibility boosts performance

There are a number of components with regards to exercise and I have chosen to devote this article to an exercise which I believe is sorely neglected but perhaps one of the most fundamental aspects to exercise and boosting one’s performance. In fact over the past years it has been my experience while treating some of the top athletes in South Africa that flexibility plays a greater role in performance than supplementation. It’s a shame that many of these individuals including a lot of amateur and professional soccer, rugby, cricket, cycling and running participants have little if any, idea about stretching and the role it plays in performance enhancement. The notion that taking the latest ergogenic aid or steroid will be all that is necessary for maximum performance is absurd. I hope that this will entice the professional athlete, regular sport enthusiast, or anybody suffering from musculoskeletal disorders to make stretching a major part of the exercise or recovery programme. Obviously the kind of stretching adopted for maximizing flexibility plays a vital role in determining to what degree one will experience increased performance. Active isolated stretching and assisted stretch therapy stands out as the safest and most effective stretching technique too accomplish just that.

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Ways to prevent common golf injuries

Golf is a low-impact sport that has many health benefits especially for seniors.

Though golf is considered less stressful on the body than high-impact workouts such as running, the constant repetitive swinging motions in this sport can cause pain in specific body parts.
Pain in the soft tissues and the joints of the lower body are the most common golf injuries. It is important when you are feeling pain, to rest your body for a few days.When the pain persists see a
professional to help you with treatments. Do not delay this, as it can only make matters worse.

Due to the long hours of play, golf participants are often afflicted with overuse injuries.
Here are some tips to avoid injuring yourself when playing golf:

Preventing Overuse Injuries

The most common spinal injuries in golf are overuse injuries. The frequent movement of picking the tee and repetitive golf swings can cause muscle and ligament strain. The cervical spine that makes up the neck is another common overuse injury. A powerful swing and overusing its range of motion is the main cause for neck pain. When you are suffering from an overuse injury, rest is very important. Failing to rest your body can further increase the pain and injury. For back pain, you should ice the muscles and rest until the pain is gone.
To prevent overuse injuries, warm-up before playing golf intensely. Stretch your back and neck. You should also incorporate some relaxed golf swings to your warm-up.

The Importance of a Proper Swing

If you have specific muscle groups that are consistently sore after a game of golf, this could be caused by an improper golf swing. Proper posture during a swing will prevent most injuries. Be conscious of your posture before and after a swing. You should avoid hunching over the ball as this can cause neck and back strain. Spread your legs as wide as your shoulders making sure that your weight is balanced on both feet.

A proper golf swing should be smooth and not jerky. The power of a golf swing comes from the transfer of force from the all muscle groups and not just one. Depending on certain muscle groups to power your swing will often result in injury to those muscles. You can experience forearm pain and chronic golf elbow when you rely too much on your wrists. Consult a golf professional to learn the proper golf swing.