Old man winter definitely makes it easier to injure yourself. When you’re doing anything that requires quick movements and the temperature is hovering around 35 fahrenheit it’s important to make sure you warm up and stay warm.
This isn’t always the easiest thing to do in golf. The sport is pretty unique in that it requires an explosive physical effort followed by a few minutes of down time and then another split-second mass exertion. It’s no wonder that almost every pro lives in a warm climate region.
Practicing through the winter brings some inherent dangers with it, but if you make sure you warm up and stay warm this shouldn’t be a problem. That said, I came as close as I have to being truly injured for the first time this past week. I’m not exactly sure what happened, but when I was working on the range Saturday I felt something odd in my left hip in the middle of a downswing. After that swing it didn’t want to move normally so I went to work on some putting. But, while carrying my bag to the putting green I could feel my hip twinge with every step.
Sunday morning it felt worse and ached when I sat down, stood up, walked or did just about anything. I reached out to chiropractor Dr. Seth Alley that evening and scheduled an appointment with him on Monday.
Laying on his adjustment table, he could tell right away what had happened. I had an anterior rotation of the right half of my pelvis which caused my right leg to be about 3/4 inch longer than the left, causing the discomfort. This is a very common injury, especially in a sport like golf where one side of the body is used more than the other. Seth adjusted me and then we talked about different ways to strengthen both sides of my body as well as ways to keep loose. Here’s a short video of a couple stretches that will help warm up the hamstrings and psoas muscles (which basically embraces the side of the lumbar spine):
Today my lower back and hip still felt pretty tight, but as I stretched them out and the weather warmed up to about 39 (there was actually about an inch of snow this morning) things started to loosen up and feel better. I think I got lucky this time and from now on I will be even more diligent in making sure that I not only warm up before practice, but make sure that my body is staying warm throughout my practice session. It’s easy to take a 10 minute break and have your body completely cool off and then injure yourself with one big drive. Stay warm, stay loose, stay injury free.
The road to 10,000 does not allow for lengths of downtime so I have to be extra careful through the winter to stay strong.
I also met with Physical Therapist Shawn Dailey this past Monday and we are planning out an entire new workout routine for 2013. The first workout is scheduled for 9 AM January 1st. Neither of us drink so we figure New Year’s day will be slow in his office and a good time for us to do some planning for the year. It’s time to have a new workout routine and to amp up that aspect of The Dan Plan up. Along with this, I will regularly post some videos of the workouts that we are doing instead of just typing them up for the site. More to come about that soon.
PS. What do you all think about the new blog format? And, what about how the new comments look and function?
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