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3 Exercises for Hip Health in Golfers

June 28, 2024

Is your best golf game just a few hip exercises away?

“Hip strength is a game changer for your form,” says Sarah Baribeau, DPT, a physical therapist at the Bone & Joint Institute at Hartford Hospital and Titleist Performance Institute’s Level 3 medically trained provider.

If you’ve got 20 minutes, here’s what Baribeau says you can do to get started on improving your game.

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Your golf game begins in the hips.

“Golf puts your hips through rotation extremes in the backswing and downswing,” explains Baribeau.

Without hip mobility and stabilization, it may hurt more than your swing.

“Golfers may have lower back pain, among other common injuries, if the hips aren’t powering your rotation,” she adds.

> Related: 4 Common Hip Injuries From Golf

Tee up these simple exercises at home.

Before you hit the green, give your hips the TLC they need.

“Dynamic stretching and muscle activation drills are important to prepare the body for any activity, including golf,” says Baribeau.

She shares three exercises to try right now:

Windshield Wipers

  1. Sit on the floor with hands behind you, knees bent and feet wide apart.
  2. Move your knees together to the right, trying to touch the floor.
  3. Move your knees together to the left, trying to touch the floor.
  4. If it’s easy, sit up taller as you move side to side.
  5. Do 10 repetitions in each direction.

Pelvic Tilts

  1. Stand in your golf address stance.
  2. Imagine your belt is the top of a bucket of water.
  3. Move your pelvis forward like spilling water out the front (arch your back).
  4. Pull your belt buckle back to lift the bucket upright (flatten your back).
  5. Focus on activating your abs, opening the lower back and mobilizing the hip joint.
  6. If this is too challenging, lay on your back and focus on bringing the belt buckle towards your spine.
  7. Do 10-20 repetitions.

Hip Twists

  1. Stand in your golf address stance.
  2. Slide one foot back about a foot length, keeping your weight on the front leg.
  3. Slowly rotate your center of gravity (imagine where your belt buckle would be) back and up, away from the front leg.
  4. Then, move your “belt buckle” down and in towards the front leg.
  5. Move slowly to engage your gluteal muscles for better stability and rotation.
  6. Do 10 repetitions on each leg.

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Do you need more help with your hip mobility or strength?

While these exercises may be beneficial, they are not for everyone.

“Pain that worsens with these movements are a sign to discontinue,” says Baribeau. “Seek an evaluation from your physical therapist or doctor for further guidance.”