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Improving Rotation and Prevention of Lower Back Pain for Golfers

4 Exercises to help your golf game and bulletproof your lower back

At Unit3 Personal Training we specialize in helping people continue to train after they have suffered a injury or have gone through a major surgery. Training should be fun and pain-free, not excruciatingly painful and boring.

The evidence shows us that 25% of golf related injuries are lower back pain (LBP) complaints.

The breakdown of complaints range from 15% – 34% in amateur golfers and 22% – 24% in professionals. Male golfers tend to have a higher percentage at 25% – 36% than 22% – 27% compared to female golfers. With the idea to play golf for as long as possible pain free, then as a keen golfer you should look to help yourself.

The lower back has limited rotation (10- 13 degrees), when compared to the mid back (45-60 degrees). The problem here is that if you have poor mid back mobility, you will compensate through the lower back. This puts a huge strain on this area and asks it to do something it really should not be doing. Which is not a good start.

Next, we can look at below the lower back and to the hips and pelvis. The position of your pelvis will also have a potential factor in any LBP, but I will cover this in another post. The hips need to have the ability to internally and externally rotate. If we are restricted in either or both of these areas, again we shift the focus of the work onto the lower back.

“rotation should come from your mid back and not the lumbar spine”

So, if we are restricted at either point, hips or mid back, then we potentially can run into a few problems. Let’s take this a step further and say we are tight or restricted at both points. Now we are seriously asking our lower back to pick up the slack and do something it really should not be doing.

So how can you fix this or prevent this from happening?

If you can spare 15 minutes a day to do these 4 exercises then you are putting yourself ahead of the game. Not only should you see better rotation and movement within your golf game but also feel better through daily life.

The exercises are designed to be done on the floor and at a beginner level. There are progressions to these exercises that can be done as we improve.


1) Pelvic Tilts –12 reps: This works on the mobility of your pelvis

Lie flat on your back.

Hands on your pelvis so you can feel the movement.

Arch your back so there is a gap between your midback and your tailbone.

Then do the opposite and feel yourself tuck your bellybutton towards your ribcage.

Your head will naturally move with each position

2) Clamshells – Reps 12 each side: This works on your external hip rotation

Lie on your side.

Legs bent together at the knees out in-front of you at 45 degrees.

Keeping the soles of your feet together rotate the top knee away from the ground.

The top hip bone should stay inline and not fall back behind you.

Return the knee down to touch the knee on the floor.

Repeat both sides.

3) Windscreen Wipers – Reps 15: This works on your internal hip rotation

Lie on your back.

Tuck your pelvis to flatten the lower back (belly button towards rib cage)

Legs up and knees bent at 90 degrees.

Make two fists and bring them together / place between your knees.

Rotate your feet outwards to the sides and then in again. (Feel like your heels lead)

4) Open Books – Reps 8 each Side: This works on the mobility of your mid/upper back

Lie on your side.

Bottom leg straight/top leg bent so the knee is above your pelvis and supported on a cushion/book/pillow etc Both arms stretched out in-front of you at 90 degrees.

Rotate the top arm while keeping knee in contact with cushion.

Arm movement comes more from the shoulder/ take it back as far as possible while the knee stays in contact with the cushion.

Head rotates with arm.

Perform these in a circuit style fashion. Work up to three complete circuits with 1 minute rest between circuits.

Try this twice a week, build up try and fit it into your daily routine. Also try and incorporate it into your pre golf warm up! If your body moves better and the same each time you play, you give yourself a far higher chance of playing better consistent golf pain free.

Click here for follow along video: https://www.facebook.com/100598744787899/videos/203931727453645/?modal=a dmin_todo_tour

Thanks for reading and till the next time, hit it long and straight!