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golfer's elbow

Spring is here, which means golfers around the country are getting ready for long, sunny days on the course. More golf means more fun, but as we age, it is hard not to notice the aches and pains that now accompany playing 18 holes.

Although your back and legs are common places to become sore after playing golf, the elbow – specifically the inside, or medial area – can be a huge source of discomfort. Taking repeated swings (and possibly with poor mechanics) can cause overuse in the muscles and tendons surrounding the elbow. This overuse creates pain and soreness on the inside part of your elbow, forearm, wrist and sometimes even your hand.

While golfers suffer from this problem enough to have it named after them, it is not only those who play golf that are susceptible to inner elbow soreness. Golfer’s elbow can develop in athletes who engage in throwing and swinging motions, or those who are flexing their wrist and gripping their hands for extended periods of time.

What if I Have Golfer’s Elbow Right Now?

Icing might sound like a good idea, especially since that’s what we’ve been taught to do our entire lives. Got a bruise? Ice it. Rolled your ankle? Ice it. Elbows sore after 18? You get the idea. But let’s stop to think about what ice and rest are actually doing.

golfer's elbow

Muscle activation is the key facilitator in setting off the chain of events that lead to muscle recovery. Tissues and tendons need fresh blood and nutrients to repair after breaking down. By resting the area and not moving, you’re actually delaying the delivery of nutrients. Furthermore, inactivity won’t produce nitric oxide, increase vasodilation, or engage the lymphatic system efficiently to flush waste and congestion.

Putting ice on the elbow might sound like a good idea to stop the pain, but a closer look might make you pause. Research shows that icing damaged tissue delays healing and may even make the situation worse.

How do I Prevent Golfer’s Elbow?

Let’s face it, as we get older our bodies don’t recover as quickly as they used to. It’s not as simple as just taking a day off and then feeling great the next day back on the course. It can take a lot longer to get back to normal and for those of us who have ongoing issues, we never really feel as good as we could. Having a proper post-golf recovery routine is important for not only feeling good, but also keeping our bodies healthy and robust.

Step 1: Active Recovery

You might not realize that the body’s recovery process is dependent on muscle movement. When we move, the multiple stages of recovery are activated and optimized. Engaging in light movements such as a short walk, jog, or swim can be referred to as active recovery. This movement shouldn’t be a full workout and cause additional fatigue, but should remain low-stress.

golfer's elbow

Marc Pro makes active recovery easy and effective by creating muscle activation without any additional stress or fatigue. You can use Marc Pro for as long as you need to ensure a complete recovery. Through non-fatiguing muscle activation, Marc Pro achieves active recovery that’s convenient and more effective than traditional techniques. This tool can be incorporated into everyday activities like working, relaxing on the couch, or traveling.

Step 2: Mobility Exercises

Mobility exercises play an important role in prevention of golfer’s elbow. When your elbows move with proper mechanics and maintain appropriate form, the chance of developing golfer’s elbow decreases. These mobility exercises from Dr. Kelly Starrett provide an effective strategy for preventing golfer’s elbow.

golfers elbow

Step 3: Proper Hydration & Nutrition

Having a solid base of hydration and nutrition will allow your body to recover more efficiently. When the proper supplies are available, your body is able to adequately repair damaged tissue. Without the necessary supplies or a lack of supplies, the recovery process is delayed.

Step 4: Sleep

Your body undergoes many restorative functions during sleep. A lack of sleep means a lack of recovery. During the NREM stage, tissue growth and repair takes place. So if you cut your sleep short, your body won’t complete the rebuilding cycle. Make sure to dedicate enough time to sleep each night to get the recovery your body needs. Most adults need between 7-9 hours each night.

These four steps for golfer’s elbow prevention will help keep you doing the activities you love. Golfer’s elbow is preventable, even without having to decrease your activity levels. Take the time to recover and you’ll be good to go for the next round.

justin james golf

Justin James is not your typical golfer. Why? First, he is built like a line-backer. Second, he’s a significantly accomplished power lifter who made his name in golf with a 435-yard winning shot at the 2017 World Long Drive Championship. Justin is also a 2nd generation Long Drive Champion, as his father, Gerry, won the World Long Drive Masters Division (age 45+) in 2005 and 2006.

6 Questions for Long Drive Champion Justin James

We sat down with Justin, also a CSCS certified coach, to learn more about his background and approach to golf. Here’s what he had to share:

Alongside playing golf and hitting the ball farther than anyone else, you coach several golfers.  What do golfers say when they approach you? 

Well, everyone wants to hit the ball farther and today in golf, distance is huge because golf is changing a lot. Some governing bodies are attempting to limit distance to the point where golf courses are being overwhelmed. I get people picking my brain about what I do to be able to hit the ball so far, and how others can apply it to their game. They ask me, “How can I pick up distance on my driver?”

What are some of the biggest mistakes you see golfers make?

justin james golf

People swinging robotically and very mechanically.  I played professional baseball for a long time and we always moved athletically. I help people tap into the athletic ability so that they can transfer that into their golf swing. The longest drivers in the world are generally the best athletes, and those athletes are the ones who are able to transfer their athletic ability into swinging a golf club faster. I was a former baseball player so the idea is to think about swinging a golf club the same way you would swing a baseball bat, or the same way you would hit a forehand and backhand in tennis. The key is to use your entire body and leg strength to get more weight into the swing.

What are some of the things you do to build your strength outside your golf game?

I’ve always been a big fan of Olympic weightlifting. I modify it though. I do a lot of power cleans and high pulls, but most important, my entire program is centered around helping me to use the ground better to transfer energy from the ground. The goal is to try to build more strength in my legs and then use that force from the ground athletically.

I do some sprinting, focus a lot on softer mobility and flexibility work, and try to do anything in between, like foam rolling. Most golfers don’t want to do much because of time constraints so I look to customize programs where we get the most efficient results in little time; in other words, give golfers the best bang for their buck. I’m currently working on a content video program that I plan to release in the spring for the everyday golfer.

What do you see most golfers missing in their programs? 

I cannot emphasize recovery enough and we all need more of it. A simple recovery routine will help almost everyone feel better, perform better, and reduce the chance of injury, which I see a lot of. The Marc Pro is one of my secret weapons. I never go to a competition without it. I use the Marc Pro generally for recovery, but if I ever have an injury, it’s my life saver. I truly consider it to be my safety blanket, and while I love massage and I love foam rolling, using my Marc Pro is my ultimate form of normalizing recovery, and the one thing that is always constant. Nothing else flushes out lactic acid like it, and the athletes I work with have also recovered better, and ultimately, performed better because of the Marc Pro.

Anything else you would like to share?

I love watching the sport of Long Drive grow, and helping other golfers embrace the strength building I have used to become a world champion. Golf and fitness are my passions, alongside my family.

And Caddyshack or Happy Gilmore?

Happy Gilmore for me because I was born in the 90s.  Caddyshack was likely too inappropriate for me when I was a kid anyway.

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golf recovery

Jentry Barton currently serves as Director of Strength & Conditioning and Mental Game at South County Golf Academy and National Director of Fitness for Nike Golf Camps . Jentry is ACE, U.S. Kids Golf, and Titleist Performance Institute certified and has a passion for fitness in respect to improving the golf swing.

What are your duties as the Director of Strength & Conditioning and Mental Game at South County Golf Academy?

I am in charge of all strength and conditioning for the academy with both adults and children. I conduct individualized fitness classes and assessments. I learn the body’s limitations in maintaining an efficient swing and build programs that address those individual needs.

Why is strength training important for golf?

When most people think of golf fitness, they think that you need to be flexible. However, people rarely focus on the strength involved in golf that is both functional and rotational. I believe in athlete exercises that address the different planes of motion. By testing and improving movement in different planes of motion, an individual can build strength and overall fitness.

What are your day-to-day interactions with athletes?

I have one-on-one client appointments starting at 6:00am the morning. In the afternoons, we typically have group classes out on the range. In the evening, I may have additional individual appointments, but I also coach a boys high school golf team.

golf recovery and fitness

What injuries do you typically deal with?

Golfers typically suffer from golfer’s elbow and lower back pain. Usually the people I work with sit at desks all day long. Their posture may also lead to tight hips, tight lower backs, and nerve impingement in the shoulder too.

What is your philosophy in regards to coaching and training?

I truly believe in individualized assessments. Individuals should not be thrown into the same program, as no two people are the same.

Golf is not always seen as a sport. I also understand the importance of creating athletes before people become golfers. You need to be athletic enough to be a good golfer, and that includes strength and cardiovascular endurance training. It takes a lot of stamina to play 36 holes in a day. I like to prepare athletes to excel in the game, not just survive.

What shifts have you seen in recovery methods in golf?

Golfers typically go towards quick fix. They have a “band-aid mentality” and are looking for a cream or pill to help with pain.

I work with golfers to see the importance of strength and conditioning to improve personal golf game.  This includes foam rolling the muscles for recovery, or using the Marc Pro to allow for blood flow and to be able to train harder the next day. Recovery methods are more than just a band-aid fix—they can truly make a huge impact.

What is the protocol for using a Marc Pro with you and your athletes?

Personally, I hold onto soreness and it takes my body a long time to recover. But when I started using the Marc Pro, I noticed that my recovery time is so much quicker. I can lift the next day and stay moving. With my athletes, they notice the difference too. For example, I used the Marc Pro with one of my golfers this morning and he noticed a difference in his back pain as soon as we finished using the device. 

What advice would you give athletes about recovery?

Not everyone understands what recovery means. Recovery can be considered an “out there” word where a lot of people think of it as just sitting on the couch. Active recovery is different and individualized. It allows for full body rejuvenation to take the body to the next level and perform better.

What should golfers know about nutrition?

Nutrition is number one. Every golfer needs nutrient-rich foods to allow for better in-sport performance and recovery. Protein, healthy fats, and balanced nutrition make an athlete feel so much better. Plus, it gives an individual the energy for better workouts and games.

You also work as a mental coach. What does that entail?

I work with individuals for mental assessments. I want to learn why an athlete may get nervous or the negative triggers on the golf course. When we learn about an individual’s mindset, we then have tools that we can implement. You can train your brain to do what you want it to, and stop focusing on as many negative triggers. We use emotional connections to words and songs that can move an individual into a good mental state. With time, an athlete can move to this more positive mindset quicker and not use as much negative energy on the course. 

What is your favorite part about working with athletes on a daily basis?

The connection. I love helping people and guiding people through their goals. When an individual is able to self-analyze and work towards their goals themselves, it is very rewarding.

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Golf Tips from David Leadbetter | How to Play and Feel Your Best

golf swing tipsWant to add more power to your golf swing? The key may be as simple as improving your rotation. The bottom line is if you can’t rotate and turn your body to wind up, then you can’t create power. As a consequence you start to use other parts of your body, primarily your arms and hands, to compensate. This is where swing errors can start to creep in. World renowned golf instructor David Leadbetter shares his golf swing tips to help you increase rotation and thus increase power.

Increase Rotation -> Increase Power

One of the aspects of rotation that people often neglect is the tension in their traps. Activities like working at a desk or driving can cause tension to build up, leading to a restricted rotation. The ability to move freely is so important for golf. If you look at the golfers today who play on the Champions Tour, you’ll see that they still move great. They move as well as they did in their 20s and 30s- that’s the whole key. Keep yourself moving, especially as you get older. If you can keep your body in motion, even if you don’t have any aches or pains, you will be able to stay active and keep your body moving effectively.

By improving your rotation, you can coil, turn, and wind up better, all which create power in the swing. Plus, your body can then use proper swing mechanics to prevent any errors and injuries. Perfecting your swing can be as simple as loosening up your body so you can rotate efficiently.

Golf Swing Tips | How to Increase Rotation

David Leadbetter uses Marc Pro to recover his muscles and loosen up his body. The simple task of putting Marc Pro on your shoulders allows the tension to dissipate by relaxing those muscle areas. Marc Pro can help you to sustain and even increase your power. David has found that using Marc Pro can actually increase torso rotation by about 10-15 degrees. If pain is a part of your game, the Marc Pro Plus can also provide significant and lasting pain relief.

david leadbetterFor the average amateur golfer, getting out of bed in the morning feeling achy and sore is a common occurrence. It can take half an hour before they start to feel loosened up. Or sometimes there’s those pains that won’t go away, which can lead most golfers to turn to pills or drugs just to make it through their day. As golfers get older, this problem becomes more prevalent and can often prevent people from playing as much or playing their best game.

Who is David Leadbetter?

David Leadbetter’s career in golf instruction started to take off in the mid-1980s. Since then he’s coached 22 players to Major Championship titles and over 100 individual worldwide victories, with 7 of those players holding the first place spot on the Official World Golf Ranking. He currently “hosts his own satellite radio show, continues to author new publications, develops new training aids, and continues to bring the same innovative and elite level instruction to players everywhere.” David continues to coach several of the top golfers on the PGA, LPGA, and European Tour.

Drug-free Pain Relief for Golfers

Pain can be a huge issue for golfers. It’s not uncommon for people to quit golfing because the pain gets to be too much.  Pills may help relieve pain for some time, but the benefits are only temporary before the pain comes back. Plus, pills can cause many negative side effects throughout the body. Instead of turning to drugs, David Leadbetter recommends using Marc Pro. Marc Pro is a natural, yet extremely effective approach to relieving golf pain. Adding Marc Pro into your daily routine can help recover your body, keep it healthy, and prevent aches and pains. If pain does come up, the Marc Pro Plus can provide significant and lasting pain relief for any type of golfer.

As most golfers know, the better you play, the more fun you have. That’s why Marc Pro fits so well with David’s holistic philosophy. Marc Pro helps people feel better so they are more likely to play better.

For over 25 years, Patrick Netter, the Gear Guru, has reviewed and investigated the latest trends, issues, and products in the health and fitness industry. He has appeared on hundreds of news and talk shows, including The Today Show, Good Morning America, and CNN Headline News. Patrick also wrote a book titled, “High-Tech Fitness” to show and explain how to use various fitness equipment and recommend training programs based on specific sports and age groups.

Improve Golf Recovery & Relieve Pain

In this episode, the Gear Guru investigates using Marc Pro for golf recovery and pain relief. Often times, pain, soreness, fatigue, and a limited range of motion prevents you from playing as well or as often as you would like. Marc Pro helps address all of these issues by providing golfers with the most effective tool for recovery. The Marc Pro Plus also has an additional setting to provide very significant and lasting pain relief. Both devices can also be used as a warm-up, so you can use it before tee time to get your body loosened up before you even arrive at the course.

“People are at their best when they feel their best.”

Patrick talked to a variety of golfers, from PGA Tour players to everyday golfers who play for fun, to get their take on Marc Pro and discover what kind of effect Marc Pro could have on golfers of any level.

 

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