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TPI-Certified Physical Therapy for Golf in New York City 

TPI-Certified Physical Therapy for Golf in New York City

Golf is a sport founded on complex movements placing strenuous demands on the body.  As physical movement specialists with comprehensive medical knowledge, physical therapists can analyze mechanics and prescribe specific exercise programs designed to enhance movements.  Even when a client is in rehabilitation after surgery or injury, we work toward improving impairments, functional and recreational goals – including their golf aspirations.

The Titleist Performance Institute (TPI) is the worldwide education leader dedicated to the study of human body mechanics in relation to the golf swing.  Our TPI Certified Golf Fitness Specialist is Dr. Sean Joyce, a physical therapist uniquely trained to assess and improve a golfer’s biomechanics, recovery habits, strength and conditioning. Golfers commonly suffer from injuries affecting their game and if your body is not adequately prepared with each trip to the front nine, a single incorrect swing can lead to injury that surfaces by the time you’re on the back nine.  Dr. Joyce is trained to help prevent pain and injury, improve your golf swing and overall game.   More specifically, Dr. Joyce combines his training as a doctor of physical therapy with his Titleist Performance Institute (TPI) certification to help you:

  • Hit longer drives 
  • Achieve lower scores 
  • Play better rounds

While there is no one way to swing a golf club, there is an efficient way to swing for each golfer, and that is based on what that golfer can physically do. Physical therapy for golf can dramatically reduce golf-related injury and pain, enhance agility, and improve power, strength and mobility.   

Common Golf Swing Issues Improved with Physical Therapy
  • Poor balance and stance
  • Poor posture
  • Decreased motion, particularly with the mid-back, neck, shoulder blades, and hips
  • Golfers with muscle tightness, joint restriction, or poor body mechanics can struggle to execute their golf swings consistently
Common Golf Injuries

Golf is a repetitive movement sport and players are vulnerable to overuse injuries, particularly if muscles are imbalanced. These are the most common areas of the body where golfers typically experience injury.  

  • Golfers may experience tendinitis, (irritation and inflammation of the elbow’s inner tendon or ‘tennis elbow’, or the more fitting “golfer’s elbow.”
  • Shoulder injuries are common, particularly in the golfer’s lead shoulder, and this would include AC (acromioclavicular) joint sprain, rotator cuff tendinitis, and impingement syndrome.  
  • As a golf swing creates a tremendous amount of force on one side of the body, an uneven pressure is placed on the spine. This can produce low back pain and or in severe cases, a herniated disc.  
  • Golfers can develop a condition where the cartilage under  the kneecap deteriorates to the point of no longer absorbing shock at the kneecap (osteoarthritis and chondromalacia). This condition is sometimes referred to as “runner’s knee” and is caused by misalignment, muscle imbalances, or overuse (repeated stress to the knee). 
  • Ankle sprains are also common among golfers.
  • Hunching and rotational stress
  • Shoulder pain
  • Rotator cuff issues
  • Knee pain from stabilizing and hip rotation during a swing.
Physical Therapy for Golfers

Whether you are an active golfer or someone who visits the course occasionally, physical therapy for golfers can improve your game and minimize any chance of a golf-related injury.  

Golfers with joint restrictions, muscle tightness or poor mechanics can struggle consistently executing their golf swings.  Swing faults are typically manifested as poor form while striking the ball, executing a backswing and the downswing, or in completing a swing’s follow-through. It’s in the repetition of these swinging faults where many develop golf-related injuries or aggravate pre-existing pains in the shoulder, back, neck, wrist, hand, or elbow injuries.

Golfers can achieve proper biomechanics for their swing while avoiding injury, eliminating pain and improving the consistency of the golf swing through specific exercises and stretches prescribed by an expert TPI certified physical therapist. A  golf-centered physical therapy assessment can identify pain points and lead to a program to help optimize your ability to transfer energy and force through the body to the club with efficiency and speed. Our TPI Certified Golf Fitness Specialist is Dr. Sean Joyce can guide you through exercises specifically designed to:

  • Improve joint mobility. 
  • Improve hip and shoulder flexibility and musculature, both vital to your follow-through and backswing.
  • Improve dynamic balance and shot follow-through. Control of hip, abdominal, and hip musculature is vital to finish a swing balanced.
  • Improve the base of a good golf swing, which is core strength
  • Strengthen your muscles (Fast twitch muscle fibers) the right way adding power to your swing while maintaining mobility and flexibility 
  • Improve your endurance. Getting tired midway through the front nine leads to lazy swings and higher scores. 
  • Not forgetting proper warm-up. Rounds “after” work and early tee-times make finding time for warm-ups challenging, but a few dynamic practice swings and stretches can prepare your body mechanics and produce better play and less injuries. 
Golf Strength Program

Adding strength to your body has several benefits for your golf game including improving swing mechanics, increasing club head speed, reducing aches and pains and enhancing endurance coming down the stretch.  The myth that strength training builds bulk and limits swing mobility couldn’t be further from the truth.  Gary Player was strength training for decades prior to Tiger bringing it into the mainstream. Today’s top golf pros like Brooks Koepka and Rory McIlroy and others all include some form of strength training into their golf game.  

Beyond strength being the foundation for power, golf strength training burns calories and loses fat while developing muscles. Building strength for golfers is less about getting muscle-bound and more about improving the body’s ability to engage and control fast twitch muscle fibers. These are the muscles built for short, powerful bursts of energy and responsible for explosive movements like the golf swing.

Golf Strength for Beginners

Our TPI Certified Golf Fitness Specialist is Dr. Sean Joyce who is uniquely trained to assess your biomechanics, swing, and discern how and why strength training can best improve your golf game.  Dr. Joyce combines his training as a Doctor of Physical Therapy and Titleist Performance Institute (TPI) certification to help you:

  • Decrease pain 
  • Hit longer drives 
  • Achieve lower scores 
  • Play better rounds

While there is no one way to swing a golf club, there is an efficient way to strength train and swing for each golfer, and that is based on what that golfer can physically do.  While a specific strength training program can be precisely outlines as it is custom tailored, there are a few basic principles when designing programs to achieve a higher levels of fitness.

Develop Stability Before Strength

Stability skills are those movements where the body remains fixed in place but moves around its vertical and horizontal axis, such as stretching,  balancing, twisting and bending. These are essential skills in order to progress on to manipulative or locomotor skills. Stability training is about improving the body’s ability to keep proper alignment and control while moving.  This means that your body and all its joints are as balanced as possible.

Balance is a critical aspect of the golf swing. Using a few basic techniques to improve your balance for golf will help you maintain a stable base, transfer your weight smoothly, and generate power. Any imbalance can affect your swing mechanics and result in inconsistent shots. Balance in golf requires maintaining your center of gravity over your base of support.  For most people, their center of gravity is located in the middle of their torso. Your base of support is your feet, the point where your body contacts the ground.  Maintaining balance throughout your golf swing requires keeping your center of gravity over your base of support throughout your golf swing. This requires managing stability, mobility, and control:

  • Stability is maintaining your balance while stationary.
  • Mobility is moving your body throughout a range of motion.
  • Control is coordinating your movements with precision.
Build Strength Before Power

Treating golfers with back pain, tendinitis/tendinosis, and many other ailments of which stem from a lack of control and tissue integrity.  The simple truth is that many golfers  aren’t prepared to handle the speeds and forces generated by a full swing.  Their body often responds in the form of an ailment thereby limiting the amount of power produced in effort to reduce stress and further injury. 

By training the body to manage heavier loads at lesser speeds,  developed is density in bones, larger muscles, structural integrity and durability with connective tissues.  Combined these all work together keeping your body from ailments that could limit your potential or ‘celing’ to produce maximum  force.

Beginners should focus on basic compound strength training movements that build your core capacity and your fast twitch muscle fibers.  A strong mid-section or core is very important as swinging a golf club places tremendous rotational demands on the body.  A weak core can reduce some of the force generated from legs being realized by the rest of your swing.

Produce Power & Speed

With command of stability, robust fast twitch muscle fibers, strong connective tissues and joint strength, you’re ready to work on producing power and speed.  This can go many ways depending on a myriad of factors, but for example, an efficient way to develop explosive power is by perfecting your box jump. Box jumps are a staple in developing power as they solely focus on force production (albeit from the ground, but conceptually relevant for your golf swing).  The box jump is where you recoil back to a squat, then leap into the air landing in a squat position softly on the surface of a box or platform.

Box jumps are mostly a lower-body exercise targeting the hamstrings, calves, quads, glutes, and a proven way to boost power and clubhead speed, an essential component to more distance.  While the traditional box jump involves leaping onto a platform aligned in front, jumping onto a box placed to your side strengthens and sharpens your ability to rotate and stay in posture. 

How to Increase Golf Swing Speed

Power is king in hitting the ball just a little bit farther and added distance correlates to lower scores.  Numerous muscles in the body are engaged to produce a powerful golf swing thus strengthening these muscles can result in driving ayour ball further.  Muscle groups to strengthen that are key to increase golf swing speed and power include: core, back, shoulders, biceps, legs, and glutes.  

The biomechanics of the optimized swing require maintaining the “end-range-of-motion protocol”, which is when a joint reaches its end range of motion — like a knee mid-squat — it reaches a limit on its movement or its endpoint.  Strengthening the body at those endpoint ranges of motion increases your swing speed while also making your swing repeatable and less sensitive to error from excess movement.

Increased golf swing speed is also commonly realized from a widened stance providing a sturdier base on which you can create maximum torque, pulling your arms through the downswing with greater force.   Conjuring this kind of momentum into a golf swing requires strengthening and speeding up the muscles employed from the top of the backswing down to impact, in the precise way that you’re using your muscles in the golf swing.

Golf swing speed training is specific and aligned to how you’re swinging, founded on isometrics, which are exercises wherein muscles are guided to act against each other or a fixed object.  We will apply isometrics to golf by using resistance bands and mimicking the golf swing from the top of the backswing down to impact. By gradually upping the resistance each week and repeating the training,  we’ll teach your muscles to swing faster from the top down to impact. 

This form of golf swing speed training does not alter or change your swing, but does strengthen the muscles actually used during your swing. The only change will be in how powerfully you can swing when back on the course.  Here’s a glimpse of some common golf swing speed building exercises.

Golf Swing Speed-Building Exercises

Front Lunges With Rotation

With your driver held horizontally along your chest, step forward into a lunge position, then swiftly rotate your torso toward the forwarded leg.  Switch or alternate leg positions, repeating a swift torso rotation toward the front leg. This lunge-rotation exercise trains your body (from a stable platform) on creating speed while controlling body rotation in the golf swing.  This helps you load better in the backswing while preventing swaying off the ball

Rotational Squats

With your driver held horizontally across your chest, position your feet wider than your shoulders, swiftly dip into a full squat while rotating your upper body toward your dominant leg. Once at the bottom point of the squat, swiftly rise and rotate your upper body into your golf swing’s finished position. This exercise will help you improve your dynamic stability, ability to use the ground as leverage and body rotation so you can generate more power that’s delivered to the ball.

Pelvic Rotations

While in a golf posture, place your club in front of you creating a triable between your shoulders and the club.  Without moving the club or upper body, rotate your spine to create pelvic rotation in each direction.  Independently rotating the lower body  or pelvis without the upper body is a critical skill for golfers to have.   Creating this separation will improve downswing sequencing and help generate power more efficiently and consistently.

Golf Workout Routine for New York City Golfers

As a TPI Certified Golf Fitness Specialist who’s also a Physical Therapist, I’m often asked about a Golf Workout Routine that can be practiced at home, and that includes the often limited space of those of us who live in New York City.  Outlined herein is a golf workout routine that you can practice 3 to 4 times a week on it’s own or in conjunction with a full-body strength workout.   These are specific exercises designed to improve your health and golf game.

Dead Bug Exercises: This exercise has been named “dead bug” since the position of the body mimics that of a bug on its back.   Laying on your back,  slowly raise and lower opposite arms and legs while keeping your abdominal (stomach) muscles engaged.  Hold that position for a second and return to the starting position and repeat with the opposite arm and leg.  Dead bug exercises train you in using your core to stabilize your spine, thereby enabling you to create more power from your hips as you swing. 

Bird Dog Exercises:  Begin on all fours with your knees under your hips and your hands under your shoulders.  Simultaneously extend your right leg behind you and reach your left arm out in front, both parallel to the ground. Hold fora second and repeat on the other side.  This exercise trains you to focus on trunk control and coordination, both essential to generating power in your golf swing. 

Russian Twist: To do a Russian twist, you’ll rotate your torso from side to side while sitting on your butt in an upright position with your knees slightly bent and feet off the floor.  Each time you rotate, tap the floor with your hands and that’s one rep.  This exercise got its name because it was used in the Cold War by Russian soldiers and the movement brings great rotation into your core.  This exercise widely used for training rotational strength, and having more power as you turn back and through your swing. Cross Climber with Shoulder Tap Exercises: Begin in a plank position (standard push-up position), lifting one knee off the ground and bringing to your opposite elbow (rotate hips and twist abs to touch knee to opposite elbow).and repeat on the other side. Then with the one hand while still in the plank position tap the opposite shoulder (creating a second wherein you’re essentially in a 1 hand push position).  This exercise will strengthen your core and shoulders during your swing.  Shoulder stability is an important part of a powerful golf swing and plays a huge role in winding up in your back swing and launching the energy transfer as you unwind and strike  the golf ball.

Free consultations are welcomed, click the red phone or 212-289-1586

Reviews from Our Valued Clients

We can help you get back to your active and pain-free lifestyle with our personalized, one-on-one sessions, all in the comfort and convenience of your home or office.


Manny Frankel

Had a broken back and Jim and Matt came to give me Physical Therapy. I went from bed to wheelchair, walker, cane to walking up and downstairs in record time and have never looked back. Class act, highly recommend.


Neha James

I worked with Palmer Concierge for knee pain and loved my experience. Jim is a fantastic PT! He is very knowledgeable, attentive, and kind. His exercise programs are manageable and effective. He got me back to pain-free lifting and I’m very happy with my results.


Dan Crotty

I was essentially unable to walk even relatively short distances before working with Palmer Concierge Physical Therapy. Thanks to team though I’m now on my way to making a full recovery. I wouldn’t have been able to do this without them.

Patients often have to wait weeks or months to gain access to providers—long enough for conditions to move from acute to chronic.  The Palmer Concierge PT Team brings physical therapy to you, to meet your wellness goals with the convenience of a mobile service that comes to your home, office or hotel.  Our goal in providing personalized one-on-one care is to help you achieve a pain-free and healthy lifestyle.  We offer a mobile physical therapy experience in New York City, Brooklyn and The Hamptons that empowers, educates, and restores balanced healthy movement without the drive to appointments, having to re-schedule your day, or cope with crowds and traffic. –The Palmer Concierge PT Team

Free consultations are welcomed, click the red phone or 212-289-1586

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