Shoulder & Core Injury Prevention for Golfers | Tips & Workouts

The Journal of the Canadian Chiropractic Association published a study by Dr. Gregory J Lehman in 2006. This study showed a full workout program for golfers to prevent injuries and improve performance. We've pulled a couple of the workouts from this program that are focused on the shoulder and the trunk for you to look at

For the full study, take a look here.


Shoulder Injury Prevention Exercises

These exercises were designed as a part of this study to improve shoulder control.

Lower Trap Arm Raise

While lying face down the participant lifts their arm to a position 45 degrees lateral to and at the level of their head. The arm should be in line with the lower trapezius fibres. This exercise trains the trapezius, deltoid, external rotator cuff and rhomboids.

External Rotation

Using a dumbbell with their arm abducted and elbow flexed, the participant should eccentrically lower the dumbbell (internally rotate) and then raise the dumbbell to the starting position via external shoulder rotation. This exercise trains the external rotator cuff. Athletes should focus on keeping their shoulder blades back and down.

Push Up Plus

The athlete begins in push up position and allows their shoulder blades to “roll together”. The participant, while maintaining a neutral spine, attempts to push themselves up further by pushing the shoulder blades farther apart (Scapular Protraction). This exercise has been shown to maximize serratus anterior & subscapularis activity while minimizing upper trapezius activation. The external rotator cuff is also active.


Trunk Injury Prevention Exercises

These exercises are designed to stabilize your core and help improve core strength during your swing.

Curl Up

Golfer lies on back with one knee bent 90 degrees and the second leg straight. Hands should be placed under the low back to prevent spinal flexion. Golfer “curls” their shoulders 2 inches off the surface. The neck should should stay in a neutral position. Strain should be experienced in the abdominal region. The golfer should focus on curling the ribcage toward their pelvis.

Bird Dog

Golfer starts on hands and knees. From this four point kneeling position the golfer should extend one leg parallel to the floor, hold for 3 seconds and return to the starting position. Repeat with other leg. Additionally, the opposite arm can also be raised. The golfer must maintain control of the spine and minimize twisting and excessive movement.

Side Support

Golfer starts in side lying position and raises their torso off the floor. Their weight should be supported by their knee and their forearm. To increase difficultly support the weight from the forearm and the golfers lateral feet.

Front Support

Rolling from the side support position the golfer maintains a neutral spine and supports their weight on their forearms and the balls of both feet.


For more workouts and the full program, check out the link above.