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Golf Hip Pain: Rehabilitation Exercises for a Stronger Swing

Golf Hip Pain: Rehabilitation Exercises for a Stronger Swing


If you love golf, you know how important it is to have a smooth and powerful swing. But did you also know that golf can put a lot of stress on your hips, especially if you have poor technique or lack of flexibility? Golf hip pain is a common problem among golfers of all levels, and it can affect your performance and enjoyment of the game. 

In this article, we will explain the causes and symptoms of golf hip pain. We will also share some rehabilitation exercises that can help you strengthen your hips and improve your swing.

Understanding Golf Hip Pain

Causes of Hip Pain in Golfers

Hip pain in golfers can result from several factors:

  • Repetitive Overuse and Rotation: The repetitive swinging of the golf club puts pressure on the hip joint and surrounding muscles. This happens due to overuse and rotation. This can be exacerbated if the swing is not executed correctly or smoothly.
  • Muscle Weakness and Decreased Mobility: Weak muscles and decreased mobility can also lead to hip pain.
  • Improper Swing Technique: Overstressing the muscles with swing technique, such as swaying while loading into the trail hip or sliding through when loading into the lead hip, can cause hip pain.
  • Restricted Movement in the Hip: If you have restricted movement in the hip, the vigorous movement of the golf swing will stretch the ligaments that surround it and hold it together, which will cause pain.

Common Symptoms and Signs of Hip Pain


Common symptoms of hip pain include:

  • Pain in the hip, thigh, inside or outside of the hip joint, groin, or buttocks.
  • Limping or reduced movement in the hip joint.
  • Referred pain, which may be felt in the leg.
  • Muscle stiffness.
  • When you put weight on that leg, it hurts.
  • Joint swelling, redness, warmth, injury to the overlying skin, bruising, and tenderness.

Rehabilitation Exercises for Golf Hip Pain

Rehabilitation Exercises for Golf Hip Pain

  1. Pain Relief and Mobility:
  • Rest is recommended if your golf swing is causing hip pain.
  • Before you start an exercise routine to help your body heal, use the RICE method: rest, icing, compression, and elevation.
  • Applying heat during your rest period can help reduce the pain and increase mobility.
  • Seek advice from a physical therapist specializing in golf performance therapy. They are experienced in treating golf-related injuries and can provide a personalized recommendation on the duration of rest you should take from the golf course.
  1. Strengthening and Stability:
  • The next step in getting better from hip pain is to strengthen the hurt area after taking a break from golf.
  • To support your hips, you should work on strengthening the muscles in your buttocks and the front, back, and inside of your legs.
  • Gaining muscle mass will help your body handle the stress of playing better.
  • Exercises like side plank, lateral mini-band walking, single-leg bridge, lunge with a twist, and weighted step-up can help improve strength and stability.
  1. Functional Training and Golf-Specific Exercises:
  • Mobilizing your hips daily is incredibly important for your golf swing.
  • Exercises like Step Overs and 90/90s can help improve hip mobility.
  • Other exercises like Hip Flexor Stretch and Iliotibial Band Stretch are also beneficial. The “Having Babies” Bridge Exercise is another helpful exercise. Monster Walks, Single-Leg Bridges, and the “Soccer Pro” Exercise can also help. Single-leg hip Circles and the “Scorpion” Exercise can help too.
  1. Maintenance and Injury Prevention:
  • A well-rounded strength, flexibility, and endurance program three times per week will help overall body conditioning and reduce your risk of injury on the course.
  • Preventive measures such as proper warm-up routines, swing mechanics, and avoiding excessive strain on the hip joint can help minimize the risk of hip bursitis.
  • To lower your risk of hip pain, make sure you use the right form when you swing and work out your muscles, especially your core.

Preventing Golf Hip Pain

Warm-up and stretch: Before you start playing golf, it’s important to warm up your body and stretch your muscles. This prepares your muscles for exercise and reduces the risk of injury. Stretching afterwards also helps to relax the muscles when they are tired and tight.

Maintain proper posture and alignment: Using proper swing form can reduce your risk of hip pain. Consult with a golf professional to make sure you use proper form when you swing.

Strengthen your hip muscles: After taking a break from playing golf, the next step in hip pain recovery is strengthening the injured area. Some of the target muscles you’ll want to strengthen to support your hips are those in your buttocks and the inner, outer, and back of your thighs. Creating a stronger muscle framework will make your body better able to absorb the strain involved in golfing.

Use proper technique: Hip pain from golf can result from swinging the golf club repeatedly. This puts pressure on the hip joint and surrounding muscles. Pain can also be exacerbated if the swing is not executed correctly or smoothly. Therefore, using proper techniques is crucial.

Take breaks and pace yourself: If your golf swing is causing you hip pain, it’s recommended to take a break from playing. You may have strained your hip from twisting your body while on the course. In this case, use the RICE method of rest, icing, compression, and elevation, before beginning a rehabilitating exercise program.

Tips for a Healthy Golf Swing

Tips for a Healthy Golf Swing

A healthy golf swing requires a balance of strength, flexibility and coordination. Here are some tips to improve your golf swing and prevent hip pain:

  • Warm up before you play. Stretch your muscles and joints, especially your hips, lower back and shoulders. Do some gentle swings with a light club or a towel.
  • Maintain good posture. Keep your spine straight and your head up. Avoid slouching or twisting your torso. Align your feet, hips and shoulders with the target.
  • Swing smoothly and rhythmically. Don’t force or jerk the club. Use your whole body to generate power, not just your arms. Follow through with your hips and shoulders, not just your wrists.
  • Avoid over-swinging. Don’t try to hit the ball too hard or too far. This can cause excessive stress on your hips and lower back. Choose the right club for the distance and the terrain.
  • Take breaks and rest. Don’t play too many holes or practice too much in one session. Give your body time to recover and heal. Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated.

If you’re experiencing hip pain or other injuries from golfing, consider seeking help from Driven Physical Therapy. Our skilled physical therapists can evaluate your condition, administer appropriate treatment, and devise a personalized exercise program. This tailored approach not only aids in enhancing your golf swing but also plays a crucial role in preventing further injuries.


Addressing hip pain in golf is crucial for a stronger swing and enhanced enjoyment. Recognizing the causes, including poor technique and muscle weakness, is key. Rehabilitation exercises, such as rest, strengthening, and targeted stretches, play a vital role in alleviating hip pain golf concerns. 

Warm-ups, good stance, and pacing are all things that can help keep your hips from hurting while you play golf. A well-balanced strength and flexibility exercise can help you play golf more healthily and reduce hip pain. The right way to swing the club is also important. If you are in pain that won’t go away, you should see a physical therapist. This will make your golf trip more comfortable and fun.


Is golf bad for hip arthritis?

Golf is a popular sport that can be enjoyed by people with hip arthritis, but some precautions are needed to avoid pain and injury. Hip arthritis is a condition that causes inflammation and stiffness in the joint where the thigh bone meets the pelvis. This can affect the ability to rotate and twist the hips during a golf swing. 

What is the most common golf hip injury?

Hip Tendonitis: This is often associated with the swing mechanics of golf. The hip joint is pushed through its maximum range of motion during a golf swing, which can sometimes result in hip tendonitis or micro-tears in the hip soft tissue.

Hip Bursitis: This is a type of chronic pain that affects the hip’s outer area and is also common among golfers. Most of the time, it’s because continuous club swings put stress on the hip joint.

Age Factor: These injuries are more common as golfers age.

Treatment: Treatment often involves rest and the RICE method (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation).

How do I get a good hip turn in my golf swing?

  1. Address the ball: Start with your feet shoulder-width apart. Position your front foot slightly open to promote hip rotation.
  2. Initiate your swing: Maintain a stable base with your lower body while allowing your hips to rotate naturally.
  3. Backswing: Let your arms flow easily to the top while you turn your shoulders and hips around.
  4. Downswing: Drive your left hip rotationally. When your left arm goes parallel to the ground, try to get your hips square to the ball.
  5. Impact: Your hips should be open, but they should keep turning to the left until the swing stops.

This is one of the essential golf tips for beginners. With practice, you’ll develop a smooth swing with power.

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Dr. Joe Terrill

Driven Golf Performance & Sports Physical Therapy

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