Fitness & Wellness

Ending golf-related shoulder pain

By understanding the root of the problem and doing some simple corrective exercises, you can stop shoulder pain related to golf and start playing better than ever.

At some point, a lot of golfers experience a nagging pain in their shoulder that interferes with their swing. Sometimes it's a sharp bite during the backswing or follow-through. Other times it's a dull ache that increases with every shot.

No matter how the pain manifests, shoulder pain is a debilitating problem that takes the fun out of the game.


By understanding the root of the problem and doing some simple corrective exercises, you can stop shoulder pain related to golf and start playing better than ever.

Before we get into that, let's first take a look at the shoulder and how it works.


The shoulder joint is a ball and socket joint, which is a fancy way of saying it moves in multiple directions with a high range of motion.

Think of reaching your arm over your head and out to the side, then rotating it back in a throwing motion, or across your body. Freedom of motion is necessary for the shoulder joint to function properly, and the golf swing challenges the shoulder to move freely in all of these directions.

The other element necessary to a healthy shoulder joint is stability.

Shoulder stability means that all the muscles which surround and move the shoulder are working well and controlling the position of the arm bone in the shoulder socket. When the shoulder muscles become weak — especially the four small muscles known as the rotator cuff — arm movement becomes compromised and things begin to go horribly wrong.

In essence, shoulder movement is similar to a piece of machinery that has an axis of motion — once the axis is off center, the machine loses efficiency and eventually breaks down.

The difference with your shoulder is that it's living tissue. Weakness and loss of motion go hand in hand, and contribute to what's described as dysfunctional movement. When your shoulder is dysfunctional, the damaged soft tissues — including tendons and ligaments — send out pain signals.

Considering you feel pain when you do repetitive movements that challenge the shoulder's motion and stability, the golf swing is a prime example of something that leads to injury if not addressed.


The key to overcoming and preventing shoulder pain is to restore shoulder motion and stability. This is where GOLFFOREVER helps.

Our program guides you through a specific sequence to enhance shoulder function so you can avoid shoulder pain and swing with freedom and power, over and over again.

Here are just three of the many important shoulder stretches and stability exercises you'll find in the GOLFFOREVER program:

Arm Stretch exercises golfforever

1. Back-of-the-Shoulder Stretch

This stretch is critical to improve mobility in the back of the shoulder and enable freedom of motion into the backswing and follow-through. Spend some time on this stretch and you'll feel a dramatic difference in the freedom of your golf swing.

window stretch golfforever

2. Front-of-the-Shoulder Stretch

Flexibility in the front of the shoulder is essential to achieve full external rotation range of motion. Think of external rotation as the arm moving into a throwing motion. If you lose this in your shoulder and don't spend time to re-establish it, it can cause your backswing to shorten or force you to make other compensations in your swing, ultimately leading to shoulder pain.

shoulder tubing resistance stretch golfforever

3. Shoulder External Rotation with Tubing Resistance

Strengthening the rotator cuff muscles that originate from behind the shoulder is vital to shoulder stability.

Since golf requires production of high rotational force, the muscles in the front of the shoulder that help you create clubhead speed must be counterbalanced by strong muscles in the back of the shoulder that help to decelerate your arms at the finish of your swing. Weakness in the muscle groups that serve as "brakes" almost always lead to shoulder damage.


A structured program like GOLFFOREVER that includes comprehensive instruction on soft tissue techniques, stretches, stability exercises and more is key to optimizing shoulder function and the performance of your whole body in relation to golf.

Whether you play golf a few times per week or few times per year, you may not realize the toll golf can put on your body if not addressed properly. So, make sure you put time into your body and areas like your shoulders off the course, and you'll definitely reap the benefits on it.

To Feel-Great Golf,

Bill Fabrocini

Want to learn more? Visit GOLFFOREVER.COM to build flexibility, mobility, strength and more confidence in your game than ever before.

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All GOLFFOREVER content and exercises are presented with the expressed understanding that you should visit a doctor to determine the cause of any pain you may be feeling and in some rare cases that can include cancer, fractures, infection and more. It should also be understood that you are strongly advised to first receive clearance from a physician before following any exercises or advice presented on this site, and that Morning Read and its partner, GOLFFOREVER, are not liable for any injuries that may occur.