Golf is a sport, and therefore getting ready to participate in a round of golf should include some preparation. A significant portion of that preparation should be stretching and flexibility. Stretching before a round will help you perform better and be much less likely to get injured.
Believe it or not, stretching at the end of the round can also improve your recovery. Golf uses a lot of muscles, and to make sure that those muscles stay in great shape, here are seven golf stretches and flexibility exercises that you can do.
Golf Stretches and Flexibility Exercises for Golfers
One of the most important golf stretches and flexibility exercises for golfers is Twist. When golfers swing the golf club, there is a lot of twisting and turning involved. The better you get at golf, the faster those twisting and turning motions will be occurring. If your body is not limber when you are swinging, you will lose out on power and distance as well.
To do a twisting stretch, you can take your hands and cross them over your shoulders. Get your feet planted in a position where they would be if you were about to take a swing. Work on turning your body back and then through the ball.
Some golfers do this with a medicine ball in their hand, which intensifies the stretch. The bottom line is that you must warm up your turn before you take it out on the course.
2. Weighted Golf Club
Weighted golf clubs are great when you need a good stretch before a round of golf. Since the club’s weight tends to put more strain and pull on your muscles, you will feel quite ready when you get the golf club in your hand.
When swinging with a weighted golf club, start with a very small swing. Many golfers will step right up and start swinging with a driver. This is not necessary and could lead to an injury. When you start with the weight club, make some small chip like swings and start working your way into fluid larger full golf swings.
3. Chair Stretch
If you are located near a chair, you can use it to help stretch out your back prior to your round. Stand a foot or two away from the chair, bend at the waist, and get your hands to hook on the top of the chair.
When you do this, you will create a 90 degree angle at your hips. Your upper body will be pointing towards the back of the chair, and your lower body will be parallel to the chair. A chair stretch is nice because you can make it as deep or as shallow as you like.
You will feel the stretch in your back and be able to customize how this stretch works for your back. For players that have a bad back, it may make sense to do some floor stretches for your back as well.
You can sit on your knees and then reach as far out as possible to stretch your lower back. Sometimes it is good to complete stretches and flexibility exercise before heading out to the golf course.
4. Seated Hip Stretch
There is usually a bench or a chair located near the first tee. Although you won’t want to sit for too long and get your muscles tired, you can sit for a second and do a seated hip stretch. With a heated hip stretch, you will first sit with both feet on the ground.
Take one of your legs and cross it over the knee of your other leg. As you are sitting with your back straight, start pulling your leg up closer to the thigh. As you pull your foot up, you will feel the pull in your hip.
This is yet another stretch that you can customize to make it the right difficulty for your particular abilities. As you work on this stretch more and more, you will be able to pull your leg higher up.
5. Wrist stretches
People tend to think about the big muscles in the swing, like legs, core, and shoulders. However, there are lots of smaller muscles involved that need just as much attention. The wrists are an essential part of your golf game, and they are traditionally prone to injury.
With a wrist stretch, you will want to hold your arm out straight in front of you. Place your palm up as if you were telling someone to stop. Then take your other hand and pull back on your fingers. You will feel the stretch in your wrist, especially when you keep your arm extended.
This will partly stretch your wrist, but you will want to stretch out the other side by then reversing this stretch. Now take that same hand that was pointing straight out and flip the fingers down. At this point, your palm should be facing you.
Again, take the opposite hand and pull your fingers in. You will feel the stretch at the top of your wrist. It is essential to repeat this stretch on both hands, regardless of if you are a right or left-handed golfer.
6. Shoulder Stretch With Golf Club In Hand
A simple and popular way to stretch your shoulders is to grab a golf club from your bag and use it as a stretching tool. Take out something like a seven iron and hold the club out in front of you, with the shaft parallel to the ground.
Put one hand up near the club head of the golf club and the other hand by the grip of the club. Then take this club and slowly raise it over your head. Some golfers will barely be able to get the club over their head. Others will be able to pull the club almost entirely behind their back.
You can then take the club and place it behind your back completely. Grab on with both hands and lift the club up behind your back this way. You will find that the shoulder stretch really allows you to open both your shoulders and your chest before your round.
7. Take A Walk
Last but certainly not least is walking. Walking is such an excellent activity for flexibility. Golfers who walk for a mile or so before their round will find that their body is much more limber and ready for the day on the golf course.
The walk does not need to be rigorous. It can be a relaxing walk around the block or a few loops around the parking lot when you get to the golf course. Golfers sometimes worry they will tire themselves out by walking prior to a round. This could not be further from the truth.
In addition to taking a walk, spend some time thinking about your golf game, and planning out your strategy for the day. Concentrate on what your plan is, how you want to implement it, and what your goals are for the day. Goals can be as simple as no three putts or better tempo; however, it is essential to set them.
Sometimes taking your golf game to the next level will require more than just a new hybrid or wedge added to your golf bag. You will have to invest some time into your body to give yourself the skills necessary to shoot lower scores.
Golf stretches and flexibility can help you get faster swing speed and more consistency in your game. Potentially the most critical benefit of the stretching and flexibility exercises is that they will help you avoid injury.
There is no quicker way to end a golf season than a bad back, torn rotator cuff, or wrist strain. Taking just a few minutes before your round can make a noticeable difference and allow you more time to spend on the course.