How would you like with to hit the ball father, straighter, and with more consistency?
Since golf is a rotational sport, it requires both flexibility and strength to achieve the optimal swing.
Loss of flexibility is one of the leading causes of injury in golfers. For some, they start noticing stiffness or pain. Others don't have true "symptoms", but notice an inconsistency in their performance.
Incorporating some simple stretches for muscle flexibility into your daily routine will benefit your game . . . not only decreasing injury risk, but improving your golf swing. Of the course you will notice an improvement in overall posture, muscles aches and pains, and health of your joints.
Here are 5 stretches to start to improve your next round of golf:
1. Neck Stretch
The muscles along the side of your neck stretch as you move through your swing. This allows you to maintain the proper posture to hit the ball well. Stretch these muscles by sitting in a chair and grasping the edge with one hand. Allow your head to drop toward your shoulder of the opposite arm until a stretch is felt along the side of your neck. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds on each side.
2. Shoulder Stretch
Having appropriate flexibility across your shoulders and chest allow you to stay in the correct plane of posture as you move into your back swing. Standing in a doorway with arms at shoulder height, grasp the door frame. Lean forward as far as possible, keeping your chin tucked in toward your chest. Hold this position with your arm behind you for 30 seconds, but avoid moving so far forward that you feel pain.
3. Open Book (Upper Back Stretch)
Improving mobility in the upper back (called the thoracic spine) is vital to an effective and safe golf swing. Thoracic mobility will help to prevent low back injury and improve distance. Begin lying on your right side with your left knee bent to 90 degrees and your right leg straight. Stretch your hands out in front of you, then rotate your trunk until your left arm and upper back become parallel to the ground. Avoid rotating your low back and keep your hips as stable as possible. Repeat 10 rotations on the right and then switch to lying on your left side.
4. Hip Rotation Stretch
Improving your hip mobility, especially rotational movements, is important to achieve a full follow through. Limited hip mobility causes a golfer to compensate with excessive rotation in the low back, often leading to injury. Begin lying on your back with your knees bent. Slowly move both knees to the left and right feeling a stretch in both hips. Keep both shoulders on the ground throughout the stretch. Repeat the stretch 10 times to each side.
Loss of mobility in the ankle is common due to the amount of sitting we do each day. Good ankle mobility is important to achieving proper posture in your golf swing as well as for adapting to uneven terrain on the course. Begin in a half kneeling position. Slowly shift your weight forward over your knee until you feel a stretch in your ankle or foot. As you shift forward you must keep the heel on the ground and the knee in line with foot. Repeat this stretch 10 times for each ankle.
So there you have it. . . 5 stretches that will reduce injury and improve your golf game. Give these a try and let us know how you feel next time you are out on the course. You will know they are working when you reach the 18th hole with less aches and pains.
If you experience any pain or discomfort while performing these stretches, give us a call immediately as there may be something else involved. A physical therapist can fully assess a golfer's flexibility, strength, joint mobility, balance, and control. They can provide hands on treatments and specific exercise prescription to meet your specific needs. Request a no obligation call from a PT TODAY by clicking HERE.