Stretches For Golfers

Golf may look to be a very easy game; however you cannot master the game very easily. The golf swing itself is inherently unnatural and foreign to the natural movement and range of motion of the body.

If you want to add yards to your shots and improve your driving power and distance, the only way to do it is follow a routine of stretches for golfers. These can be practiced every day and especially before a game.

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The best stretches for golfers can help build muscle, improve balance and optimize performance. Regular stretches are important as they help maintain flexibility and warm your muscles effectively before you play. Every position in golf demands a particular stance and range of movement engaging different muscles. A good stretching routine especially customized for golfers will include a different flexibility exercise for every position and as a result improve your overall game.

For example, if you want to improve the distance of your drive, you will need to do more core exercises. For your golf swing, exercises targeting the flexibility of your hips and torso rotation are needed. A typical golf stretch routine should be around ten minutes or so and if done every day will result in a dramatic improvement on the course.

There are also specific stretching exercises for specific conditions and problems caused by playing golf.

Golfer’s Elbow:

It is a common condition that affects most players. This is because the hand and wrist is held in an inherently unnatural position over long periods of time during the game. Stretches for golfer’s elbow include :

  1. Working your wrists to their full range of motion and thereby strengthening the muscles in the forearm and elbow.
  2. Extend your hands and bend your wrists as far forwards and backwards as possible.
  3. You can do this with a light dumbbell as well.
  4. Alternatively you can hold your wrist with the opposite hand in the flexed and extended position for a few seconds and push gently.
  5. Repeat these exercises for 10 to 12 repetitions each.

Stretches For Golfer’s Shoulders:

It involves a number of exercises.

  1. One easy routine is to stand straight with your shoulders relaxed. Take a golf club and hold it at each end in front of you.
  2. Lift the club over your head keeping your elbows straight.
  3. As you move your hands back slowly, feel the stretch in your shoulders and hold this position for a few seconds. Release and lower your hands to the side once again.
  4. Repeat twice or thrice.

This is a great stretch that focuses on the shoulders and arms and opens them up to a wider range of motion.

Stretches For Golfers For Backs:

These stretches are imperative as the golf swing puts immense pressure on the lower back. If you have poor flexibility in this area, injury is imminent.

  1. A simple back stretch would need you to lie on your back and stretch your legs straight touching the ground.
  2. You should then bend a leg at a 90 degree angle to the hip.
  3. Cross this leg over your stretched out one that is touching the floor but make sure your shoulders stay firmly on the ground.
  4. Hold for a few seconds, release and repeat with the other leg.
  5. Another key aspect of the rotational movement demanded by your golf swing is the flexibility of your hips.

Hip Stretches For Golfers:

These stretches needs to be done everyday to see the most improvement as proper hip functioning is vital to any golfer. There are several stretches for hips and more problem areas available for download online that are easy to follow. However, do not start any routine without a clearance from your doctor.

The power of your golf swing and drive originates from your core and your torso and moves along down the shoulders and arms to the club. Yoga is an amazing tool to help you build muscle and mobility in these areas. If you inner core, hips and glutes are strong, you can be sure that this will translate into an equally powerful golf swing. Yoga stretches for golfers strengthen the spine and prevent injury and most importantly teach you how to breathe properly, reducing tension and improving focus. Many golfers now recognize the advantages of practicing yoga to their game.

Types Of Golf Stretches

There are a number of easy golf stretches that you can try out to keep you fit and flexible before the game. Some common types of golf stretches are:

Knee To Chest

Lie on your back with your legs long in front of you. Bend you knee and slide your foot back towards your butt. Clasp your knee and bring it as close to your chest as possible. Hold for a few seconds. Release and repeat with the other leg.

Double Knees To Chest

Lie on your back.

Extend your legs out in front of you. Bend both legs at the knees and raise your upper body to grasp with both hands around both knees. Lower your body down again and bring your knees as close as possible to your chest. Hold, release and repeat the exercise again

Cat and Camel

Kneel on all fours and suck your stomach in and arch your back up with your arms pressing down on to the floor. Release and then arch your stomach towards the floor curving your spine downwards. Look up and feel the stretch on your entire spine

Hamstring

Lie on your back with legs straight out in front of you. Keeping one leg flat on the floor, extend the other leg straight up without bending at the knee. Hold your thighs with both hands to increase the stretch and keep your leg straight. Exhale. Release and repeat with on the other side.

Crossover

Lie on your back with both feet flat against a wall. Make sure your hips and knees are at 90-degree angles. Place your right leg over your left thigh and using your left hand pull you right thigh towards the floor. Hold and release. Repeat with the other leg.

Quad Stretch

Stand straight holding on to a table or bar for support. Lift your leg behind you and pull your heel up to your lower back with your opposite hand. Repeat the exercise with the other leg.

Pec Stretch

Place your palms against a doorway with your elbows at shoulder height and your forearms straight in front of you. Push your palms and stretch your body forward. You can feel this stretch in your chest muscles.

There are a number of other exercises such as inverted hurdler’s stretch, calf stretch and many more that you can incorporate into your stretching routine. It would be wise to get some professional help before starting any new exercise routine so that you are sure you get the form right and thus avoid any kind of injury.

Golf Stretches: Do's & Don'ts

If you plan to incorporate a stretching routine for golf into your pre-game work out there are several golf stretches dos and don’ts that you should follow.

Do's:

  • Remember if at any point of time you feel a sharp or piercing pain, stop the stretch immediately.
  • While pain caused by stretching is normal and in fact required, the pain should never be sharp. If this happens and you do not stop you might injure yourself so pay attention to your body.
  • Stretch as far as you can – and stop there! This is not a competition about how far you can go.
  • If you have recently undergone any type of surgery, have suffered from an injury or are pregnant, follow a stretching routine only under the supervision of an experienced trainer or doctor.
  • When stretching for golf or for that matter for any other sport, know your limitations.
  • Learn the techniques properly and follow them to the tee.
  • When you perform your stretches keep an eye on your form and ensure that you are stretching the correct muscles in the proper way.
  • If you are unsure about any move, ask and clarify your doubts at that very moment.
  • Stretching is both and effective warm up as well as a method to cool down.
  • Make sure you begin and end your game with some stretches. Stretching with a partner can make it more fun as well.

Don'ts:

  • Listen to your body and don’t push yourself unnecessarily.
  • Every person has his or her own limitations so don’t compete with your peers in this matter.

Golf Stretches Benefits

  • A smoother swing thanks to better co-ordination, more power in your game with lesser effort expended, and fewer aches and pains.
  • You can also do these stretches anywhere at any time with no special equipment or material.
  • Stretching exercises are safe no matter what your age and will improve your posture and reduce fatigue as well.
  • As your game improves, you win more often! Yes, stretching can make that possible too.
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