Many of us haven’t flexed our golf muscles since the snow started to fall last October. If you are one of those people or someone who is just starting to learn to golf it is important that we get our bodies prepared prior to heading out for our first game. A flexible body not only translates to improved performance but can also protect the body from injury. The golf swing requires extreme ranges of motion of the hips, trunk, shoulders, neck and wrists. Reduced flexibility in any of these areas can result in our bodies compensating in some manner which can lead to poor timing, inefficient movement, poor performance and increased injury risk. Prior to getting into strengthening exercises it is critical that we prepare by stretching exercises which should be included before, during and after strengthening exercises.
LOWER BACK EXTENSION STRETCH Lie on your stomach. Place your hands under your shoulders. Slowly perform a push-up with your arms but let your back, buttocks and abs relax and keep your hips on the floor. Hold 2 -3 seconds and repeat 5 times.
HAMSTRING STRETCH Lie on your back with one leg straight and the other hip and knee bent to 90°. Grasp the back of the bent thigh. While keeping this thigh vertical pull the toes back towards the head slowly straightening the knee until you feel a gentle stretch in the back of the thigh. Repeat on the opposite side.
OUTER HIP STRETCH Lie on your back with your knees bent. Cross your legs by placing the outside of your left ankle on top of the right knee. Grasp the right thigh with both hands and slowly pull the right knee towards your chest. A stretch will be felt in your left outer hip/buttock area. Gently pushing your left thigh further out using your left forearm will increase the stretch. Repeat on the opposite side.
TRUNK & BUTTOCK STRETCH Sit and cross your right leg over a straight left leg. Turn your trunk to the right and place the back of your left elbow on the outside of your right knee. Slowly pull the right knee to the left while turningyour trunk further to the right. You will feel the stretch on the outside of the right hip and low back. Placing your right hand on the floorwill help you balance. Repeat on the opposite side.