Dust off your Clubs: Best Golf Exercises and Stretches
In case no one informed you yet, let me be the first to let you know Summer is here. Time to get the clubs out of the garage, start putting in the living room and emulate some of golf’s greatest. Before you take the first tee, ask yourself what you’ve done the past few weeks/months to prepare for 100 swings of the club? Can your back, knee, elbow or shoulder handle what you’re about to put it through? Luckily we’re here to save you from icing down your injuries and few cold ones so you can get back into the swing of things and ready to play the next round. Below are some great golf exercises and stretches to do before jumping back into the world of golf after a long break!
Sitting to Swinging:
You’ve spent the last few days, months or weeks sitting at a desk, couch, car, plane, you name it. Now it’s time to unleash a 350 yd bomb straight down the fairway.
Before you grip it and rip let’s talk about a few things you can do to make sure you don’t end up hobbling/wincing after the round.
At this point, we all know stretching is good for you. But, are you stretching properly? Most likely not. Your body’s core temperature must rise in order to get the full effect from your stretching routine. Our suggestion – get a light walk in prior to starting your stretching. Don’t hop straight into the cart and then do one or two stretches on the tee box. Walk around for a couple of minutes to get your blood flowing and slowly increase the temperature of your body and then start with the stretches we suggest below.
What should I stretch?
A Golf swing is a dynamic compound movement; meaning we’re using muscles in our legs, core and upper body all at the same time while doing it rapidly. One of the best ways to stretch is passively mimicking the movements you’ll be doing during play.
Best Stretches for a Golfer:
BODYWEIGHT SQUAT – One of the most underrated stretches you can do. Squats are a great way to loosen up tight hips and the lower back. Keep your chest tall and sit your butt back like you’re sitting in a chair. Do one set of 10 repetitions.
V to W – Arguably the best shoulder stretch. Find a flat wall, put everything from your head to heels in contact with the wall (head, shoulders, elbows, hands, butt or heels). Raise your hands up as high as you can then try to bring your elbows down to your ribs. Don’t let your elbows lift off of the wall. If they do, shorten your range of motion so everything stays in contact with the wall during the movement.
FOAM ROLL OPEN BOOKS – I know, you don’t want to lay in the grass and dirty up the new duds. Hear me out, if your lower back bothers you in the middle of the round, at the end of golf you might want to think twice about testing this stretch out. Foam roll open books can be done without a foam roller by laying your legs together to one side and locking your knees down with the same arm. Don’t worry about dirtying your clothes or what others think of you when you’re lying on the ground doing this stretch; the payoff for how great your back is going to feel is well worth the brief inconveniences.
Ok, I’ll stretch but I’m not doing those stretches at the golf course:
No worries! Follow the same protocol of taking a short walk around the block, do the stretches at home or in the office right before you hop into the car to go to the course. When you arrive at the course take another brief walk and you’ll be good to go!
Use your best judgment when assessing an injury. There’s a big difference in having a nagging pain and an injury. The exercises and stretches we’ve suggested are intended to help loosen the body up before playing golf and are by no means a prescription to fix an injury. There are many different golf exercises and stretches you can do, but it’s important to make sure your body is ready and fully prepared so it can perform at its greatest potential.
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