By following a golf stretching program you will not only increase your power and reduce the risk of injury, it will also help you to maintain a more consistent swing pattern. And ultimately that means a lower handicap!
The golf stretching program set out below is designed to be completed either on days you aren’t playing or after a round. It is not a suitable program to use as a warm up and there is a good reason for that…
This stretching program consists of static stretching exercises. While this is the best type of stretching for increasing range of motion it can compromise power
immediately afterwards. Just as lifting heavy weights just before a game would leave your muscles temporarily tired and weak (even though they adapt to become stringer over time), static stretching immediately prior to teeing off can also negatively effect your shot distance and swing mechanics.
For an suitable warm up routine see the following routine that consists of dynamic golf stretching exercises.
- You should be completely warm before starting this routine. Do 5-10 minutes of brisk walking or jogging on the spot to increase heart rate and pump blood to the major muscle groups.
- Perform the stretches in the order below.
- Hold each stretch for 20 seconds, relax and then repeat for another 20 seconds before moving on to the next stretch.
- The muscle group being stretched should feel slightly tight diminishing as you hold the stretch.
- Cease the stretch immediately if you feel any pain or if tightness increases as you stretch.
- Remember to breathe as this promotes relaxation and prevents an increase in blood pressure!
- Perform this routine a minimum of 3 days a week for 6 weeks – ideally 5-7 days is best.
Golf Stretching Program
Start with some arm circles – perhaps 10 clockwise and 10 counter-clockwise. Next do some twisting from side to side – keep your feet shoulder width apart, place your hands on your hips or at chest height and turn from side to side 15-20 times. These dynamic stretches just help to increase blood flow and loosen joints before moving onto the static stretches.
Shoulder & Chest Stretch
This can be performed kneeling or standing. Clasp hands behind back and straighten arms. Raise hands as high as possible and bend forward from the waist and hold.
Place one arm straight across chest. place hand on elbow and pull arm towards chest and hold. Repeat with other arm.
Place one hand behind back with elbow in air. Place other hand on elbow and gently pull towards head. Hold and repeat with other arm.
Chest Stretch (Wall)
Place an outstretched arm against a wall or doorway and lean forward with that shoulder. You should feel a stretch in your chest when you lean forward. Hold and repeat for same arm then repeat 2 stretches for other arm.
- Start by kneeling on the ground with your arms out in front of you.
- Slide your arms further away and slowly shift your hips back towards your feet until a comfortable stretch is felt.
- Now slide your hands to the right until a stretch is felt down the side of your torso. Repeat to the left.
Low Back Stretch
- Lie on back with right knee drawn toward chest.
- Slowly bring bent leg across body until a stretch is felt in the lower back and hip area.
- Remember to keep shoulders squared and flat on ground at all times. Bottom leg should be bent so that your knees are aligned.
- Sit in upright position and place heels together.
- Spread knees apart and pull feet toward groin until a stretch is felt in groin and inner thigh.
- Remember to keep low back straight to emphasize stretch.
- Sit in upright position. Tuck foot near groin with opposite leg straight.
- Bending from the hips and leading with the chest, reach down until a stretch is felt in back of thigh.
- Remember to keep the low back straight to isolate stretch in hamstring
- Standing with a shoulder width stance and hang onto an object for support.
- Bring one foot up and grab with your hand.
- Pull your foot up until you feel a stretch on the front of your thigh.
- Hold, relax and repeat before changing legs.
Stand with your right arm extended straight out. Pull back your fingers with the other hand until you feel a stretch in your forearm. Hold, repeat and then repeat 2 stretches on other arm.
These golf stretching exercise, performed regularly will help to promote relaxation in the muscles. This has the added benefit of also increasing body awareness, which is so important for maintain a consistent swing pattern.
Additionally, the more a muscle group can relax, the more forcefully its opposing muscles group can contract. Coupled with a suitable strength training program these golf stretching exercises will help to increase you power with every club.