There’s nothing quite like spending the afternoon on the golf course, hanging out with some of your favorite people, working on your swing, and getting in some great hits. But if spending the day on the green leaves you feeling sore the next day, that pure enjoyment can get taken out of the game. That’s why golf fitness experts emphasize the importance of having a good regular exercise routine including pre-game stretches.
At Totally Driven in Edina, MN, we specialize in golf fitness coaching that transforms a player’s game to the next level. In this post, we’re sharing some of the best stretches before you head out on the golf course. Try adopting these into your golfer’s workout today. To work on your personal golf fitness program, give us a call today!
The Importance of Stretching
Any athlete can tell you that stretching is one of the most important things you can do before playing any sport. Just take a look at any professional golfer and you’ll find plenty of interviews discussing golf fitness and stretching.
If you’ve ever felt sore after sitting in a chair for a few hours, you know how painful our muscles can be when they’re not getting extended. While stretching keeps muscles flexible, unstretched muscles are likely to result in injury.
Once thought of as only for professional athletes, stretching is something now recommended for everyone, especially before engaging in a sport. Stretching helps to increase joint range of motion, reducing muscle tightening and shortening. When you stretch regularly, your muscles are better able to respond and fully extend when you need them.
Regular stretching can reduce all of these problems:
● Muscle tears and damage
● Strains and sprains
● Joint pain
● Bad swings
Before Getting Started
If you already prioritize regular exercise, it’s a good idea to periodically evaluate your regular routine to work on areas of concern. An experienced golf fitness expert can help you assess your swing and make recommendations based on your unique physiology and skill level.
However, if you spent way too much time in a sedentary state during the pandemic, you’re not alone. But don’t let that stop you from prioritizing golf fitness. Golf alone is good exercise and combines the light cardio of walking the course with the toning of working on your swing. But whether or not you’re spending time on the golf course, health experts recommend stretching three to four times a week or more for best results.
At Totally Driven, we offer complete physical screenings using a 3D K-Vest to assess your golf performance and distance and develop a training program that works for you. Our trainers are certified by the Titleist Performance Institute and American Council on Exercise. We can help you work on muscle building, pain reduction, cardiovascular health, weight loss, and more.
Stretching and Golf Fitness
A good golf stretching routine is meant to improve a golfer’s flexibility while getting their body primed to play golf. It can also reinforce muscle memory that helps a golfer’s swing. And stretching shouldn’t just be limited to your pre-golf routine. A good golf fitness routine includes regular exercise and daily stretching.
Regular stretching offers a number of advantages for your game, including:
● Protection against injury
● Pain reduction
● Better confidence on the golf course
● Improved golf swing
● Better overall balance
Anytime you stretch, make sure you’re careful so you don’t overdo it. Make sure to maintain good posture and form so you don’t pull anything and ruin your next golf game.
Here are a few tips to make the most of your stretching:
1. Slower is smarter, so don’t hurry the process along. Instead, focus on working your muscles the right way.
2. Don’t push yourself too hard or to the point of pain. Pain is your body’s way of telling you it’s time to stop.
3. Don’t overextend your muscles.
4. Start your golf routine with a little light cardio warm-up like a short walk, jog, or jumping jacks.
Try These Golf Stretches
Try incorporating these stretches into your golf fitness routine:
1. Core Stretch
With your feet shoulder-width apart, stand up straight and cross your arms over your chest touching your shoulders. Bend your knees to slightly lean your upper body forward, and then turn your body as if executing a backswing and follow-through. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds. Repeat two to five times.
2. Shoulder Stretch
To improve the range of motion in your shoulder joints, grip both ends of your golf club directly in front of you. Keeping your elbows straight, lift your club over your head. While slowly stretching your shoulders, move your hands back until you can feel the tension in your shoulders. Hold for between 8 and 15 seconds. Repeat two to five times.
3. Cross-Body Stretch
This is a classic stretch that you may have seen if you’ve taken a fitness class. It’s meant to target your rotator cuff and deltoids, improving your swing. While standing with your feet hip-width apart, bring your left arm across your chest. Place your right arm on the back of your right elbow and use it to push your other arm into your chest. Hold this position for 20 seconds. Repeat with both sides once or twice.
4. Knee-Chest Stretch
This knee-to-chest stretch will work your hip muscles and lower back muscles, relieving tension in your lower back. To perform this stretch, lay down on your back. Starting with your right leg, pull your knee gently up to your chest, holding for 30 seconds.
Carefully lower your leg again, and then repeat on the other side. Alternately, you can stretch both legs at once. Just be careful to stay within your limits. If you find it difficult to bring your knees all the way to your chest, just stick to what feels safe and comfortable.
5. Arm Circles
Arm circles are an easy stretch that will increase your energy level and get your shoulders and arms warmed up for swinging. They’re also one of the few exercises that target your rotator cuffs, which can be protective when you’re golfing. And they’re low-impact and easy enough for anyone to do no matter what their level of fitness.
To begin your arm circles, stand with your feet apart by shoulder width, extending your arms to your sides parallel to the ground. Using your arms, make clockwise small circles, gradually increasing their size. After about 30 seconds, reverse the direction to go counter-clockwise. Repeat until you feel a burn. For added toning, you can work your arms using small dumbbells at home.
6. Standing Back Extension
Do you have back problems? This simple stretch can help you reduce back tightness while you’re out on the golf course and can even be helpful if you spend a lot of time sitting at the office. To perform a standing back extension, stand with your feet apart at shoulder width, placing your hands on the lower part of your back. Arch your back slowly, pushing your chest forward. Hold this pose for ten seconds, performing five to ten reps.
7. Wrist Stretches
Having supple, relaxed wrists is essential for a great swing and can help you increase your speed. Wrist stretches are a simple exercise that can be easily done at home or on the golf course, making it perfect for your pre-swing routine. And if you’re prone to experiencing muscle tenderness after you play, try using this to ease your sore muscles after you golf.
To perform these simple wrist stretches, stand with your abdominal muscles taut and your posture straight. Next, bring your palms together in front of your body with your elbows out and your fingers up, creating a prayer pose. With your elbows and palms still in this post, press your hands downward to stretch your wrists and forearms. While holding this pose, breathe in and out deeply. After completing this stretch, perform a similar stretch with your fingers pointed downward. Once more, breathe in and out deeply while holding this pose.
8. Toe Touches
Toe touches are one of those tried-and-true stretches that work well for extending your spine and back. Start by standing with your back straight. Reach upward with your hands, focusing on stretching your mid-back rather than your lower back. Bending at the hip, do your best to touch your toes. Exhale as you touch your toes, and avoid rounding your back during the stretch. Repeat ten times.
9. Golf Swings
Here’s a stretch that lets you build that muscle memory for the ultimate fast swing. Using your driver, stand in your golf swing pose. Perform ten quick swings without hitting a ball, focusing on speed. After each set of ten, reset your pose. Once you’ve worked on your left side, switch to the right. This is also a great stretch to use on the golf course.
Another great classic stretch, a lunge increases your hip flexibility. To complete a lunge, place your right knee on the floor with your left foot flat in front of you. Your leg should be bent at a 90-degree angle. Using your right hand on your right hip for support, squeeze your glutes and shift your weight forward just slightly. Hold this position for 30 seconds before repeating on the other side.
Get Your Golf Fitness Program
Make this the year that you get your golf fitness routine down. At Totally Driven, we work with Minnesota golfers to help them develop fitness strategies for a better game and a healthier life. Take your golf fitness to the next level with professional golf coaching from Totally Driven in Edina, MN. Contact us on the web to schedule your golf fitness assessment or give us a call at (952) 681-2728.