Static Stretches Before Your Golf Round

Improve Your Golf Range of Motion With Static Stretches

 

Static stretches are used to stretch muscles while the body is at rest.  Unlike dynamic stretches, studies indicate static stretches do not improve athletic performance.  Rather, static stretches are designed to improve mobility and range of motion.  Stretches are generally held anywhere from 10 seconds or more and require easy breathing while the stretch is performed.  The following are only a small sample of beneficial static stretches a golfer can perform.     

Standing Shoulder Stretch  

Stand with your feet shoulder width and vertically hold a club in front of you.  Hold onto the club and bend forward at your waist until your back is parallel with the ground.  You should feel a stretch across your shoulders.

Wrist Extensions  

Wrist injuries are the most frequently reported injury for female golfers.  Try the following exercise to stretch out the wrist and forearm.  Extend your right arm straight out and pull back your fingers with your left hand until you feel a stretch in your forearm.  Repeat the motion with the other wrist. 

Lie on your back with your neck supported and body extended out.  Flex your right knee and slide your foot toward your butt.  Place both hands behind the flexed knee and pull your knee toward your chest.  Hold the stretch for the appropriate amount of time to stretch your lower back and gluteal muscles.  Switch legs and repeat the stretch. 

Double Knees to Chest 

Low back injury is the number one reported injury in golf.  The double knees to chest stretch will focus directly on the lower back, the most frequently injured area resulting from the golf swing.  Begin by lying on your back with your neck supported and body extended out.  Flex both knees and slide both feet toward your butt.  Place both hands behind your thighs and avoid too much bending in your knees.  Pull both knees toward your chest and shoulders and lift your hips up off the floor.  Relax and slowly extend your legs back to the original position.  

Cat and Camel 

The cat and camel stretch focuses directly on the upper back.  Begin by getting on your knees and place your hands on the ground.  Extend your arms forward and lower your chest down to the floor.  Exhale out and extend your shoulders while you press down on the floor with your arms to produce an arch in your back.  Hold the stretch and then relax.

Quad Stretch

 

The Quad stretch focuses on the middle and upper quadriceps muscles.  Begin by standing and hold onto an object for support.  Grab your left foot with your left hand and pull your heel toward your butt.  Hold the stretch and return to your original standing position.  Repeat the stretch with your other leg. 

Triceps Stretch

The Triceps stretch focuses directly on the triceps.  Begin the stretch by standing and place one hand behind your back and the elbow in the air.  Place the other hand on the elbow and pull towards your head.  Hold the stretch and repeat with the other arm.     

Butterfly Stretch

 The Butterfly stretch targets the inner thighs and groin area.  Begin by sitting on the ground I an upright position.  While sitting both soles of your shoes should be together.  Spread your knees apart and pull your feet toward your groin so you feel a stretch in the groin and inner thighs.  Keep your lower back straight to perform the stretch correctly.     

Hamstring Stretch 

Stretch your hamstring by lying flat on your back with your legs extended out.  Raise one leg and place your hands around your thigh.  Keep your leg extended out while your other leg still lies flat on the ground.  Hold the stretch for a few seconds and then lower your leg.  Repeat the stretch with the other leg. 

Crossover 

The crossover stretch targets the hips and gluteal muscles.  Begin by resting your head on a pillow or rolled up towel.  Position both of your feet flat against a wall while your hips and knees are bent at a 90 degree angle.  Cross your left leg over your right thigh.  Position your right hand over your left thigh and pull it down to the floor.  You should feel a stretch on the outside of your left hip.  Repeat the stretch with the other leg.

Matt Keller, PGA
keller@pga.com

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1 comment

    • Jeff Howard on March 14, 2013 at 7:45 pm
    • Reply

    One of the fun things about the history of science is how Nature is telling us something new that often contradicts what was expected: a good Wellness article here summarizes how some studies on stretching suggest it may not allow for maximum performance.
    http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/06/22/to-stretch-or-not-to-stretch/

    The main idea (just to get straight to the point) is that a new factor – how one goes about ones routine – is more important than whether the stretching is effective. Per the article “The negative psychological impact of altering precompetition routine may outweigh any possible benefit associated with removing static stretching… if you don’t stretch, don’t sweat it.”

    I would advise (though) that if you have pulled a muscle related to golfing, that facilitated stretching of this exercise (short or long term duration) is probably desirable. One of the positives of this is that it promotes mind body awareness, which will in turn ‘tune your mind’ more sharply to that muscle and you’ll be more aware of any sort of mishap to it as you go about your round.

    I do still think there are physiologic benefits of stretching (the mind body awareness promotion being one) – also, depending on how long you hold the stretch, it may increase heart rate, which will (since heart rate is associated with body temperature, I believe!) facilitate performance (hence, why ‘warming up’ really does ‘warm you up’, and internal body temperature alters the physics of the muscles interacting, which leads to more effective movements and strengths! – a separate article!)

    Anywho ,here is a link to some suggestions by the Shark (Greg Norman) on his stretching routine.
    http://www.shark.com/sharkwatch/fitness/fitness14.php

    PS: I’m a stretcher 🙂

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