When was the last time you properly warmed up and stretched before a round of golf? I rarely see golfers warm their muscles and stretch before a round (heck, I’m guilty of this myself!), but the consequences of not doing so can be season-ending.
This week, I want to share with you some important benefits of stretching exercises before your next round of golf, and an easy-to-follow routine that will eliminate your excuses for why you aren’t stretching.
We know we should stretch, but we don’t. Most golfers don’t appreciate the fact that you must prepare for a round of golf just like you would prepare for any other sport. You wouldn’t play basketball, football, or soccer without a proper warm-up followed by some stretching. Golf deserves the same preparation.
According to David Nordmark, author of Stretching For Golfers, “22 separate muscles are involved in the golf swing. These include the following muscle groups: core muscles…hamstring muscles…quadriceps…upper back…shoulder…[and] muscles in the forearm, wrists, and fingers”.
Benefits of Golf Stretching Exercises
Reduced Chance of Injury
According to stretching guru, Brad Walker, regular golf stretching can prevent injuries like:
º Rotator cuff tendinitis, a condition that causes acute irritation in the shoulder tendons and muscles.
º Knee tendinitis, a condition that causes irritation in the knee tendons and muscles.
º Musculotendinous overuse injuries, generally of the shoulder and elbow.
An epidemic among golfers – low back pain – can also be reduced with proper stretching.
Increased flexibility & power
No one reading this article is getting any younger, so it’s important to continue to maintain flexibility over time with stretching exercises. According to Topend Sports:
The golf swing requires a higher level of flexibility to produce maximum power. Turning your upper body (shoulders) 90 degrees, while maintaining less than half that with your hip turn takes a tremendous amount of dynamic strength and flexibility.
BETTER SPINE ANGLE AND POSTURE
Most golfers probably don’t appreciate the importance of the hip mobility and flexibility for better rotation, better posture, and a better spine angle. Better mobility in your hips can help produce more power and distance.
This video, featuring Adam Scott and his trainer, shows multiple stretching exercises you can try with a partner in the gym or at home to increase your range of motion, particularly in your hips.
I never pass up an opportunity to give a shout out to Adam Scott in one of my posts! If you’ve read my post about The Masters, you know how much I love me some Adam Scott! 🙂
Calms pre-round nerves
One of the key benefits of stretching is the psychological benefit of relaxation and stress relief. Try going through a pre-round stretching routine and not feeling more focused, relaxed, and ready to play!
The 15-minute Stretching Routine
Now that you know why you should stretch, let’s tackle how you should stretch for golf. Just any old stretch routine won’t do. You need a stretching routine that is specific for golfers.
Stretching For Golfers is a quick read that I picked up for my Kindle for $2.99! The paperback version is also a steal at $8.95.
What I love most about this book is that these exercises can be done while you’re waiting to tee off on the first hole. You can also abbreviate the stretching routine if you don’t have a full 15 minutes. Only have 10 minutes? No problem!
While doing all the stretches sequentially is ideal, performing each and every stretch is not mandatory. If you’re not comfortable shoving your face in the grass so you can do child’s pose, I totally understand. Feel free to skip that one.
Go buy this book right now! Study it. Take notes. Keep it in your golf bag!
Link to Amazon:
Stretching For Golfers: The complete 15-minute stretching and warm up routine that will help you improve your golf swing, score, and game
Remember To Warm-Up First
Stretching cold muscles is never a good idea and can do more harm than good. It’s important to warm-up first before you stretch. Tyler Pringle from the American Golf Blog has some great advice for warming up before your next round:
“Hit a few half shots, a few 3/4 shots and get some good rotation in your hips and shoulders. This will help you prevent injury and build your rhythm for the full swing. Get a good feel of where the club is at in your swing and control it throughout the strike. No need to open it up fully yet.
Once you are warmed a bit, after 15 or so balls, go ahead and start making some full swings starting with your pitching wedge. Then a couple mid irons, followed by your long irons and hybrids, metal woods, and finally your driver. Pay particular attention to the flight pattern of your ball. Are you fading it today? Is it hooking more than you’d like? Don’t try to make corrections here. Just understand how you’re hitting the ball and get ready to run with it once you get out on the course.”
Thanks for stopping by this week! I hope you enjoyed reading this post and I hope it’s inspired you to incorporate some stretching exercises into your pre-round routine.
What is your favorite pre-round stretch? Please leave a comment below.
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Please note: I am not a fitness or medical expert. Not all exercise programs are suitable for everyone. Check with your doctor before beginning any fitness program to avoid/reduce the risk of injury. Perform these exercises at your own risk. Striving Fore Scratch Golf will not be responsible or liable for any injury sustained as a result of using any fitness program presented.