Doing a few simple golf stretches before teeing off can do wonders for your game and reduce the risk of injury.
Golf stretches can greatly reduce your risk of back strain, neck strain, golfer's elbow (or tennis elbow), knee injury and sore muscles. It should always be a part of your golf routine.
Its such a simple concept, yet so many golfers neglect this very important step. Stretching not only loosens up the muscles in preparation for your round, it gets the blood flowing to the muscles and allows greater flexibility in your golf swing, resulting in a more fluid, solid swing.
Warm Up Before Stretching
Walking around for about 10-15 minutes is a great way to warm up before you stretch. Walk around the parking lot or the range so you can get the blood flowing.
Here are a few golf stretches that I use to help me get ready for tee off.
Upper Body Twist
Okay, its not the official term, just a name I gave it. Take your club and place it over your shoulders. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Gently twist your shoulders to the left and then to the right while keeping your hips facing forward.
Me stretching before my tournament a couple weeks ago.
I like to stretch my arms out by holding my arm up and bending it back behind my shoulder. I put my other hand behind my head and grab my opposite elbow and gently pull. Repeat with the other arm.
Don't forget those legs! While they may not be taking the brunt of the abuse on the course (unless you walk the course, which is great exercise), they still need to be loose and ready for tee off.
I stetch out my thigh muscles by grabbing my foot and bending it up towards my back. I also sit on the ground and put my legs out in a V. I gently bend over and touch the toes on each foot, one foot at a time. This is good for stretching the muscles in the backs of your legs.
If you have back or knee problems, be sure and take special care to prepare them properly before tee off. Ask your doctor for the best golf stretches to prevent futher injury.
Below is a great article from Sean Cochran, a well-known golf fitness instructor. He has some good information and tips for warming up in a hurry.
Golf fitness exercises can be very beneficial as part of your warm up before a round of golf. Especially on those days when you are tight on time. If you rushing to get to the for your weekly round of golf, or struggling to warm-up for your round of golf when you only have 5 minutes to spare. The implementation of some golf fitness stretches could be just what you need before heading to the first tee.
It is well known that in every professional sport athletes perform a series of flexibility exercises and drills to prepare them to play a game. The game of golf is no different. Unseen to the general public, many PGA Tour players perform a series of golf flexibility exercises to prepare them to play golf. It is done prior to hitting the driving range or putting green. It is a process of getting the muscles and joints of body ready to swing a golf club. Most every golfer on the planet understands the benefit of a warm-up program to get the body ready to play golf or any sport for that matter. Unfortunately for us the time required to perform a comprehensive golf warm-up program with golf flexibility exercises is not reasonable. Not reasonable because of time restrictions on our busy lives.
For example, we set our tee time for Friday at 1:30. Our plan when we leave the house in the morning is "I will get to course at 1:00, hit a few putts, chip for 10 minutes, head to the range, and be at the first tee with a few minutes to spare". Unfortunately, our plans sometimes do not play out as we intended.
We get stuck with a client on the phone, a conference call
runs long, we get stuck in traffic. Whatever the case may be we are
caught rushing to the golf course, getting to the course with 10
minutes to spare, jump out of the car, tying our golf shoes, get to the
first tee with 5 minutes to spare, haven't hit a shot or putted....Do I
need to go on?
It is a situation that happens to us all, and I as am guilty of it as you. However as strong as I suggest performing a good warm-up, and putting yourself in the correct frame of mind for the round, life at times just does not allow us to do it.
What are we to do in such situations?
I first off would suggest not utilizing the "grip and rip it" motto if you get to the first tee without warming-up. I have seen this (myself included) lead to a myriad of problems from the get go.
I can remember a few years ago I took this approach and I think made a triple bogey on the first hole. My drive went left into the rough, second shot to the right, approach shot over the green into the bunker, bunker shot rolled 20 feet past the hole. Need I go on?
Let's just say I learned my lesson. First and foremost if you are caught in this type of situation lets not panic. Let's put a plan together to start the round out on the right foot and keep you in a positive frame of mind.
My first suggestion is not to rush and attempt to hit 3 putts, pull out driver take a few hacks, and then tee it up.
Lets take the 5 minutes we have and get the body warmed-up and ready to swing a golf club. How can we do this? Simply by putting together a series of golf stretches to "loosen" you up. Golf flexibility exercises will loosen the muscles and joints of your body. Preparing them to swing a golf club. They are simple to perform and can get your body and mind more ready to play than just a few practice swings with the driver. This will take a couple of minutes to perform, but it will help you get the body ready to swing the golf club.
Once we have got the body "loosened up" lets get the mind in the correct space. I have seen all too often the tempo of a swing is way out of whack when a golfer lacks the time to properly warm-up. Attempt to relax, take a few deep breaths, and get the body to slow down a little. This should definitely help create some better tempo in your swing from the start.
Also, take your time. Once it is your turn to hit, take a little extra time. Take a few extra practice swings, relax, find your tempo, and match your first swing to the tempo of your practice swing. This is a tip I learned from Dean Reinmuth (top 50 Golf Digest teaching pros).
If you are not comfortable over the ball, step away, take a series of practice swings until you find the "right" swing and then perform that same swing over the golf ball. It has done wonders for my game.
I would also suggest continuing to take extra time on every shot until you feel comfortable and have found your swing. This might not occur until the second or third hole, but it is okay. It allows you to relax, make a good swing, and make a good shot.
So if you are rushing to the first tee to get your golf game going let's review the protocol. First and foremost lets be smart and utilize the time we have at hand. Lets take the 5 minutes we have to warm-up the body for the golf swing. We will do this through the implementation of a series of golf flexibility exercises. These golf exercises will get your muscles and joints ready to swing a golf club. Once the body is ready the next step is taking your time. Take a few extra practice swings with the golf club. This will allow you to find the tempo of your golf swing. Finally lets be smart with our course management skills. Think about what is the best golf shot to make and play within ourselves until our body and mind is ready to go.
As stated previously, golf fitness exercises are an integral part of a warm up session for golf. Even if you are tight on time, a few minutes spent on a series of golf fitness stretches and golf exercises can greatly benefit your round of golf.
Sean Cochran is one of the most recognized golf fitness instructors in the world today. He travels the PGA Tour regularly working with PGA Professionals, most notably Masters and PGA Champion Phil Mickelson. To learn more about Sean Cochran, his golf fitness programs and golf exercises go to www.seancochran.com
exercise routine, be sure and talk to your doctor before starting any
new exercise program.)
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