As a golf teaching professional, I constantly see golfers coming to the driving range or the first tee without stretching. This is one of the reasons for many golf-related injuries.
Golf uses more muscles than many other sports. Golfers put a lot of wear and tear on their bodies during a round of golf or practice session.
Executing each phase of the golf swing, from address to follow through, requires flexibility and mobility. Golf stretches and flexibility exercises are very beneficial in the development of an effective golf swing.
If limitations exist, the ability to execute an efficient golf swing will be inhibited, thus leading to compensations.
According to the Mobility/Stability Pattern of Human Movement Principle (created by noted physical therapist Gray Cook and strength coach Mike Boyle), in order to execute an efficient golf swing, certain joints and muscles must be mobile and flexible.
You might ask, “What areas of my body should be the focal point of these golf flexibility exercises?” The ankle, hip, thoracic spine, shoulder and wrist joints require mobility to execute an efficient golf swing.
In order for these joints to be mobile, the surrounding muscles must be flexible. Thus, your focus of golf stretching exercises should be centered upon the muscles surrounding these joints.
When should you do the stretches? Ideally, you should perform stretches pre-round or practice, post-round and on non-playing days for about 10 minutes a session. You can do an internet search for stretching and flexibility exercise and find informative articles on stretching for golf
A great way to get a super stretch is to visit the Stretch Zone, which has locations on Hilton Head Island and in Bluffton. You can call for a free 30-minute introductory session.
The practitioners at Stretch Zone strap you in so that they can isolate specific muscles. They are able to stretch muscles that you can’t get to on your own.
When your body is stabilized, you are able to relax and allow for deeper stretches. You will be asked if the stretch feels slight, mild and deep. They hold these stretches three to five seconds.
I tried it, and have since joined, and I can feel the difference in my golf game. My biggest issue in my golf swing is not maintaining my posture at impact. This is due to weak hips that need to be more mobile.
My goal is to increase my range of motion so I can achieve lasting flexibility gains.
I recommend that you start stretching as soon as possible and see if you start hitting the golf ball farther and with less effort.
Dr. Jean Harris is an LPGA Master Professional and teaches at local courses. firstname.lastname@example.org; golfdoctorjean.com