The Up & Down | Stretches for Flexibility - MASSGOLF

7 Golf Stretches For Flexibility

Separate from the list provided by Chloe this month for the golf game, I wanted to provide a list of my favorite stretches for flexibility, it’s just a bonus that they help with the golf game too. When I discovered yoga, it changed the way my swing felt and allowed me to not let my muscles get as sore when walking off the course. Now that I’ve been lacking in the yoga studio, these are my go-to stretches for maintaining flexibility, especially with how they help the golf game.

  1. Shoulder Stretch

Use this stretch to open the shoulders and improve range of motion in the shoulder joint. It’s an excellent stretch for golfers and any athletes whose sport focuses on the upper body, arms, and shoulders.

Golfers should consider this a core stretch in the warm-up prior to a round and repeat as needed throughout the game.

  1. Hold a golf club in front of you with your hands at each end of the club, using an overhand grip.
  2. Lift the club forward and up over your head with your elbows straight.
  3. Slowly stretch your shoulders and move your hands back as far as possible until you feel tension across the front of your shoulders.
  4. Hold for 10 to 20 seconds and release.
  5. Repeat two to three times.

This is one of my favorite warm-ups before getting onto the golf course, to ensure I have full range of motion in my shoulders before teeing off.

  1. Standing Forward Bend

The standing forward bend is an excellent stretch to build on top of the shoulder stretch. Another great one to do before stepping foot on the course, and easy to add into a pre-tee routine.

  1. Begin by standing up straight with your shoulders relaxed and back.
  2. Reach your arms behind your back and interlace your fingers.
  3. Lift your shoulders toward your ears and lift your hands away from your back.
  4. Slowly bend forward at the waist, keeping your back flat, not rounded.
  5. Continue bending forward and lifting your hands over your head as far forward as comfortable.
  6. At full stretch, you will feel tension in your hamstrings and shoulders.3
  7. Hold for 10 to 20 seconds and release.
  8. Repeat two to three times.

  1. Standing Quad Stretch

The quads are a group of muscles along the front of the thigh. There are many ways to stretch your quadriceps, but here is a simple one you can do while standing:

  1. Stand on one leg (grab onto something solid if you need support).
  2. Bend your knee and bring your heel toward your buttock.
  3. Reach for your ankle with your hand.
  4. Stand up straight and feel a slight pull along the front of your thigh and hip.
  5. Hold the stretch for 20 to 30 seconds, release, and repeat on the other leg.

I prefer to do this stretch after I am done golfing, after-all, you start to feel it in your leg muscles after a nice round of 18.

  1. Hip Flexor Stretch

The hip flexors are a group of muscles that bring the legs up toward the trunk. Here’s how to stretch them:

  1. Begin in a forward lunge position and drop your back knee to the ground.
  2. Raise your arms and hands over your head and look up.
  3. Press your hips forward and down toward the floor and feel a stretch through your torso, hip, groin, and thigh.
  4. Hold the stretch for about 20 to 30 seconds, release, and repeat on the other leg.

This is an easy stretch to do before and after your round. For the best flexibility, it is important to treat your muscles after they have been worked out. It may take some time to build this up to a deep stretch, but the more you incorporate this into a routine for flexibility, you will find yourself feeling much better before and after taking lots of swings on the course.

  1. IT Band Stretch

The iliotibial (IT) band, which is on the outside of your hip down to the side of your knee, can become irritated from excess flexion of the knee and hip. For golfers, this stretch can help keep the hips limber so you can swing with more rotational power:

  1. While standing, cross one leg behind the other.
  2. Lean to the opposite side until you feel a stretch across the affected iliotibial band.
  3. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds.
  4. Uncross your legs and stand up straight again.
  5. Repeat four more times and then switch sides.

To get more in depth with this stretch, you can use a strap of some sort, grip it with your opposite hand, and lay the leg over the other while on your back. There are many hip stretches with a band, but the importance of the IT band is crucial for us golfers.

  1. Hip & Low back stretch!

This lunge with a twist stretch is great for golfers to open the hips for a better swing and prevent potential back strain. Similar to the hip flexor stretch, just add in your arms for more twisting of the back.

  1. Start in a lunge position with your right leg forward and your left knee dropped to the ground.
  2. Press your right elbow gently into the inside of your right knee and twist your body to the left.
  3. Reach your left arm behind you to feel a stretch in your lower back groin.
  4. Hold here for about 20 to 30 seconds before releasing and repeat on the other side.

I used to be very impartial to making sure my back was stretched, but after an incident with a simple back sprain, I have learned how easy it is to strain your back in an instant. Be sure to follow the steps to stretch you back so you can safely have the rotation you need during your golf game.

  1. Downward Dog

My absolute favorite, full body stretch is the downward-facing dog. It increases both flexibility and strength. It stretches hamstrings, calves, and shoulders, all crucial for golf. It strengthens your core and arms. Research has found that this pose strengthens your external obliques, which helps stabilize your back.

  1. Start on your hands and knees.
  2. Bend your knees and reach your butt up high, then slowly straighten the legs.
  3. Use any other movements that help you settle into the pose. Keep your heels on the ground.
  4. Place your hands in front of your head and think about relaxing your shoulders as you sink into the pose.
  5. When you feel ready, hold the posture for 5 to 10 breaths.
  6. You can pedal your legs (bend one knee, then the other) if you want to further stretch the hamstrings, calves, and feet.

This is something you can do every day. From getting the blood flow in the morning, to cooling down after your round of golf, the downward dog targets so many great muscle groups that are important to stretch for life and for golf.

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