Stretching before a round of golf is more important than you may think. Year after year, even professional golfers end up injured because they’ve overworked ligaments and muscles in their bodies.
If you are a golfer, you should be aware of the importance and benefits of regular stretching. Not only will stretching exercises help you avoid injuries, but they will also increase your power, range of motion and help reduce handicaps, of course, only if you perform them regularly.
Types of Stretching Techniques
There are several types of stretching techniques. But people usually opt for the following two – static and dynamic stretching. If you are not aware of the differences between these two techniques and how and when they can help you, here’s a detailed explanation that will help make things clearer.
Static stretching is all about holding a stretch in a comfortable position, usually between 10 and 30 seconds. This stretching type is the most beneficial when done after exercising to help you cool down after engaging in physical activity.
Static stretches will reduce the risk of injuries, and they are excellent for increasing your flexibility. However, keep in mind that your performance may be negatively affected if you do them before a sport that includes powerful movements.
Dynamic stretching involves active movements that cause your muscles to stretch, but there’s no holding the stretch in a certain position. Dynamic stretches are usually done before exercising, and their primary purpose is to warm up your body and prepare your muscles for upcoming physical activity.
Dynamic stretching will help reduce muscle stiffness without compromising your power and affecting your performance.
This article will focus on stretching exercises that you should do as a part of your warm-up routine before a round of golf. Most of them are dynamic, and they will help you prepare for your upcoming round of golf and hitting a ball perfectly.
Don’t forget to get to the course at least 10 to 15 minutes earlier, so you have enough time to warm up properly. Don’t worry. Warming up won’t take a lot of your time.
Golf Stretching Exercises to Warm Up Your Body
We advise you to start this routine around 15 minutes before you tee-off. If you do the following exercises regularly, you’ll soon notice the positive impact they can have on your performance.
Walking for 3-5 minutes
The best way to start the warm-up routine is to walk briskly for up to 5 minutes. You can walk around a quiet golf course area, a parking lot, or wherever else comes to mind; ensure you get at least 3 minutes of walking before the next step of our routine.
The next step to warm up your body and prepare it for a round of golf is to do squats, as they will increase the blood flow to major muscle groups and elevate your heart rate.
Whether you are a beginner or an advanced player, we will suggest two options to choose from.
If you are a beginner, take a short club and hold it overhead at both ends, with hands stretched above you. Squat down until your legs are bent nearly at a 90-degree angle, stand up, do this 10 times, take a break for a few seconds, and repeat the process again.
In case you are an advanced golfer, you can try doing single-leg squats instead – brace against a golf club, bring your right foot up, place it across the opposite knee, and squat down until your knee is parallel to the ground. Repeat this 10 times, go back to the starting position, and repeat 10 more times with the other leg.
This step includes several stretching exercises that will help you prepare for playing golf.
- Arm swings – while in a standing position, put your arms out to the side, and swing them back and forth. Make sure to repeat this movement for at least 30 seconds.
- Trunk rotations – stand with a shoulder-width stance and knees slightly bent. Take a club and place it on your shoulders. Hold it with hands on both ends. Bend forward, then turn from one side to the other and try to get the end of the club in front of you with each turn. Repeat this 15-20 times.
- Side bends with a club – take a standing position, with feet shoulder-width apart, put a club on your shoulders, lean to one side, then to the other side. Complete 10 stretches on each side. Keep in mind that your torso should be straight, without bending forward or backward.
- Shoulder stretch – stand with a shoulder-width stance, place your hands on the ends of the club. Lean forward until you feel a stretch in your shoulders. Stay in this position for 10 seconds. Repeat 3 times in total.
- Leg swings – stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Swing one leg forward, then backward 10 times. Repeat on the other leg. Your upper body should stay in a fixed position.
- Alternate toe touches – stand with your feet spread apart. Bend down toward one leg. Reach your foot with the opposite arm, or as far as it is comfortable. Repeat for the other leg. Replicate these movements for at least 20 seconds.
- Wrist extensions – while standing, extend your arms forward. Try to pull back your fingers with the other hand until you feel a comfortable stretch in your forearm. Stay in that position for 10 seconds, and repeat with the other wrist.
The last step is to practice swings for around 2-3 minutes, working on technique. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t practice techniques with a weighted club.
By the time you reach step 4, you will already be warmed up physically, and now is the time to sharpen your swing. Also, don’t forget to rest for a couple of minutes before you tee-off.
What are the Advantages of Stretching?
You should be aware that regular stretching can have numerous positive effects on your body as well as your performance. Not only will it enhance your flexibility, but it will also improve your posture and reduce body aches. Some of the benefits of regular stretching include:
- Increased flexibility – becoming more flexible is important for your overall health. It will improve your game and help you perform everyday activities with ease. It can help prevent reduced mobility, which is a very common consequence of aging.
- Increased range of motion – stretching regularly will increase your range of motion, which means more freedom of movement. You can expect improved golfing results from an increased range of motion. Regardless if you prefer dynamic or static stretching, both techniques will help you achieve this goal.
- Increased blood flow – stretching regularly can increase the blood flow to your muscles, resulting in a shorter recovery time. Also, you will be less prone to muscle soreness.
- Improved performance – dynamic stretching before any physical activity will help properly prepare your muscles for what happens next, resulting in improved performance.
- Improved posture – muscle imbalances can often lead to poor posture. However, stretching and strengthening specific muscle groups encourages proper alignment, which in turn helps improve your posture and muscle balance.
- Reduced risk of back pain – when you are not flexible enough and have a decreased range of motion, the chances of straining the muscles in your back are higher. Luckily, regular stretching can help heal an existing injury, prevent future back pain, and reduce the risk of muscle strain.
No matter if you are only a beginner or an advanced golfer, you can benefit from regular stretching. Incorporate only 10-15 minutes of stretching into your daily routine, and soon, you will notice improved performance, posture, increased range of motion, and a decreased risk of injuries.
As you can see, stretching is more important and beneficial than many people realize, and it can improve your results on a golf course. Please be sure to check back to PG Golf Links often for updates on all things golf.