Even if you are running late, there are some effective stretches you can do before you get to the tee box. Next time, try these five.
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I don’t know about you, but I prefer to slam the trunk, skip the range and head straight to the 1st tee. Unfortunately, my body (and golf game) might not prefer that plan. As a golfer, you will know the difference between starting a round where it takes you a couple of holes to warm-up and one where your body feels ready to take on a golf swing.
But even if you are running late, there are some effective stretches you can do at the tee. If you want to reduce the risk of injury and improve your flexibility so you can play a better round, you should try out the following stretches, all of which are recommended by Andrew Hannon of Performance Fitness Systems, a specialist in helping you stay fit when playing sports like golf.
Staggered Stance Club Rotations
Area: Thoracic Spine & Shoulders / Reps: 12-15 Rotations Each Leg
The shoulders and thoracic spine are two of the most commonly impacted areas if you do not warm up properly before a round. This quick rotational exercise will work this part of the body accordingly.
To begin, stand with your feet staggered and your knees mildly bent – not too much, but not too little. Then, bring yourself forward at the waist and rotate your outer arm toward the sky. While you do this, keep your other arm straight and in line with your shin. Do this, and return to the center.
Lower Body Separation Drill
Area: Pelvis and Lower Back / Reps: 10-12 Total
One of the most common issues for a golfer who has not limbered up will be pelvic and lower back discomfort. To get properly ready to go, you need to make sure that you separate your lower and upper body. To start, use a golf club to stay balanced and stable. Then, once balanced and with your chest in-line with the golf club, start to turn your pelvis as far back as you can while keeping your chest as straight as you can.
Area: Glutes & Hips / Reps: 6-8 Reps Each Side
The hips are an essential part of getting the swing mechanism right in any golf shot. To make sure you are limber enough to make good swings, a cross-legged stretch can be very useful. To get started, you simply need to stand with your legs crossed, using the golf club to help keep your balance. Sit down toward a seated position. As you do this, you should begin to feel a stretch in both glutes and hips — you might even feel it as high up as your shoulder.
Area: Thoracic Spine, Shoulders and Neck / Reps: 6-8 Reps Each Side
One of the most effective stretches you can do is known as A-Frame rotations. This helps to improve your thoracic process. First, separate your feet around hip-width apart from one another. Bring one of your elbows to the inside of the knee on the same side, then bring your fist to the inside of the other knee. In this position, you want to reach down to the ground with your other arm, keeping your arm as long as you can. Then, as you get down, rotate this arm toward the ceiling, making sure you keep it straight.
Golf Turn with Shoulder Stretch
Area: Shoulders / Reps: 6-8 Reps Each Side, Hold for 3-5 Seconds
As any golfer will know, injuring yourself while turning to hit a shot is possible. One of the best things you can do before starting to play is to stretch your shoulders, as this helps improve your motion range within the joints. Getting in your golf posture, grab one of your arms with the other and stretch, pointing your shoulder toward the ground while maintaining the golf posture.
And that’s it! Try the following stretches above and see if you can feel the difference. Even with only a few minutes to spare, these stretches can reduce injury risk and improve golf flexibility.