Develop Your Golf Swing with Smart Stretching
10 Key Exercises for Shoulders, Lower Back and Core Strengthen Your Golf Swing and Prevent Golf Injuries
The sun is warm on your shoulders as you nudge the peak of your golf cap up to assess the move you need to get your new ball out of the sand trap. It's the third hole, and your score is high with early season messiness, so which is your best bunker shot to lift your clean white Titleist out of the sand and loft it far down the fairway toward the small flag? A nine- iron? A wedge? You choose the club, keep an open stance, square the club head, grip down an inch or two, play the ball forward and make a full swing… Suddenly on the twist of follow through you feel the lower back grab as you wince with pain.
The pain of injury is the golfer's rattlesnake hiding in the rough.
Golf Course in Grand Cayman - The Links at Safehaven
Five Common Golf Injuries
Which injury have you had from golfing?
Five Most Common Golf Injuries
Which of the most common golf injuries will keep you from your best golf game this season? The five most common are lower back pain, inflammation and pain in the elbow, shoulder pain and rotator cuff injuries, wrist, thumb and hand pain, and knee pain. At worst, they can interfere with your regular activities, and certainly they will keep you off the golf course.
Experienced recreational golfers know the importance of warming up properly before each game, and tuning up with regular physical activity after a sedentary winter and before the start of the season. The pros do it. Tiger Woods and Michelle Wie do it. That's how they win. Do you?
Golfers Stretch 3-4 Times a Week
Here are some stretches you can do at home several times a week, and more often during golf season, to prepare your body for your best game, every time. These stretches help golfers tap into their power to rotate shoulders and hips, increasing wind-up, strengthening drive and reducing injury. They will improve flexibility in all the joints, strengthen muscle tone, increase cardiovascular fitness for endurance on the course, and develop balance and mental focus. After all is said and done, what use is a fit powerful body if you can't hold the sharp mental focus and concentration to send the ball into the hole?
Hold each posture for three to ten full deep breaths, and exhale each time completely. Work to move a little deeper into the pose each time you exhale by releasing tension, holding and resistance in the body. At any time if you feel pain in any position, come out immediately. Don't push through pain. Practice the stretches by working with the breath and noticing how it softens the body.
Great Golf Warm Ups
Warm up first, before you tee off. Stretches increase circulation to the muscles you will be using, and prepare them for activity.
If you know Sun Salutations, do a few pairs to warm up first. This is a sequence of twelve moves co-ordinated with breath that warm up all the major muscle groups and open every joint. Then run through these stretches, holding each position for 30 seconds or five slow, deep breaths. Do each position on both sides, or do the whole sequence on one side then repeat it on the other side.
Invest in your body the way you invest in your clubs and in planning your golf vacation. Stretch often, then swing fully and score with 100 % enjoyment of every golf day in the season.
The Best Golf Warmup Includes Sun Salutations
Hold each position for 30 seconds or five full breaths, then repeat on the other side.
1. Seated or Standing Willow
Strengthens abdominals and stretches the spine, strengthening the lower back.
Develops mental focus, balance, and strength in the lower back and abdominals.
3. Revolving Triangle
Strengthens the back, abs, legs, and balance, and increases rotation.
4. Warrior 2
Strengthens quads, abdominals, shoulders, arms and mental focus.
Stretches hamstrings and calves, strengthens back and abs, and increases rotation.
6. Downward Facing Dog/ Extended Downward Facing Dog
Stretches and strengthens shoulders, arms, wrists, hands, back, abs, hamstrings, calves, ankles and feet.
Strengthens shoulder, arms, wrists, abs and mental focus.
8. Seated Half Twist
Strengthens back, abs, arms and wrists and increases rotation.
Stretches and strengthens back, abs, glutes, shoulders, arms, wrists, and mental focus.
10. Reclining Twist
Increases rotation, attunes the mind to the breath and develops ability to relax after intense focus.