If you’re looking to improve your golf game, you need to start by stretching. Stretching can help increase your flexibility and range of motion, both of which are important in golf. In this blog post, we will discuss the best stretches for golfers.
We’ll review each stretch and explain how it can help improve your game. So, if you’re ready to start improving your swing, keep reading!
How Stretching and Mobility Help a Golf Swing
There are a few critical ways that stretching and mobility can help improve your golf swing.
- They can help increase your range of motion. This is important because the more significant your range of motion, the more power you can generate in your swing.
- Stretching can help improve your flexibility. This is important because the more flexible you are, the easier it is to make a smooth, fluid swing.
- Stretching can help reduce your risk of injury. This is important because golf is a high-impact sport, and injuries are common.
So now that we know how stretching can help improve your golf swing let’s take a look at some of the best stretches for golfers.
Keep the Big Picture in Mind
The most important thing is to keep the big picture in mind and focus on exercises that will improve your overall flexibility and range of motion. There are three critical areas of focus for golf exercises:
Rotation Through Shoulders and Upper Back
The back swing and follow-through are the two areas that require mobility through the upper back and shoulders. Strength is also essential to provide power and stability in the swing; however, loss of mobility as we get older is common and is a great place to start golf exercises. Stretching and mobility work will allow a full stretch through the shoulders and help to prevent injury.
Strength and Stability Through the Core
A solid and stable core is a must for any senior as it protects the back and provides a strong foundation for movement. In golf, it is crucial to create distance on longer shots and control the upper body during shorter shots and putts.
Rotation, Flexion, and Extension Through the Hips
The hips are the center of power in the golf swing and require trunk rotation and trunk mobility for a proper swing. Unfortunately, as we age, this range of motion can diminish, losing distance and accuracy in our shots. These exercises focus on improving hip mobility, including through the hip flexors, so you can make a fuller turn in your golf swing.
Let’s look at the most effective stretching and mobility exercises for golf.
Best Stretches for Golf
Shoulder Stretch with a Towel
Goal: The goal of the stretch is to improve the shoulder range of motion by targeting a commonly tight area – the posterior capsule.
- Start by standing comfortably and grab a towel.
- Place the towel over your right shoulder and hold the front end with your right hand.
- Reach around your back with your left arm to grab the opposite (hanging) end of the towel.
- With your left hand pull the towel towards the floor, keeping your elbow close to your side.
- You should feel a gentle stretch in the back of your right shoulder.
- Hold the stretch for 30 seconds.
- Repeat five to seven times, gently moving deeper into the stretch.
- Switch arms and repeat.
Wall Slides with Bands for Upper Body
Goal: To improve shoulder range of motion and reduce pain while strengthening the stabilizing muscles.
- Start by standing facing the wall with a band looped around both wrists.
- Slowly move your hands away until you feel the tension between your shoulder blades.
- Place the edge of your hands on the wall at about a 90-degree angle.
- Slowly squeeze your shoulder blades together while you slide your hands up the wall.
- Slowly and in a controlled manner, slide your hands back down the wall until they are 90 degrees to the floor.
- Repeat 10-12 times for three sets.
Hamstring Stretch on the Wall
This hamstring stretch is a great addition to any stretching routine to help relieve tension through the posterior and inner thigh and stretch the hamstring, a major muscle group.
- For a starting position, face the wall and sit with your hips as close to a wall as possible, shoulders flat on the floor, and your feet hip-width apart.
- Lie back and swing your legs up the wall.
- Rest your heels on the wall.
- If you feel increased tension in your hamstrings or behind your knees, soften your knees until the stretch is more comfortable.
- If they’re not, straighten your legs. Let your arms rest by your sides, palms up.
- Stay in this pose for 30 seconds to 2 minutes.
- Repeat three to five times.
- Start by lying on your back with both knees bent, feet flat on the floor, and upper body relaxed.
- Cross your left ankle over your right knee.
- Use your left hand to grab hold behind your right thigh, just below the knee.
- Pull your right leg toward you while keeping your left ankle crossed over the right knee.
- You should feel a stretch in your left buttock.
- Hold for 30 seconds to two minutes, and then repeat on the other side.
- If you don’t feel a stretch, try moving your crossed ankle further away from your right knee.
- You can also place a pillow under your right knee for additional comfort.
Thoracic Mobilization Exercise
Mobilization through the thoracic spine is key to alleviating tension through the rhomboids and shoulder blades. You will need a physioball or a chair for this exercise.
- Start kneeling on the floor with your arms in front of you on the chair or the physioball.
- Slowly open your hands and drop your mid-back towards the floor. Think of the area between your shoulder blades as “sagging” towards the floor. Keep your neck neutral with little strain.
- Lift the area in between your shoulder blades towards the ceiling.
- Slowly, allow the space between your shoulder blades to fall toward the floor.
- Repeat 10-15 times.
Starting with these stretching exercises you can improve your flexibility, decrease your risk of injury, and improve your golf game simultaneously!
Let’s Have a Conversation:
How often do you play golf? Do you train for golf with stretching exercises? What are your favorite activities that help improve your golf game?