The first step to a more consistent golf swing
Stretching is not only important to prevent injury while on the golf course, but it is also the first step to a more consistent golf swing. We all know that the power of a golf swing comes primarily from the rotation of the upper body. If your muscles are tight and stiff, you’re not going to get the full range of motion that you need for maximum power.
Stretching is, and always will be, the first step towards a better golf game. Here are some stretches you should be doing to gain control of your swing and unlock power you didn’t know you had. I’ve split this into two lists: stretches to do every day off the course, and stretches to do on the course before you swing a club.
Off the course stretches
I like to do these stretches as a part of my morning routine. I usually take the dogs out for a walk to get little light activity in, and then follow that up with the following stretches to get my day started. It’s always a good idea to warm up with some light activity before stretching to prevent injury.
Straight Leg Hang
We all know this one. Stand with your feet about shoulder width apart, keep your legs straight and your back perfectly flat and bend down towards the ground as far as possible. Don’t force it! Just bend until you feel the stretch and then focus on holding it for 30 to 60 seconds. Do this twice.
Stand with your back facing the wall, and place your left hand on the wall. Slowly turn and push your torso to the right while keeping your right and on the wall. Hold this position for 30 to 60 seconds, and repeat the other direction with your right hand on the wall.
Place your hands on the wall at eye level. Bend over hinging at the hips, pushing chest and head down toward the base of the wall with one leg reaching outward to maintain balance. Hold this position for 30 seconds and do it again with the other leg out. Do two repetitions with each leg.
Standing Chest Stretch
Standing perpendicular to a wall, put your arm out at shoulder height with your shoulder and the back of your hand against the wall. Taking small steps, turn your chest away from the wall until a stretch is felt in your arms and chest. Hold this position for 30 to 60 seconds. Repeat twice on each side of the body.
On the course stretches
If you’ve ever started a game of golf without stretching first, you know how restricting it feels. Not is it only uncomfortable and a hindrance to your performance on the course; it is sure to lead to an injury sooner or later. Always stretch before swinging your golf club.
Standing Side Stretch
Stand up straight with your feet about shoulder width apart. Reach one hand straight up in the air and slowly move that hand to the other side of your body without bending your arm until you feel a stretch on the side of your body with the extended arm. Hold this position for about 15 seconds, and then repeat with the other side. Do this twice per side.
Reach behind your head with both hands together and your elbows pointing straight up. I find it more comfortable to hold a golf club with the club head hanging down behind my back. Reach back until you feel the stretch in your triceps and hold it for 30 – 60 seconds. Do this twice.
Bent Arm Shoulder Stretch
Yet another stretch that we all know and love. Reach one arm across your chest and bend the other arm at 90 degrees and lightly pull the elbow towards the body. This one is easy to overdo, so stop pulling as soon as you feel the stretch. Hold for about 30 seconds and switch arms.
Stand next to your cart for balance, and bend your leg at the knee so that your ankle is behind you. Hold your leg in this position with whichever hand is most comfortable for you. Straighten your back, lift your chest and pull your ankle up slowly. Pull until you feel the stretch and hold for about 30 seconds. Switch to your other leg and repeat.
There you have it, folks! An easy way to improve your golf game that only takes a few minutes of your time and doesn’t cost any money. Start your new stretch routine today and in a couple weeks time you will see an improvement in your golf swing.