In order to generate a powerful, controlled golf swing, not only do you need strong muscles (core, forearms, hamstrings, quadriceps, hips, back and shoulders), but they need to be flexible as well.
A golf swing with a full range of motion will increase the potential of driving the ball a distance. In addition, the increased flexibility will decrease the likelihood of injuries associated with the sport.
The following stretches will help you accomplish both.
Note: It is important to not bounce during any of the exercises, as it could result in slight muscle tears over time.
Standing IT Band Stretch – view
The iliotibial (IT) band—a tough fibrous extension of the tensor fasciae latae muscle that attaches to a group of muscle fibers that run along the outside of the thigh, begins at the hip bone (ilium) and extends to the outer side of the shin bone (tibia), just below the knee joint—can become aggravated from excess flexion of the knee and hip.
Intent: For golfers, this stretch can help keep the hips limber, important in a fluid swing.
Technique: Cross your right leg in front of your left leg, and reach over your head with your right arm as far as possible to the left side. You should feel the stretch along your right side. Repeat on other side.
Frequency: Hold for 10-15 seconds on each side, and perform 3-4 reps.
Shoulder Golf Club Stretch – view
Intent: This particular flexibility exercise loosens up the shoulder muscles (deltoids) and improves range of motion in the shoulder joint.
Technique: Hold the golf club in front of you with each hand on opposite sides. Slowly raise the club up and over your head, going as far back as possible. You should feel the stretch in your front deltoids.
Frequency: Hold for 15-20 seconds, and repeat 3-5 times. This exercise can be done between tee shots and as part of an exercise routine.
Standing Golf Club Twist and Hold
Intent: Stretch the rotational core muscle associated with a powerful swing.
Technique: With your feet spread shoulder width apart, place a golf club behind your neck, with hands on opposite sides. Slowly twist your torso to one side as far as possible while maintaining your foot stance position.
Frequency: Hold for ten seconds, then twist to the opposite side, and hold for ten seconds. Do at least three sets of eight to 10 reps.
Lying Lower Back Stretch – view
Intent: Stretch the Spinous Erectus (lower back).
Technique: Lie on your back on the floor. With your hands grasping the back of your things or on your knees (whatever feels most comfortable), pull your knees into your chest while slightly lifting your pelvis off the ground. Hold your knees to your chest while you feel the stretch in your lower back.
Frequency: Hold for 15-20 seconds, and repeat 3-5 times.
Standing Quad Stretch
Intent: This is an easy to accomplish exercise that stretches the quad muscles, a group of four muscles located in the front of the leg.
Technique: Stand on your left leg, gradually pull your foot up to your posterior while feeling the tension in the front of your leg.
Frequency: Hold for 15-20 seconds, and repeat 3-5 times while alternating each leg.
Standing Hamstring Stretch
Intent: Stretch the leg muscles located in the back of the leg.
Technique: Place your feet close together. Slowly lower your fingers downward while bending your trunk at the waist and locking your knees. Reach down as far as possible, and hold.
You should feel a slight pulling sensation in your hamstrings. Do not force it to the point of extreme pain.
Frequency: Hold the stretch for at least 10 second, then gradually return to the starting position. Perform 3-4 reps.
Flexor and Extensor Wrist Stretches
One problem many golfers experience is golfer’s elbow, or medial epicondylitis, a form of elbow tendonitis in which the tendons on the inner side of the elbow become inflamed, causing pain. This is usually due to the golf club grip and repeated swing, typically improper in technique, as well as weak muscles and tendons in the area.
Intent: Stretch the muscles and tendons along the forearm and wrist.
Technique: With your right arm facing straight out and fingers pointing upward (palm away from you), take your left hand, and pull back on your right finger tips.
Frequency: Hold for 10-15 seconds, and repeat 3-4 times, alternating arms.
Note: Perform the opposite for the extensor stretch (with palm facing toward you, and fingers pointing downward).
* Special Note — the information above is for reference only. Please consult with a licensed medical professional or credentialed health and fitness professional for more information.
Written by Jerry Del Priore for bodono.
Jerry Del Priore has worked as a certified personal trainer, and received his degree in Physical Education from Brooklyn College. Jerry is also a veteran print and digital Sports Writer-Reporter-Author experienced in writing in-depth profile stories on a variety of high school, college and professional athletes and teams. He covers several Brooklyn areas including Canarsie, Bensonhurst, Old Mill Basin, Mill Basin, Bergen Beach, Gravesend, East NY, East Flatbush, Fort Greene, Georgetown, Marine Park and Gerritsen Beach, among other areas in NYC and Long Island. Additionally, Jerry has developed a presentation based on his book, Running Through Roadblocks, that encourages children to overcome obstacles and never give up…no matter what!
Specialties: Baseball, football, hockey and basketball writing. Jerry also has covered lacrosse, soccer, golf and track and field, with ample experience cover women’s sports. Food Writer/Blogger experienced in venue write-ups and reviews. In addition, Jerry has ample experience working with medically fragile children, children with behavioral challenges and children with cognitively impairments. Read Jerry Del Prior’s book: Running Through Roadblocks and view his presentation.