Thursday, June 6, 2013
Fit Tip: Stretches to Improve Your Golf Game
Many golfers start the season with visions of greatness only to become frustrated when their game plateaus or even gets worse. One of the best ways to prepare before each game is to warm up your muscles and your mind. Done consistently, golf stretching exercises can help your range of motion, your strength and ultimately your handicap.
Dynamic golf stretches are the key to a warm up and involve sports specific movements that start with a small range of motion for the first few reps and increase the range as you go. (Static stretches should only be done after your golf game.) Get to the course a little early and do this pre-game warm-up. It should take no more than 10 minutes and allow time for a few practice swings before you tee off.
Warm up: Do three to five minutes of brisk walking in the parking lot to get your blood pumping, muscles warming and heart rate up a little.
Golf squat with shoulder raise: Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Hold a club at each end waist level. Bend your knees into a squat and raise the club up to shoulder level. Raise yourself back up, dropping the club to waist level and repeat 15-20 reps.
Side bends: Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place a club on your shoulders. Lean to one side keeping your torso straight and switch to the other side. Complete 15-20 stretches on each side.
Leg swings: Start by standing with your feet shoulder width apart. Keep your upper body straight and swing your leg forward and backward. Repeat 15-20 times and switch to the other leg.
Trunk rotation: Place a club on your shoulders holding at both ends and place feet shoulder width apart. With knees slightly bent, hinge forward from the hips slightly (Just like you do when you swing). Turn from side to side, starting with a controlled twist, aiming to get the ends of the club directly in front of you for the last few turns. Complete 15-20 swings.
Alternating toe touches: Start by standing with your feet spread as far apart as comfortably possible. Lean forward toward one leg and try to touch the foot or ankle with the opposite hand. Alternate and repeat 10 times each side.
These stretches will warm up all of the muscle groups involved in a fluid smooth swing including the shoulders, back, hamstrings and hips.
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