It’s a beautiful day for a round of golf, so you grab your clubs, drive to the course, take a few practice swings, and head to the first tee. Are you forgetting something? Those practice swings aren’t exactly a golf warm up, and you’re going to need one at any age. A round of golf may not leave you out of breath, sweating and sore, but it’s still a physical activity that requires some stretching.
Golf Exercises to Improve Your Game
While it’s true you don’t need to prepare for the links like the pros, if you only get out on the course a few times a month, you want to make the most of your playing time. The best way to prepare the body for golf is with continuous dynamic golf stretches. Here are some simple moves you can do 10-15 minutes before you start a round.
Sitting or Standing Hip Stretch
Sit on a bench and place your right ankle on top of your left thigh. Push down on your right knee with your right forearm and lean forward until you feel a stretch. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat on the other side. If you’re looking for golf balance exercises, try this one standing, and slowly bend your leg as if you were taking a seat.
Lateral Back Stretch
Back injuries are among the most common problems in this sport. The golf swing puts enormous pressure on your spine and makes it twist in a number of directions. During your golf warm up, take an iron in both hands as if you were going to snap it over your knee. Lift it above your head, maintain a steady pelvis, lean as far as you can to the right and hold for 10 seconds. Repeat on the left side.
The neck is also important to stretch during your golf exercises. Bring your right ear toward your right shoulder. Inhale as you press your left arm toward the floor, then exhale and relax your left arm. Repeat very slowly five times, and gently return your head and neck to neutral. Switch sides.
If your shoulders aren’t loose, a full rotation will be near impossible, your timing will be off, and you’ll lose distance. During your golf stretches, stand as if you’re addressing the golf ball. Hold your left elbow with your right hand and slowly rotate your torso. Pull your left elbow until you feel a stretch and hold for 10 seconds. Repeat to your left side.
Using your legs in your golf swing creates power, so loosen them up to gain more of it. Bend your knee and pull your shoe toward your behind. Hold for 10 seconds and do the same with the other leg. You’ll find these to be great golf balance exercises as well.
Once you’ve loosened up your quads, you’ll also want to stretch your hamstrings, which are used in the follow-through to create power. Stand upright and put your right foot on a bench, chair, or anything stable that will elevate it enough. Lean as far forward as possible and hold for 10 seconds. Do the same with your left leg.
Remember, Golf Exercises Can Improve Your Game
Your golf warm up is as important as your score. Neglect it, and you may be approaching the fifth tee before you feel loose enough to play your best. And if you want to feel your best off the course, you can even perform these golf stretches on off-days!