– By Charlie Lostracco, PGA Pro at The Classics Country Club
A golf stretching routine helps players enhance their ability to play excellent golf by improving golf fitness and flexibility.
Some people believe that there is nothing athletic about golf, but those who play the sport know that they have to maintain a rigorous golf training program to gain the required strength and flexibility to perform well. A regular golf stretching routine enables players to acquire skill, follow good technique, and focus better.
Muscles Used in Golf
The golf swing comprises of four elements – the back swing, downswing, ball strike, and follow-through. To generate torque and increase club head speed, core muscles are used.
Hamstring muscles play an important role in helping players maintain proper posture. Quadriceps helps players to flex their knees.
For rotation during the backswing, the upper back muscles are used. These muscles also help players maintain an erect spine. To position the upper body and generate speed, the shoulder muscles, (especially the rotator cuff muscles) come into play.
Forearm muscles are used to control the golf club, as well as to support the wrists. Muscles in the fingers and wrists are also significantly focused on during a golf stretching routine.
The Benefits of a Golf Stretching Routine
Muscle strain and sore muscles are quite common among golf players. By performing a regular golf stretching routine, players can expect the following benefits:
- Muscles loosen up through stretching, enabling the player to relax during the swing. This relaxation further helps to improve accuracy, increase confidence, and gives you the ability to perform better, and swing faster and harder.
- Over time, you will find it easier to move in your swing, as stretching will make your body more flexible, and increase range of motion.
- A regular golf stretching routine can help prevent injuries like:
- Rotator cuff tendinitis – a condition that causes acute irritation in the shoulder tendons and muscles.
- Knee tendinitis – a condition that causes irritation in the knee tendons and muscles.
- Musculotendinous – overuse injuries, generally of the shoulder and elbow.
- Finally, even the most basic golf stretching routine can just make you feel better. Glossing over it in your regular golf training, however, could cost you dearly.
Despite the numerous benefits, it is important to bear in mind that stretching can have detrimental effects when done incorrectly. Improperly done stretches can over time cause permanent damage to ligaments and joints.
Before stretching, be sure to warm up first, and if any of the exercises cause pain or severe discomfort, discontinue immediately.