On a daily routine I see golfers come out to the golf course and do the same old unproductive stretching moves. You know the moves and the chances are you do the same ones. The throw the club over your shoulder and make some sort of “shoulder” turn or the “attempt” to touch your toes and my personal favorite, the “side bendish thing?” Golf is an athletic sport; therefore it needs to be treated as one. Every athletic sport has a rather specific warm up to prevent injuries, its time golf has one as well. After all, when you swing a club at full speed it can reach a weight up to 100 pounds due to centrifugal forces. Here are three basic pre-golf stretches that every golfer should do. Keep in mind, there are hundreds of other stretches and I have chosen three that I feel are most productive.
1- Golf Cart Stretch
To perform this stretch you will need a golf cart or something to sit on and a golf club. This stretch will help warm up your core, lats and spine. Once you have sat down, move to the edge of whatever you are sitting on, sit up straight and hold the club behind your head and the back of your shoulders. With your knees and feet together and in that upright posture, turn to the right. Hold that position for 5 seconds and then bend to the right and down. Perform that stretch 5 times on each side. Try to go a little farther on each stretch.
2- Leg Swings
Tight hips, hamstrings and quads are everywhere because of our daily sedentary sitting positions. To perform this stretch you will need a wall or something to hold on to. This stretch is just like the title says, leg swings. Swing your leg forward, to the right, left, and backwards. Continue to let your legs swing for at least 30 seconds. The goal of this stretch is to open up your hips and warm up your lower body.
3- Pelvic tilt
My personal favorite is the pelvic tilt warm-up. Not only will this stretch warm up your lower back, but it will also greatly improve your golf swing dynamics. To perform this stretch you will need a wall or something to hold on to. Get into your 6 iron posture (flat back), and begin to roll your lower back or move your belt buckle up (picture 1) and the go back to a straight back posture and then arch your lower back or move your belt buckle down(picture 2). Do this a 5-10 times in a slow fashion. If you feel any pain stop!
The next time you play golf try there three pre-golf warm-ups and see if they make a difference. Start with the golf cart stretch, move on to the leg swing and finish with the pelvic tilt. The entire routine should take 5 to 6 minutes. Most professional golfers warm up for 20 to 40 minutes. Take care of your body and it will take care of you!