Stretching does not get the attention it deserves. It is something that often gets passed over because either you’re ready to jump into the game, or you’re too tired afterward. However, stretching is key to your success on and off the course. According to Harvard Health, “Stretching keeps the muscles flexible, strong, and healthy, and we need that flexibility to maintain a range of motion in the joints.” If you skip on stretching, you’ll find your muscles are tight and shortened, and you won’t be able to extend them all the way.
The importance of stretching is even greater during winter. When the weather is cold (and thus your body is too), your muscles tighten to conserve heat, which makes them more prone to injury.
Since we don’t want that, let’s chat about some stretches you can do in the off-season to keep your body in shape and get you ready for your upcoming swings.
This yogi stretch is one that does wonders for your spine, hips, and neck. You get a bonus of some core work with this one, too.
- Kneel on all fours, aligning your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips
- Exhale, rounding your spine up to the ceiling and bringing your chin to your chest
- Inhale, arching your back and lifting your head towards the ceiling (like a cat)
- Repeat 10 times
Supine Spinal Twist
Prepare to have some serious tension relieved in your back with this stretch, as well as get some good stretching in your glutes, chest, and obliques. This stretch also doubles as a way to aid digestion by wringing out your organs.
- Lie on your back
- Bring your right knee into your chest
- Keeping your back flat, use your left arm to push your right knee across your body, and over your left leg (which should be straight)
- Extend your right arm on the floor, and turn your head to look towards your right fingertips
- Hold here for 20 seconds, and switch sides
Opening up your hips is key to a good golf swing, and this stretch will help you do just that. The glute bridge also helps to strengthen your hamstrings and glutes (hence its name).
- Lie on your back, knees bent, and feet hip-width apart
- Press through your feet and lift your hips, squeezing your glutes at the top
- Take a breath here, and then slowly lower down to the starting position
- Repeat 15-20 times
Taking another stretch from yoga, this one is great for opening your chest as well as strengthening the muscles that support your spine.
- Lie face down, palms flat under your shoulders
- Keep your elbows tucked in to your sides and slowly push your torso off the floor, keeping your hips on the ground
- Hold for 20-30 seconds, and lower to starting position
- Repeat two times
Featured Image: Heidi Richardson, PGA