Golf is a great form of exercise with a regular 18 holes clocking in at approximately 10,000 steps and burning an estimated 2,000 calories. And there are more health benefits to a game of golf. Getting outdoors can help us sleep better and the socialization is important for our emotional health. Planning that next shot sharpens your focus and requires strategic thinking that helps keep the brain healthy as we age.
A good stretching routine can prepare you for your golf game and help reduce risk of injury. Your golf warm up should mimic the movement you will be performing in your golf swing, with the goal to improve the muscle’s ability to stretch and contract, and increase mobility through the joints.
The four areas to focus on to prepare your muscles for golf are the spine, glutes, hips and hamstrings.
- Spine. Your spine requires the mobility necessary to move safely and efficiently through your golf swing. Preparing the spine for a twisting motion in the upper and lower back will help reduce the risk of injury during rotation (generating force in the swing) and anti-rotation (slowing down the club after follow though).
- Glutes. Your glutes must be activated in order to help generate force and momentum in your swing.
- Hips. Hip mobility is needed to avoid injury or restriction in movement during the golf swing and pivot.
- Hamstrings. Hamstrings and glutes work together to generate force from the posterior kinetic chain; the muscles, ligaments and tendons that run along the backside of your body. Properly preparing these muscles will help increase efficiency in your golf swing.
Four Recommended Golf Stretches from our INLIV personal trainers
Lunge and Twist – to target thorasic spine, hips and glutes
- Begin by placing both of your hands behind your head.
- Squeeze your shoulder blades together and pull the elbows back.
- Engage your core.
- Take a forward step into a lunge with both knees at 90 degrees.
- Rotate your trunk towards the lead leg.
- Maintain the squeeze in your shoulder blades as you twist through a comfortable range of motion.
- Be sure to maintain core engagement and a stable base in the legs.
- Step up off the lead leg back to a standing position.
- Perform 10 repetitions per side. Hold each rep for two breaths.
Laying Thorasic Twist
- Begin by laying on your side with both arms out stretched in front of your body and your head supported.
- Bring the top leg into a 90 degree angle in front of the body and have it contact the floor.
- Use your top hand to open to the ceiling and reach behind you while maintaining contact to the floor with your opposite hand and top leg.
- Return by untwisting back to your original position.
- Perform 10 repetitions per side. Hold for two breaths each rep.
Goalie Stretch to target hips
- Begin by kneeling on all fours on the ground. Hands on the floor with arms straight and shoulder blades retracted.
- Widen your stance in your knees and feet.
- Turn the toes outward and try to contact the ground with your heels.
- Engage your core.
- With a flat back, begin to rock your hips back while maintaining a neutral pelvis.
- Rock forward with the hips by driving them towards the floor and squeeze the glutes.
- Increasing the range on each rep, perform 10-15 repetitions. Hold each rep for two breaths.
Active Thorasic rotation to target glutes and hamstrings
- Begin by standing shoulder width apart.
- With a soft bend in the knees, slowly break at the hips by pushing your butt back.
- Tilt the hips forward as you keep your weight in your heels and back straight.
- Continue to tilt at the hips until you feel a light stretch in your hamstrings. *This position should resemble your golf stance.
- While holding your club or a dowel slightly wider than shoulder width apart, slowly rotate your trunk to one side while keeping your arms firmly locked out in front of you.
- Remember to keep your heels on the floor, maintain a neutral posture in the hips, and keep your head in its original position.
- Once the trunk cannot rotate anymore, continue to move the club through the range of motion with straight arms to increase the stretch through the upper back.
- Slowly, rotate back to your starting position.
- Perform 10 repetitions per side. Hold each rep for one breath.
What’s your sport of choice? Our talented team of personal trainers will create a specialized program to help you prepare and train to improve your performance and help reduce your risk of injury. And with our medically-based fitness assessment, you can be assured you’ll get the most out of your personal training program.
Thanks to our fitness INmates who contributed their expertise and modelling skills:
Jamie Wilkins – BKin, CSEP – CPT
Curtis Woodley – FRCms, Osteopathic Medicine Student
Jamie Guislain – BScHK, Canfit Pro