When was the last time you stretched after a round of golf? And no, lengthening your stride on the way to the bar doesn’t count. Incorporating a good stretching routine will help your body feel its best the next time you hit the ball. And luckily, your stretching routine doesn’t have to take all evening. Andrea Doddato, one of Golf Digest’s Top 50 Golf Fitness Instructors in America, has five exercises to help you recover quickly, so you’ll be ready if you hit the tee again tomorrow.”
Two main things shorten your hip flexors during a round of golf: sitting in the cart and your preparation position. You want to stretch those hip flexors after each set so they aren’t tight the next day.
“By relaxing these at the end of the set, you will help regain length and keep the lower back loose,” says Doddato.
In this exercise, Doddato is performing stretches on a bench, with his left leg extended behind him while his right foot is planted firmly on the ground. If you don’t have a bench, you can do this by placing one knee on the ground with your shin and foot stretched out behind you. Place your other foot out in front so your knee forms a 90-degree angle and your thigh is parallel to the ground. Keep your torso upright and your shoulders back in good position. You will feel this in your hip flexors and quadriceps. Hold for a minute and switch legs.
“The golf swing puts a lot of stress on the internal hip rotators and the muscles that make up the gluteal complex,” says Doddato. “Stretching after a set will ensure that the hips don’t become too tight and lead to unwanted stiffness or possible injury.”
To do this stretch, sit on the floor and stretch your left leg forward, creating a 90-degree angle so that your lower leg is parallel to your hip. Extend your right leg back another 90 degrees with your thigh parallel to the lower left leg. Now lean forward with your torso over your left thigh. Stand up, place your hands for balance and rotate your right knee to the ceiling and your left knee to the mat. Do this exercise 15 times on each side.
“The lats are a critical component of the body’s ability to achieve proper arm extension during the swing,” says Doddato. “During the set, these large muscles become fatigued. Maintaining flexibility will ensure you execute the proper swing the next time you play.”
Grab a bar like Dodatto here or a door frame with both hands. Place your feet next to the bar. Lean away from the bar (or doorframe) at the hips, letting the rest of your body stretch out as your hands continue to hold onto the bar. Your body will form a C shape. Hold for 30 seconds.
“When the body is fatigued, so is a person’s posture. Taking the time to reverse the flexion of the upper spine and extend the front of the chest will restore the body’s ability to stay upright, thus leading to an increase in thoracic rotation within the spine.” Doddato said.
Lie on your back, place your feet firmly on the floor, and place a foam roller underneath your shoulder blades. Place your hands behind your head and arch your back, widening your shoulders. Hold for one minute.
“How many times has your back and neck become tight after a round of golf? says Doddato. “Moving your back segment by segment loosens the long muscles that cover the spine, as well as the larger muscles that pull and pull this part.” part of the following series. This stretching process will ensure you get back to 100%.”
Get into an all-fours position with your hands and knees on the ground and your spine in a neutral or flat position. From that position, roll each part of your spine toward the ceiling until your back is completely arched. Push down through your hands. Now do the opposite, stretching your spine toward the ground. Move slowly and do this five times.
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