By: John Preston MS, CSCS, EP-C, Fitness Director at Gainey Village
The game of golf demands a lot from your body. Flexibility, strength, stability, balance, and coordination are all essential, particularly if you aim for both distance and accuracy. Swift acceleration and almost immediate deceleration are also required. However, the repetitive and unilateral nature of the golf swing pattern increases the risk of imbalances and potential injuries due to repetitive stress. This blog will exclusively focus on enhancing your flexibility.
In many instances, golfers alter their swing because they lack the flexibility or range of motion needed to assume the positions of an “ideal” golf swing. Incorporating these five stretches into your pre-practice or pre-round routine will help you warm up and physically prepare to play. Moreover, progressively increasing your flexibility over time will enable you to attain the necessary positions for a proper golf swing. By combining expert guidance (from a degreed personal trainer at the Village) with enhanced flexibility, you can achieve longer and straighter shots while finding greater enjoyment in the game.
Hogan Squat: Yes, it’s named after Ben Hogan. Begin by standing with your feet close together. Internally rotate your hips by slightly turning your toes inward. Bring your knees closer together and bend forward into a golf address position. Hold the golf club mid-chest, maintaining straight arms, and execute a controlled and dynamic rotation of your shoulders throughout your full range of motion. This movement enhances hip rotation and shoulder turn. Aim to perform this shoulder turn for 30-60 seconds.
Lateral Bend: – Stand with your feet wide, creating an “X” shape with your body. Hold your driver overhead with your hands positioned widely. Exhale as you bend laterally to your right. Keep the space between your upper arms and your head consistent; ensure your left arm doesn’t move closer to your head. Inhale as you return to an upright position. Exhale again as you bend to your left. Alternate between right and left, performing 10 bends on each side.
Hamstring/Shoulder Stretch: Stand with your feet close together. Place both hands on top of the grip of your driver. Keep your sternum lifted (maintain a straight back) as you lean forward, effectively stretching your hamstrings. Allow your upper body’s weight to gently pull your armpits toward the ground, thereby opening up your shoulders. Hold this stretch for 30-60 seconds, repeating it twice.
Figure Four Stretch: Commence in the same position as the Hamstring stretch. Position your right ankle just above your left knee. Use your driver for balance as you bend at your hip and left knee, lowering your hip towards the ground. This stretch targets your posterior hip muscles. Hold this stretch for 30-60 seconds, then repeat it twice on each side.
Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch: Place your golf towel on the ground. Kneel down on your right knee, extending your left foot in front of your left knee. Hold your driver overhead with a wide grip. Without leaning forward with your upper body, gently shift your hips forward and hold the position. This action effectively stretches your hip flexors. Hold the stretch for 30–60 seconds, repeating it twice on each side.
John Preston MS, CSCS, EP-C is a TPI Certified Golf Fitness Instructor and serves as the Fitness Director at Gainey Village. For additional information, please reach out to him at email@example.com or (480) 624-9124.