December – January
Increase flexibility to Add Distance & Reduce Injuries
Unfortunately, I see far too many of my students start the golfing season out of shape. Too many winter weekends spent riding the couch has limited their flexibility. Following a daily stretching routine can not only keep you flexible but add to your flexibility. How fun would it be to come out of winter hitting your driver 20 yards longer. Or even better, come out of winter without back pain, as so many of us struggle with. What most amateurs don’t realize is that PGA tour pro’s spend at least one hour per day with a trainer working on flexibility. This is just even more proof that to play to your true potential, flexibility is a must. Below is a simple stretching routine that can help you stay in golf shape and improve your game this off-season.
The rule of thumb on stretching is that if you are looking to warm up your muscles, hold each stretch for 10 seconds. However, if you are looking to improve flexibility, you must hold each stretch for at least 30 seconds. Do these simple stretches and hold each for at least 30 seconds per day. Then just sit back and wait for warmer weather and better golf.
Trunk Rotation: Lay flat on your back with your arms stretched out on both sides. Keeping your shoulder blades touching the floor, roll your right hip and leg over the top of your left leg (your right leg should be perpendicular to your body. Hold this stretch for at least 30 seconds while maintaining steady deep breaths. Repeat the process with your other leg. This easy stretch will increase your shoulder, hip, and trunk rotation.
Leg Stretches: Sit on the floor in a cross-legged pose. Extend your left leg straight out. Slowly stretch your body and arms toward your left toe. You should feel the majority of this stretch in your calves. Repeat the process with your other leg. This stretch will increase your leg flexibility, which will improve balance and power in your lower body.
Wrist Stretches: Most golfers will incur a wrist injury sometime in their career. This easy stretch can help eliminate these problems. Stand straight up and stick your right arm straight out in front of you. Hold a golf club or broom-handle in your hand at the center of the object. Rotate your wrist back and forth moving slowly. You will feel a stretch in your forearms and wrists.
Shoulder stretches: Hold a golf club with both hands, making sure your hands are spread out to at least shoulder with. Extend your arms over your head, then make large circular motions stretching out both shoulders one at a time. This will increase should flexibility, which will increase your swing arc and improve swing speed.
Please take your time getting to know these stretches. Start small and don’t overdue it. Over time, these will drastically improve your flexibility and also help to reduce injuries. This entire stretching program can be done in less than ten minutes. I recommend doing this routine each morning before work. Good luck.
Tyler Brooks, PGA General Manager/Head Golf Professional