3 Stretches You Need To Do Before Getting Back To The Greens

Posted by Dr. Scott Wilson | 22-Mar-2017

Golf requires a combination of flexibility, joint stability, balance and power. High-velocity movements during the swing phase of a drive can place a significant amount of stress on the muscles, joints, and intervertebral discs.

Injuries can occur that keep golfers off the playing field and negatively impact their performance over time. Getting back on the golf course requires stretches and exercises that restore muscle balance and improve efficiency of movement.

The following are 3 stretches you need to do before getting back on the greens. Using these stretches will ensure that you restore function and prevent future injuries.

Hip flexor stretch

The hip flexor muscles include the rectus femoris, iliopsoas, and the sartorius muscles. Postural dysfunctions through the hips can negatively impact a wide range of movements including those used in golf.

How to perform the hip flexor stretch:

  • Position yourself on one knee with the opposite foot flat on the ground in front of you.
  • Perform a posterior pelvic tilt (tucking the tailbone under you) so that the low back flattens. This will create a stretch in the hip flexor muscles.
  • Maintaining the posterior pelvic tilt, slowly move your body forward to further stretch the hip flexor muscles.
  • Hold for the recommended duration and repeat.
  • Change sides and perform the stretch on the opposite leg.

Trunk rotation

Trunk rotation is likely the most important movement related to golf. This movement consists of the coordination of large and small muscles including the internal and external obliques and the multifidus muscles.

Stretching the trunk rotators is a good way to maintain muscle balance and range of motion. To stretch these muscles:

  • Sit on a chair or Swiss Ball with your arms crossed in front of you.
  • Keeping your pelvis stable, slowly rotate your upper body to one side as far as you comfortably can.
  • Pause and hold for the recommended duration and slowly return to the starting position.
  • Repeat on the other side.

Hamstring stretch

The hamstrings are another important muscle group in golf and in a wide range of other sports. They extend the hips and flex the knees while also working with the quadricep muscles to stabilize the knees and pelvis.

Tight hamstrings can cause the pelvis to remain in a posterior tilt position. This reduces the curvature of the lumbar spine and can lead to compensations, muscle imbalances, and faulty movement patterns.

To stretch the hamstrings, perform the following steps:

  • Place one leg on a chair or bench with the knee straight and the foot in a dorsiflexed position (toes pointing back towards you).
  • Maintain a natural curve in the lower back as you slowly bend forward at the hip joint. Avoid rounding out the low back.
  • Flex forward until you feel a comfortable stretch along the back of the thigh.
  • Hold for the recommended duration and repeat.
  • Change legs and repeat on the other side.

Warming up

Stretching should be preceded by a brief warm up. Light activity allows you to increase blood circulation and relax the tissues.

Your physiotherapist can recommend the duration and number of repetitions to perform each stretch based on your unique needs.

Using these 3 stretches will help you get back on the greens as soon as possible. You’ll be able to perform better and reduce the risk of future injuries. More importantly, you’ll maintain the muscle balance needed for all of your daily activities and long-term health.

Dr. Scott Wilson

Dr. Scott Wilson is the Founder & Chairman of Physiomed; one of Canada’s largest franchised networks of inter-disciplinary healthcare clinics. A graduate of Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College, Dr. Wilson founded Physiomed in 1994 and has since grown Physiomed to over 30 clinics in Southern Ontario and British Columbia. With hundreds of practitioners from over a dozen disciplines, Dr. Wilson and Physiomed have helped over 100,000 Canadians with physiotherapy, chiropractic, massage therapy, orthotic therapy, compression therapy and clinical conditioning as part of a program of rehabilitation and health optimization. In addition to helping patients improve their physical and mental well-being, Dr. Wilson has also mentored hundreds of practitioners to provide better care while enjoying more fulfilling careers. He is also a keynote speaker on many health related topics including how physiotherapy, chiropractic and health & wellness treatment can help with stress, weight loss, and unlocking the true potential within to achieve lasting physical well-being.

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