Flexibility may be the single most important factor in making a successful golfer. A compact, powerful swing is defined by the x-factor—or the relationship of shoulder to hip rotation. Stiff shoulders, tight hips, and stubborn hamstrings do little in helping you achieve your ideal swing. What's more, lack of flexibility can also limit your distance off the tee. "Power is a byproduct of flexibility,". Flexibility allows for full range of motion, which allows you to reach maximum potential in strength. Practicing a few stretches or even short yoga routines consistently about thrice a week will result in a difference on the course in 30 days. You will immediately feel better after you finish stretching.
Here are some stretches that will help improve your flexibility
Important: Each static stretch should be held for 30 seconds. Making sure your alignment is perfect and that the stretch is NEVER painful. If it is painful you need to decrease the intensity immediately. Go through each stretch twice, two times a day, every day to maximize results.
How you apply these stretches is important. Follow these steps to get the most out of your flexibility training. Each static stretch should be held for 30 seconds. Making sure your alignment is perfect and that the stretch is NEVER painful. If it is painful you need to decrease the intensity immediately. Go through each stretch twice, two times a day, every day to maximize results.
Downward dog stretch
Get into a high plank posture and the push your hips back. Try to plant your heels on the ground. You should feel a stretch along your calves and hamstrings. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds. On each inhale focus on lengthening your spine/back body and on each exhale focus on pushing your chest closer to your knees for a deeper stretch.
Hamstring Stretch 1
Sit on the mat with your feet straight ahead and in a tall posture. From here slowly bend forward and try to get your hands to touch your toes. You should feel a slight pull in the back of your leg that is not too discomforting to hold for a 30 second count. As you breathe focus on lengthening your spine on each inhale and deepening the bend on each exhale. Keeping your hamstrings loose helps directly with allowing your body to load the posterior muscles and increases the range of motion to allow you to get into power positions within your swing.
Hamstring Stretch 2
Lie down on the back with your legs straight ahead. Lift one leg straight up and hold it at the calf and pull it towards your chest. Make sure you keep your leg straight and hold it for 30 seconds. You can also use a resistance band to get a deeper stretch and free up those hamstrings a bit more. With each breath focus on relaxing your body and deepen the stretch with each exhale.
Standing Quad or Kneeling Quad Stretch
While standing bend one leg and rest your foot on something around hip height behind you. Make sure your knees are next to each other, toes are pointing forward, and posture is tall. You should feel a slight pull in the front hip/quad of the bent leg. To perform this stretch kneeling find a soft surface to rest one knee on in a split kneeling stance. Engage your core, squeeze your glutes and gently push your hips forward until you feel a pull in your quad of the leg kneeling on the ground. Hold for 30 seconds and then switch legs. This stretch will also help with rotational flexibility as the hips get a lot of work in the golf swing and will tighten up on you.
Hip Flexor Stretch
Get in your kneeling Quad stretch posture and instead of bending the back leg at the knee drive your hips forward and focus on keeping your back straight. Hold in this position for about 30 seconds and then switch sides. If this stretch is easy for you add a side bend to deepen the stretch.
Glute Stretch (Easy)
Sit on your mat with your legs straight ahead. Fold your right leg and place it on the outside of your left knee and hug you right knee into your chest. Hold for about 30 seconds and then switch legs. You should feel a stretch in your right glute. If this stretch is not as effective then do the moderate glute stretch (Next).
Glute Stretch (Moderate)
Lie down on your back and keep your knees slightly bend. From here lift your right leg and place your right ankle on your left knee and then pull that knee towards your chest. You should feel a stretch in your glutes. Pull it closer to your chest to deepen the stretch. Focus on deepening the stretch with each exhale. Hold for 30 seconds and then switch sides.
These are some stretches that will help and loosen you up and will definitely impact your golf in a positive way if done right and done consistently. It may not be the key to shooting better scores but with your body feeling relaxed and free your golf game will definitely be more enjoyable and could result in better scores. If you need Guidance on improving your flexibility you can go to the App store/Play store and download the Nike Training Club app. It’s a free to download app and they have some nice yoga routines ranging from 10-40 minutes that will help improve your flexibility while also adding some strength.