Golf Stretches Reduce Risk Of Injury And Improve Your Game
Most amateur golfers don't give enough attention to performing regular golf stretches both on and off the course. Range of motion of the trunk and upper extremities are key to a successful golf swing. Decreased flexibility predisposes us to injury and reduced performance. Fortunately, there are stretches designed to keep the muscles used in golf lengthened and flexible. A major component of achieving an acceptable level of flexibility is to perform these stretches on a regular basis.
A proper warm-up with stretches increases body temperature, which leads to an increase in flexibility and the intensity of muscular contractions. Another physiological response to warming up is increased oxygen delivery to the muscles being utilized. In other words, your muscles are free to lengthen and ready to play.
Flexibility is one of the most important components of the golf swing. Whenever muscles are tight, your body responds in restricted movement. Optimal flexibility becomes the key to freedom of movement in the swing. Enhancing your joint flexibility has the potential to lengthen your golf swing and create greater club head speed. A golfer's focus should always be on restoring normal range of motion to their joints before progressing onto more advanced strength exercises.
Just as for other golf exercises, the stretching exercises you perform should be based upon your individual strengths and weaknesses. Areas that are more tight and less flexible should be your area of concentration. By using specific stretches for those areas where you are most restricted, you'll likely see the greatest change in swing mechanics.
While increased strength can be beneficial, flexibility is a necessity for good golf. Golfers commonly have problems in the areas of the hips, back, shoulders and wrists. The repetitive motion of the golf swing places much use on these areas. Therefore, you should be sure to incorporate stretches with particular attention to these areas as part of your regular routine.
Susan Hill is a nationally recognized fitness trainer, CHEK golf biomechanic and sports nutrition specialist. For more information on golf specific nutrition, exercises or stretches, visit http://www.fitnessforgolf.com.
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