What are some stretches to help my golf swing?

Calling all golf enthusiasts out there. It is that time of the year again with the weather warming and the golf courses getting busier and busier. For those of you planning to hit the links several times a week or even just a few times this summer, there are a number of things you can do to shave strokes; hit the ball further and more accurately, attending lessons, understanding your ball flight, swing mechanics, etc. However, one of the most often overlooked activities amateur golfers’ miss is a regular stretching routine (and I am not talking about doing a few quick hamstring stretches and calisthenics while you’re on the first tee).

Obviously stretching is important to prevent injury, stay healthy blah blah blah but if you have made it this far in reading, chances are you are looking to gain an edge on the course. There are a lot of golfers out there (I play with many) that wish they could hit the ball further, ditch the slice and increase speed. There are plenty of secrets you can read about and devices you can buy but if you look a little closer and think a little simpler you may realize that your issues are simply due to not being flexible. The golf swing is somewhat complex and requires motion in all planes with several different body parts. High level players understand this. They have trainers, chiropractors, massage therapists and nutritionists that ensure their bodies are able to compete. Watch closely at Rory, Jordan, Rahm, Tiger, JT, Scottie and you will notice their ability to rotate around their body, maneuver the pelvis and drop the club on plane to make just about any shot in the book effortlessly.

Flexibility of body parts stemming from your spine, shoulders, and all the way into your ankles and wrists is important. Oftentimes we have found that golfers are flexible in some manner but lack movement in specific planes – this can be found through a TPI assessment which we do at our office. Most of you reading may be interested in a quick routine you can do prior to leaving the house which is what I will deliver soon. In general amateur golfers usually lack mobility in their spine and pelvis. There is another group that lacks a significant amount of shoulder flexibility. Lastly, there are those who are looking for a smaller mechanical perfection such as shaft lean, ball compression etc. I have supplied a few quick go-to stretches that should be performed daily and year round to maximize your swing potential and prevent injury.

Shoulder Rotation Stretch with 9 iron: this is a great stretch to help for those golfers who have a hard time laying the club off OR simply help with mobility of the shoulders. Do this stretch for 30 seconds on each side.
Hip Adductor Stretch: use a chair or bench for this one. Toss your leg up on the bench and sit your butt back until you feel a stretch in your groin. This stretch is great for those who lack rotation of the hips. Do this one in repetition – 3 sets of 10.
Hip Flexor Stretch: use a pad on the ground for your knee if you need. This stretch is very important in generating power in the downswing. Put one knee on the pad, position your chest up and hips forward, add additional stretching via twisting/reaching your body to the opposite side of the down knee.
Wrist Flexion Stretch: this stretch is important in maintaining the ability to have a forward shaft lean at impact and preventing lateral epicondylitis. Simply grasp your hand and pull in a downward fashion stretching the extensor portion of your arm.

These stretches are simple and efficient to deliver club head speed, maintain posture, and enjoy your round on the course. Keep in mind these are only a few of many stretches and generally each golfer requires additional stretches for their own unique swing. If you have any further questions please feel free to contact our office for a TPI screen to assess exactly what your swing faults are and how we can address them.

Hit ‘em straight…And far.
Dr. Kampfer, D.C, T.P.I Certified

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