Exercises for Flexibility

Flexibilty Training is Essential for Staying Injury Free and Improving Your Golf Game

Guest author: Kathy Ekdahl, Golf Fitness Expert

There is no doubt that proper fitness conditioning can dramatically improve your golf game and reduce your risk of injuries, but many golfers are confused as to where to begin.

There are many aspects of golf conditioning that require direction and advice from an experienced golf fitness instructor, but one of the easiest conditioning programs to begin on your own is flexibility training. Like all rotary sports, golf requires tremendous joint range of motion and muscular elasticity to perform the proper, safe golf swing. Flexibility training addresses the motion of the joint, as well as improving the health and elasticity of the muscles that attach at the joints.

Specifically, the golfer needs to address the flexibility of

  • the shoulders and thoracic spine (mid and upper back)
  • the muscles that attach at the hip: the hip flexors, the hamstrings and the gluteals
  • the calves
  • low back muscles also need to be flexible with normal motion, but they really are stability muscles and should not be over stretched.

The lower back is where your core stability training is necessary. This is because, in the golf swing, most of the motion and power of the swing is related to flexibility of the mid and upper back and the hip attachments. If these two areas are too tight, the low back will actually be over stressed during the swing. This can cause the chronic low back pain that many golfers experience.

To begin a flexibility program you need no equipment- only 5-10 minutes a day of your time.

  • Rotational Flexibility – Concentrate on the rotational flexibility of the mid back with seated or lying twists.
  • Hamstrings – Stretch the hamstring muscle in a seated L position reaching for your toes, or lying on your back with one leg straight in the air.
  • Hips – Hip flexors are a major cause of a poor golf swing as well as back pain, so this is an area to really work at. Kneel on one knee, with the other foot forward and push the hip of the kneeling knee forward to stretch the front of your hip.
  • Hips and Glutes – Hips and glutes can be stretched with a cross legged seated stretch.
  • Calves – Calves can be stretched by leaning against a wall with knee straight, then knee bent, heel always on the floor.

Healthy flexibility can be achieved with very little time investment and quite quickly. So, there are no excuses for not stretching! For more information or tips on stretching, contact Kathy Ekdahl at kathy@personalbestpersonaltraining.com

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Kathy Ekdahl, CSCS, ACE Certified Personal Trainer, is the owner of Personal Best Personal Training in Hudson, Massachusetts. She is a former health club owner and has been teaching Yoga since 1997. Kathy is a TPI Certified Golf Fitness Instructor and is the Staff Personal Trainer at The International Golf Club, Bolton, MA. Kathy also coaches Women’s Varsity Lacrosse at Hudson High School.

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For more fitness information: Golf Stretches to Improve Your Game

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