Increase Golf Flexibility for Greater Power
Flexibility is defined as the available range of motion about a specific joint. The range of motion can be limited by many factors. Some of these factors are nervous system control, muscle constraints, joint constraints, or skin and subcutaneous tissue.
Flexibility is considered by many to be one of the most important factors of a successful golf swing. The logic behind this belief is because it increases the movement distance for force application. Studies have demonstrated that greater amounts of force can be produced when a muscle is pre-stretched before performing the activity demanded of it.
A pre-stretched muscle creates elastic recoil that applies additional force for a more powerful contraction. This procedure is also known as preloading the muscle. By understanding the dynamics of flexibility, it only makes sense that it contributes heavily to a more powerful golf swing.
Golf is a power sport. The golfer must be able to generate near-maximum power a certain number of times during a round of golf. Regardless of a player’s talent level, most effective and powerful swings are produced when the force-generating muscles are preloaded first. The force generating muscles are found in the lower body. There must be transfer of this force to the upper body in sequential motion in order to create a powerful and effective golf swing. This can only occur if the muscles in both areas are properly stretched and flexible.
Balance also plays an important role in the flexible movement and correct postural alignment for an effective golf swing. To some degree, flexibility and balance go hand in hand.
The fact is that no matter what your natural talent, age, gender, or current level of play, if you condition your body for an increased level of flexibility the chances are very good that your golf swing will consistently improve. Even a few minutes a day of stretching exercises can go a long way to achieving improvement.
Increase your Flexibility with These 3 Key Golf Stretches
Why is it that a golfer rarely asks for a full 20 minute extensive warm up routine prior to golf, but rather those two or three key stretches guaranteed to yield the best results in the shortest period of time?
No matter how hard those in the golf fitness arena try to convince golfer’s to stretch prior to a round of golf, our efforts are often fruitless. It’s not that golfers don’t care; life just seems to get in the way of our best laid intentions. So, instead of arriving 30 minutes early as planned, most golfers come scurrying around the corner and plop into their carts in an effort to get away with the bare minimum prior to tee-off.
So, based on popular demand, here are those 3 key stretches. While it will always be in your best interest to plan and prepare, both mentally and physically, prior to your round of golf, the following stretches will get your body ready in record time.
Lunge with Rotation
This movement is designed to duplicate the trunk rotation involved in the swing while stretching the hip flexors.
- Place hands on opposite ends of a golf club and place behind the top of shoulders
- Begin by taking a nice long step forward, then lowering to a lunge position
- Gently turn your torso towards your extended knee
- Hold each side for a count of two, then switch legs
Rotator Cuff Stretch
This movement is designed to stretch the rotator cuff muscles.
- Hold the club in the middle of the shaft with one arm extended straight out
- Rotate the club to the right and then to the left
- When complete, switch to the other arm and repeat
Loosens up the hip joints and prepares the body for a shoulder turn by stretching the low back.
- Bend over slightly from the hips
- Hold your spine in a neutral position
- Place club behind your back and in the crook of your arms
- Rotate your shoulders to the right, then to the left
- The movement duplicates the trunk rotation involved in the swing
Use these three stretches prior to your next round of golf and you will likely see a significant impact in your performance. Get ready to take your game to a new level!
For more useful golf related exercises read this Healthline article.
Increase Golf Flexibility for Greater Power: Conclusion
So you no longer have any excuses, there are 3 simple stretches you can start performing regularly to improve your flexibility and power. As an added bonus this work will reduce your injury risk too!