Fitness

Golfing for Pleasure, Not Pain

Lateral Hip Shifts: Stand with your feet parallel and a little wider than your hips. Rest your hands on your hips and shift your hips slowly from one side to the other (image 2). Feel the stretch on the sides of your hip. Shift slowly back and forth ten times.

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Forward Hip Stretch: Stand again with your feet parallel and a little wider than your hips. Place your hands on your lower back and press your hips forward (image 4 and 5). Allow your knees to bend as you hold the stretch for 5 seconds. Ease back to standing straight. Repeat the stretch two more times.

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Arm Across Shoulder Stretch: Stand and reach your right arm across your chest. Reach up from underneath with your left hand and grab the upper part of your right arm (above the elbow). We call this a “figure 4” arm position. Press your right arm against your chest as you pull it gently across (image 6). Keep your shoulders down and feel the stretch on the back of the right shoulder. Hold the stretch for 10 seconds, then release the arm. Bring it across your body again, this time higher so it is just under your chin, and grab it again with your left hand (image 7). Pull your arm across for 10 seconds again at this higher angle. Repeat the two stretches with the other arm

Stretching your quads and the side and front hip flexors will help keep these muscles from getting tight, which can pull you forward and stress your lower back. The arm across stretch is really important because if your shoulders are tight and your arm range of motion is limited, then you will twist more from your back every time you swing the golf club back. This creates tension on the lower spine and, while you may not feel it at the time, will stress the lower back and can cause serious wear and tear to this part of your spine.

So the next time you hit the links, remember to take a few minutes to do the above stretches. Your game will be easier and your body happier.

Next week, we will turn our focus on tennis!! Take care.

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