3 FLEXIBILITY EXERCISES TO IMPROVE YOUR GOLF SWING
Having good posture and flexible joints are extremely important for your golf game. You need to be able to rotate your spine and hips so you can develop that recoil movement or torque - the rotational force necessary to wind up your body to its full potential and maximize your backswing and downswing.
In order to improve spinal rotation, every joint related to the spine must be capable of moving freely. If there is a blockage or restriction in the hips, shoulders or spine - it will block the chain and limit your range of motion. Overall, rebalancing the full body from the ankles and hips - to the spine and shoulders - will contribute to improving the range of motion in your spine and developing torque.
IMPROVING SPINE FLEXIBILITY
While some regions of the spine are more flexible than others, in order to optimize spine flexibility, it’s important to facilitate movement throughout the full spine. If the thoracic spine does not rotate well enough, the lumbar spine is forced to rotate more - which can damage the discs between the vertebrae. Beyond doing exercises that involve twisting the spine, it’s imperative to rebalance the full flexibility of the spine through exercises that actively engage, stretch and decompress the muscles related to it.
1. Lower one arm in front of you and raise the other arm behind you in a windmill motion. Imagine a string that is connected to your spine is pulling you up towards the ceiling.
2. Press the top arm forwards in front of your chest and the other arms straight behind you. Try to open up the chest (to maximize spine rotation) by relaxing your shoulders. Engage your abs to prevent sinking in your lumbar spine.
3. Repeat the full rotational movement 3-5x on each side.
IMPROVING HIP FLEXIBILITY
Hips are one of the most important joints that facilitate the movement of the spine and help with the backswing and downswing. The hips are a ball-and-socket joint that connect your thighbone and hipbone. In order to maximize the rotational force required for a powerful golf swing, exercises that open up the hips should not only involve stretching the muscles around the hip, but also rotate the joint inside the socket.
Essentrics Hip Cleaners:
1. Standing on one leg (hold onto your car or chair for balance), bend one knee and rotate it internally.
2. Open up the knee out to the side.
3. Bring the knee beside the other knee.
4. Repeat 3-5x on each side.
HIP FLEXOR STRETCH
The hip flexors are a group of muscles that have various attachment points around the upper thigh, hips and even the lower back. This is why tight hips are often related to lower back stiffness. The following stretch can be done using a chair or the trunk of your car (if you’re getting ready to play) and will help to unlock and open up the hip flexors. This is also a great stretch to do right after you’ve played 18 holes.
1. Place your foot flat on the surface of a chair or elevated surface.
2. Bend your front knee and try to tuck your pelvis forwards and simultaneously straight your back knee.
3. Keeping your body upright, drop your back knee towards the ground.
4. Release the stretch by returning to a standing position and repeat 2-3x on each side.
10 DAY FLEXIBILITY PROGRAM FOR GOLFERS
When it comes to improving your flexibility, doing a few exercises before you play is certainly helpful, but consistency is key for making lasting changes to your flexibility. The Essentrics 10-day program for golfers is designed to improve your overall hip, spine and shoulder flexibility - even if you’re a complete beginner to stretching. Doing daily dynamic stretching movements will also help you to relieve tension in your back and hips so you feel better on the course and reduce injuries so you can practice more and feel better afterwards.
This program will include shorter workouts that you can do before you play, as well as some deeper stretches that you can do in between rounds to unlock your spine and hips and improve your posture and body awareness.
Starting Monday, May 10th – Join Gail Garceau for a 10-day Conditioning for Golfers Program to improve your overall hip, spine and shoulder flexibility, all while relieving tension and rebalancing the full body. This program will help you improve your game, reduce injuries, and play your very best!