Top 5 BEST Golf Stretches For The Off-Season
- Read Part 2: Top 5 Best Exercise For The Return of Golf Season
- Part 1 of our Get fit for the golf season
The biggest strain experienced by golfers on the course will usually be related to back issues. It affected some of the greats like Tiger Woods and it can strike at any time if your back is too stiff for a proper round of golf.
Most will remember to stretch and keep their body limber during the middle of the season, but even more will forget to them during the off-season, once the clubs are stored away. We came up with five key exercises to maintain your flexibility in the off-season. We’ll be covering the following exercises:
- Lateral Leg Raise
- Cat Stretches
- Superman Stretch
- Seated Lower-Back Rotations
Though it might seem like an odd move to many, this stretch will help strengthen your lower back over time. When practicing, especially putting at home for long periods, your lower back will tend to stiffen.
To prevent this issue, you’ll want to strengthen your lower back and your upper glutes by exercising the flexibility of your hips.
How you do it:
- You’ll want to start by laying out on your back with your knees bent. You can put your feet about a hip-width apart;
- Plant your feet into the ground to raise your hips while letting your arms rest by your side;
- Once a straight line is created from your head to your knees, you can squeeze your buttocks to activate the stretch;
- After the stretch is completed, you can lower your bottom and your hips to the ground to come to rest;
- Repeat the motion 15 times over 3 sets while allowing a minute break between the sets.
Tip: You can rest for a few seconds between every raise while using a 1-3-1 tempo to help you stabilize your motion.
2. Lateral Leg Raise
Once again, we want to help you strengthen your lower back and help you with hip mobility, two crucial parts of the body when it comes to swinging the ball smoothly.
Targeting the side of your hips and lower back, this exercise doesn’t require a lot of energy, but it will pay off when you return to the course this summer.
How you do it:
- Lie on your side while keeping your legs together, make sure the lower leg is slightly bent to help balance you out;
- Raise the top leg to an angle of 35º to 45º while engaging your core muscles to protect your lower back;
- Make sure to keep the leg fully extended and hold the position for two seconds;
- Repeat 10 times over for a total of 3 sets for each leg. Don’t forget to switch sides after each set.
Tip: You can either support your head with your arm and your hand, or you can find an elevated surface to rest your head upon. Try to avoid straining your neck.
3. Cat Stretches
Also known as cow stretches, this stretch aims to lengthen your back while helping in the relief of muscle tension in some parts of the back. You can probably use this one all season long, even when you get to return to the course!
How you do it:
- Set your hands flat on the ground at shoulder-width and your knees at hip-width;
- Trust your belly button toward the sky to arch your back;
- Relax the position and let your back relax while keeping your four points of contact anchored to the ground;
- Repeat the motion three to five times, twice a day.
Tip: Managing your breath while curving and arching your back will help with the relaxation of your back muscles.
4. Superman Stretches
A strong back is key to a proper golf swing and assuring that the entirety of your back is strong enough to support a full round of golf carrying your bag while also hitting over 80 balls.
This stretch will target the back extensors. They play a crucial part in keeping your swing in good shape as they run along your spine.
How to do it:
- Lie down your stomach and extend both your arms and your legs;
- Raise both legs and arms from the ground creating as much space as possible with the ground;
- Pull your belly to activate the core muscles;
- Keep looking down at the floor to avoid neck injuries;
- Extend your feet and your arms as much as possible;
- Try to hold onto the position for two seconds and return to the original position slowly;
- Repeat up to 10 times for maximum efficiency.
Tip: Although you keep looking at the floor to avoid neck injuries, be cautious of your nose when bringing your head back down to the ground.
5. Seated Lower Back Rotational Stretches
Considering the new circumstances of many, we feel like this one might be very useful, especially for golf fans!
While you may be working in front of your computer at home (or on your chair at work), there’s an exercise that can help keep your back healthy and avoid causing too much damage from long periods of sitting.
How to do it:
- Find a stool or a chair to sit on with your knees bent at a 90º angle;
- Make sure your feet a flat on the ground at that your back is up straight;
- Place your hands behind your head and twist your core to the right for 10 seconds;
- Repeat the movement on the left side of your body.
Much like the Cat Stretch, you can repeat this movement 3 to 5 times over, twice a day
Tip: Use your opposing hand to generate more torque by pushing on the knee of your rotating side for a deeper stretch
Hopefully, these exercises help you keep your back healthy through the colder months so you’ll be ready to hit the ground running when the courses open. For the time being, let's enjoy the game that we love played by the best players in the world.
Until next time,
The Golf Avenue Team
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