Death To Your Swing
As a golfer gets older and begins to lose flexibility, you can see it in their posture and swing. Their posture becomes more stooped, their swing gets shorter and they lose distance on their drives. If this is happening to you, you can try new technology or take a lesson to find some improvement, but those are only temporary fixes. The truth is, until you restore that lost range of motion and flexibility to your body, your swing will continue to deteriorate and your game will suffer. In my experience with treating and training golfers over 35, the fastest way I can improve their game is by improving their flexibility.
The first rule in proper stretching is to breathe out with the stretch. If you hold your breath while stretching, it actually makes that muscle tighten and will restrict your flexibility. When you move into a stretch, breathe out and hold for about 5 seconds. Do 3 – 5 repetitions in each direction or with each side. You should feel a good stretch at the end of your range but no pain.
Next, stretch from the ground up, starting with the ankles and ending with the neck and shoulders. The body works as a unit and responds best when stretched that way. Also remember to stretch into extension. What that means is that because we sit or constantly bend forward, we lose flexibility first in backward bending. This will lead to a stooped posture, forward head and rounded, tight shoulders over time. So remember to stretch into “good”, tall posture. Finally, be consistent. It may take time and persistence to improve your flexibility but once you’ve got it back, it’s much easier to keep than it is to regain it.
The best total body stretch for golf is called the “super 7” golf stretch (see handout). It stretches you from head to toe and hits the 7 major muscle groups used in the golf swing. If done correctly, it will also improve your balance. We recommend doing this daily and especially on the range or tee box before your round.
So when we hear someone say; “I don’t have time to stretch”, or “I’m too old to stretch”, we say; “If you ever want to play good golf again, you’d better start stretching.” And when they ask; “Can I get more flexible at my age?” We say: “Absolutely!”
To help you get started with your stretching, we have a Golf Stretches flyer.
If you have questions about exercise, fitness, pain, injuries, or if you want to play better golf; email Lance at: www [dot] lance [at] ssi-physicaltherapy [dot] com. You can also call SSI at 864-801-8706 to set up an appointment for a one-on-one assessment by one of the Upstate’s best and most qualified Golf Body experts!