Why You Need To Stretch AFTER Your Round
By Lisa Holtan
The golf season is in full swing (sorry no pun intended). Last month we talked about dynamic stretches you can do before the game to get your body ready to play a round of golf. This month we will go over static stretches you can do once your game is over. Dynamic stretches help to warm your body up for the upcoming activity.
Static stretches help to loosen tight muscles you have used in walking, swinging and moving out on the course.
There are 3 static stretches that every golfer should do after they play a round of golf to prevent soreness, tightness and possible injury.
Erector Spinae Stretch
The erector spinae stretch helps with mobility in the thoracic spine. Without proper mobility through the thoracic spine the backswing is limited. Plus, without a strong and mobile thoracic spine, you may experience low back pain.
Sit on the floor with your legs straight, bend your right knee and bring your right foot over your left leg. Put your right foot on the floor (it should be next to your left knee). Twist to the right. If you can, put both hands on the floor on the right side. If not, put the right hand on the floor and the left hand on your right thigh. Repeat on the other side.
Hip Flexor Stretch
The hip flexor stretch will help to lengthen the psoas or hip flexor muscle. This muscle gets tight due to the fact that we sit a lot. When this muscle becomes tight it has a hard time lengthening and can cause pain in the low back. If you have tight hip flexors it could cause your swing to be not as powerful as you would like.
With your left knee on the floor and your right foot on the floor gently push forward. Raise your left arm in the air. You should feel a stretch in the front of your leg or even towards your groin area. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds then repeat on the other side.
The Latissimus Dorsi Stretch
The latissimus dorsi ball stretch will help in lengthening the latissimus dorsi muscle. The latissimus dorsi is a back muscle, which helps with extending and adducting your arm. The latissimus dorsi helps with the backswing. If your latissimus dorsi is tight (overactive) you will not have a full range of motion in your backswing, resulting in the ball not being hit as hard or as far as you were hoping.
Kneel on the ground with the ball in front of you. Put one hand on the floor and the other hand (the outside of your hand) on the ball. With your stomach drawn in, push the ball out with your hand and round your back. Repeat on the other side.
Remember to take a few minutes to do a couple of these stretches right after your round next to the car or golf cart before you throw those clubs back in the car.