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Stretching before playing?


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Yeah I know we should all do it, but my question is, how many of us really do? Myself, I stretch for maybe 45 seconds before hitting a few balls and practice swings and all that mumbo. What do you guys do? Does it help?

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Man I'll tell you what, I won't start a warm-up session or practice session without doing regular plus active stretching. I have to activate my leg and back muscles before starting the violent action that is the golf swing. I spend a minimum of 15 minutes for it.

 

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Do some "yoga for golfers" before you leave the house. 5 minutes static, 5-10 minutes of dynamic stretches before you swing a club. It's the best thing you can do for yourself.

 

 

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I have to. I've torn up my shoulder, my knee working, and there's a family history of really bad back problems so I don't have a choice. I have a routine of basic stretches I do for 15 minutes before I even think of hitting a ball that include toe touches, easy squats, unfortunately I can't remember what the arm exercises are called but I'll figure them out and get back to y'all. After those my first few swings are with a weight on my wedges. Ever since I've started doing them I haven't aggravated any injuries and I feel like I don't have that wake up period I used to have on the first few holes.

 

 

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Not to get to physical therapist nerdy on you here, but Stretching before raising your body temp enough to increase blood flow and warm the muscles can actually cause an injury. Don't stretch cold muscles.

If you're Looking to improve your flexibility, warm-up first with running, jumping jacks or some exercise to break a sweat, then do some stretching ( and stretch at the end of your workouts).

You're more likely to injury something at your end range of motion, and Rotational motions are especially forceful and can accelerate degeneration of joints when done repeatedly (golf swing anyone). Golf can be very ballistic, so if you're rotating, to your end ranges of you spine joints (each vertebrae has at least 4 joints with rib bearing ones having more) your are much less likely to get hurt if you're warmed up properly.

While you're at it Do some progressively forceful swings in the opposite direction to balance out the forces that pull on the muscles the soft tissue.

There's a new member from Portland @mdfrey6er that's a PT who works with some tour level golfers, if you want more specific stuff, you can shoot him a PM.

 

 

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It's a must! Back in the day when I thought warm up at the range were a waste of time and I rather be playing. I jump right to the 1st tee and wham! Spasm my back. No golf for a month or two. I happened a few times and I hated each time.

 

Now I don't start til I'm good and ready. 10 mins is all you need for a good stretch. No more than 25 balls at the range, I'm good to go. If you like golf take care of your back.

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I can tell you this from experience. The older you get the more you better stretch and warm up. My first thing is a dose of vitamin I ( ibuprofen). I do not get real strenous fast. I really do not have a set routine. On hitting balls on warm up I do about like Ethan does except I do not have weights on my wedges (LOL I have enough lead tape on them anyhow) I will hit about 20 or 25 balls with the wedges to get loose and set my timing up. Just like Casey says I get my entire body warm to begin with especially in cool or cold weather. I will stress again that us older guys need to pay attention as we get older and less flexable. Good all around advice given by all on here

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I go the Stu route, medicate up lol.I focus more on stretching my lower hips and back. Everything else will loosen up as we go.

And I do this just before hitting balls. Stretching is a time issue for me. Not to soon, not to late otherwise it's a waste.

 

 

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Stretching allows you to be free swinging from the first hole instead of waiting a few holes to get limber. How many times do you find your swing after a few holes. Definitely stretch if you want to score well from the first swing. Ask any pro golfer if he or she just steps up to the first hole and starts swinging without warming up.

 

 

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Thank you @mcaseym ! I agree with your opinion. Many go into their rounds not fully warmed up which results in not only an increased risk for injury, but also an inconsistent swing which molds throughout the round. Consider how your body may adapt if it doesn't have the allowable ROM. We start seeing compensations including swing changes, inconsistency, & sometimes pain if the compensations hit an area of weakness or prior injury.attachicon.gifIMG_1104~2attachicon.gifIMG_1017~2attachicon.gifIMG_1646~2attachicon.gifIMG_1019~2attachicon.gifIMG_1651~2

I recommend starting with a light warm-up such as walking at a high pace for 10 mins, lower body/upper body cycle for 10 mins, or walking some stairs for 3 mins. Then move into some light to moderate dynamic stretches of the spine, hamstrings, groin, piriformis, & spine. Today I will post some pictures of stretches for the gym or home prior to your round & I will later post those which can be done at your course if you are running late or don't have access to a clean floor or mats.

 

 

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Picture 3 is a stretch for the piriformis, correct? And what is being stretched in the 4th picture?

 

Thanks for all your advice!

 

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Picture 3 is a stretch for the piriformis, correct? And what is being stretched in the 4th picture?

 

Thanks for all your advice!

 

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1 is a leg over which stretches the low back, thoracic spine rotators, & hip/piriformis.

 

3 is a leg cross leg swing which loosens the hip joint & stretches the piriformis/lateral hamstrings.

 

4 is a quadruped trunk rotation which helps to open up the thoracic spine & engage the scapulae/shoulder blades. It also opens the chest/pectorals & loosens the shoulder joints.

 

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Man I tell, since hitting 40 my legs and hips are so much tighter.

 

I've started foam rolling while I watch tv at night just to keep things loose. Sometimes I'll just lay on the mat, throw in a movie and just go for hours. I've also been following a bunch of yoga and golf exercise accounts on Instagram to find some good video stretches too.

 

On golf days I get up early and put in 10-15 minutes of foam rolling. Then after I warm up at course to get the muscles going I do a series of stretches.

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Man I tell, since hitting 40 my legs and hips are so much tighter.

 

I've started foam rolling while I watch tv at night just to keep things loose. Sometimes I'll just lay on the mat, throw in a movie and just go for hours. I've also been following a bunch of yoga and golf exercise accounts on Instagram to find some good video stretches too.

 

On golf days I get up early and put in 10-15 minutes of foam rolling. Then after I warm up at course to get the muscles going I do a series of stretches.

I just took a lesson and the pro suggested that I do just this. But on the course, I am always afraid of looking like this

 

Screenshot_20170515-073536.jpeg

 

 

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At 64, my stretching routine begins when I get out of bed and doesn't stop until I return to it.

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I like seeing some of those exercise photos mdfry6er posted. Some of those especially the first two could have come straight off the stretching video by Roger Fredericks. I've been told they are basically yoga stretches. So be it. They are very good. I only wish I'd do more of them.

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Really liked this video... thought he had some really good stretches in there and the importance of just pounding out a few balls and saying I'm ready couldn't be overstated.

 

 

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I go the Stu route, medicate up lol.I focus more on stretching my lower hips and back. Everything else will loosen up as we go.

And I do this just before hitting balls. Stretching is a time issue for me. Not to soon, not to late otherwise it's a waste.

 

 

Tazz

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Yep you know us big guys have absolutely got to do that especially when we are getting older. And BTW I am just like you on the time issue

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I like seeing some of those exercise photos mdfry6er posted. Some of those especially the first two could have come straight off the stretching video by Roger Fredericks. I've been told they are basically yoga stretches. So be it. They are very good. I only wish I'd do more of them.

You are correct they appear to be modified Yoga stretches but in Yoga you hold the "pose" so to speak. My wife turned me on to yoga. Some of us older guys have to watch how we do those exercizes too

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This is right up my ally as well! I'm not a PT (my useless brother is!) but I am a CSCS certified stength & conditioning coach and I work with athletes. Like @McaseyM said, don't stretch cold!

Really, I don't even like the word, "stretching". I think it puts athletes in the wrong mindset. Instead, focus on, "warming up". This means raising your core temperature (we call it, getting your chili hot!), proper joint and spine mobilization and prepping your CNS to play. Warming up isn't just about injury prevention, it's also about optimizing your performance.

One place where many athletes fall short is in the CNS prep phase of a warm up. Basically, you want to go through some challenging movements that will require focused proprioception and "wake up" your CNS in a sense. My favorite drill for this is what I call, the "outside, ground to overhead twist" 

 

Relative to the big toe on your left foot, place a golf ball one foot in front and then one foot out side (45* angle shooting out and away from your foot) of your foot. Just one ball. Now, balance on your left foot and pick up the ball, using both hands as slowly, smoothly and in control as possible (do not just crash down on the ball!). Pick it up and now, pretend their is a shelf on the right side of your head about a foot above head height. Stand up (still balancing on one foot!) and twist and place the ball on the shelf. Now, reverse the process and put the ball back where you found it. 

Repeat with the right foot, flipping all the directions. Go back and forth, right foot, left foot five times each. If you touch your lifted foot, no big deal, just pick it back up and keep going. Always be slow, smooth and under control. This will get your core temp up and really turn on your CNS before you go into your mobility. 

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