Golf season is almost here. With spring around the corner, if you haven’t been winter golfing in a warmer climate, you may be excited to see a few 60 degree days of weather on the calendar. But when you head out to the links, the time you put into your post season workouts can really pay off. Strength training is key to improve your golf drives, but flexibility training can be even more of an advantage in your golf swing.
One key area to focus on for flexibility is the shoulders. Think about stretching the latissimus dorsi or lats. The latissimus dorsi is the largest muscle in the upper body. The lats are responsible for extension, adduction, horizontal abduction, flexion from an extended position, and (medial) internal rotation of the shoulder joint. What all this means, is that if your lats are tight, you’ll have a harder time swinging the club and following through in your swing arc.
Some simple ways to improve flexibility in the shoulders are the Wide Pull Stretch and Overhead Side Body Stretch with the Flexistretcher. The Flexistretcher is a unique tool that is similar to a yoga strap but it won’t let you overstretch due to its elastic center (like that in a resistance band). It is stable yet offers resistance – tension to help stretch and strengthen muscles that may be tight.
Wide Pull Stretch
Simply grab the nylon straps and lift arms straight overhead. Slowly lower the elastic center behind your head and have elbows pointing downward. While holding this position, rotate the upper body and rib cage keeping the Flexistretcher behind the body. Repeat the rotation 10-16 times and then reach up to release the Flexistretcher. Repeat this movement 2-3 times.
Overhead Side Body Stretch
Now, take the Flexistretcher and fold it in half, holding the elastic center in one hand and the nylon straps in the other. Keep tension in the Flexistretcher and arms extended overhead as you bend sideways to open the obliques, lats, and torso. Lean and hold each stretch for 8-10 seconds and then return to the other side and hold 8-10 seconds. Repeat 10 times.
These two simple stretches will help your open your shoulders for both the back swing and follow thru, which will help you drive the ball further each time.