18 Holes with Tina Mickelson: Stretching for Golf

We’ve heard that stretching before physical activity is an important part of injury prevention. However, experts have determined that there’s a difference between "sustained static stretching" and "dynamic stretching" or "movement preparation," a method favored by Elite Performance Institute’s Dr. Peter Mackay. In layman’s terms, you achieve power in the golf swing by releasing elastic and explosive power. A rubber band that is tight gets more distance when you pull it back and release than a rubber band that’s stretched out and loose. So by stretching out the muscles, they become longer and looser, which results in a decrease of that elastic power you need for the golf swing.

Dynamic stretching activates the muscles in a way that will prevent injury and prep the body for physical activity, a full range of motion, and peak performance.

Some examples of dynamic stretches that are ideal for golfers:

Arm swings

Extend arms out to your sides with feet shoulder-width apart. Swing arms horizontally back and forth, like a helicopter. You’ll feel a stretch in your obliques.

Side toe touch

With feet slightly more than shoulder-width apart and arms stretched out to your sides, touch your left toe with your right hand, keeping your legs as straight as possible. Repeat on other side. Do this until it feels comfortable and fluid.

Squats

Holding a golf club with hands slightly farther than shoulder-width apart, extend the club up over your head. Feet should be no more than shoulder-width apart. Squat down to the point where thighs are just about parallel to the ground. Be careful not to lean forward. Back should remain straight and upright.

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