Stretches to Use After a Golf Game

By Patrick Cameron
Professionals like Darren Clarke frequently stretch before, during and after rounds to stay limber and reduce muscle fatigue.
Professionals like Darren Clarke frequently stretch before, during and after rounds to stay limber and reduce muscle fatigue.

Stretching is a vital part of the pre-golf routine. Stretching before playing will help you generate better flexibility, leading to a smoother, more comfortable golf swing. But stretching can also be invaluable after your game of golf. When the muscles are warm from playing, having a stretching routine will allow you to increase circulation to joints and tissues, relax the muscles for the rehabilitation period and get rid of waste products, all of which reduce muscle soreness and stiffness after the game.

Lower Back

Your lower back is under a lot of stress during a game of golf. There are a couple of static stretches that can be applied immediately after the game that will help your lower back muscles stretch and relax. You can do simple knee lifts while standing, bringing one knee up to your chest and holding it there for 5 seconds. You can also find a spot to lay down and bring both of your knees up to your chest, holding them tight by wrapping your arms around them. You can also stretch the side muscles of your lower back by keeping your back flat on the ground and bringing one leg over the other and holding the stretch.

Hamstrings

During a round of golf, the rotation of your body along with the constant force on your legs will tighten your hamstrings. If you leave them without stretching, they will tighten up and make it hard to walk. You can stretch your hamstrings using the same on-your-back position that you've used for stretching your lower back. The stretch involves extending your legs straight down, lifting one leg and, while keeping it straight, place your hands under your thigh. Lift on the leg gently to bring it up while focusing on keeping the leg straight.

Hips and Glutes

Along with the hamstrings, the hips--from rotation--and glutes--from weight shift--are among the other most-used muscles in the golf swing. You can stretch your hips and gluteal muscles by using a static exercise called the crossover. To do this, you'll want to lay on your back with a wall at your feet. Set your feet on the wall so that your knees are bent at 90 degrees. Take your right leg and cross it over the thigh of your left leg, making sure you keep your back flat on the ground. Place your hands on your left thigh and pull it toward the ground until you feel stretching on the outside of your left hip. Hold this for 20 seconds and then switch legs.

Don't Wait

The best time to stretch after a round of golf is immediately when you get off the course. Your muscles are still warm from the golf game, so they will be more supple and agreeable to a stretching routine. If you wait until you get home or for later in the day, your muscles will have cooled down and will be harder to get them warmed up again, with the possible risk of a pull or other injury.

About the Author

Patrick Cameron is a freelance writer with 10 years of diverse experience in consumer goods branding, promotions and retail communications. He works out of his home in Denver, Colo. He received his Bachelor of Arts in mass communication from the University of Minnesota.

Photo Credits

  • Stuart Franklin/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images
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