Healthy Back Stretches

By S.F. Heron
Make the pushup back stretch part of your pre-round routine.
Make the pushup back stretch part of your pre-round routine.

Nothing will put a stop to golf like a sore back. The back muscles function as an integral part of every swing and putt you make. Your back is made up of hundreds of muscles and 24 discs to allow for bending, twisting and lifting. Your back works in concert with your abdomen when performing everyday activities as well as swinging a club. Here are some stretches you should perform before a round.

Knee-to-Chest Stretch

Most of these stretches should be performed in your home before you leave for your round. You'll need a carpet or an exercise mat, not the hard pavement of a course parking lot. Lie on the floor and tighten the abdomen, pulling it in toward the spine. Draw both knees toward your chest and wrap your arms around them. Hold this position for a count of 10 and release. You should feel the pull through the lower and center back. Repeat three to five times.

Pushup Back Stretch

Lie flat on your stomach on the floor with hands positioned for a pushup. Rest the tops of the feet on the floor instead your toes as you would for a regular pushup. Engage the abdominal muscles and press your arms to full extension while slowly arching the back. Hips and legs should stay positioned on the floor. Hold this position for 10 seconds and release. Perform three to five times.

Oblique Back Stretch

This stretch actually engages the muscles of the back in a motion similar to swinging a club. Lie on your back with bent knees. Place the arms at the side and tighten the abdomen. Focus on aligning the neck, spine and hips into one straight line. Lift both knees together and roll to the right side, keeping your hands flat on the floor for balance. Hold for a 10 count and release. Complete three to five repetitions for each side.

Hamstring Stretch

A flexible hamstring can help your performance on the course and protect your back as well. Don't ignore these major muscles that run down the back of your thigh. If you've ever experienced sciatica, you know lower back pain can transmit to the legs to create a very uncomfortable situation. A basic hamstring stretch can be performed right after your knee-to-chest stretch. Lie on the floor with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Lift one leg and grasp the back of the thigh with both hands. Try to slowly straighten the raised leg and hold for a five count. Release and perform on the other leg. Do three to five reps for each leg.

Photo Credits

  • Allan Danahar/Photodisc/Getty Images
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