Whenever you watch the pros hit a golf ball on TV, does their swing look like yours? Would you like to add 10 yards or more to the distance of your ball? Most golfers think their swing is in trouble because of the placement of their hands or feet and that is important. Some golfer believe if they can buy the best clubs and hit the best balls, that will make a difference and there is an argument for that. However, beyond all that there is a basic issue that most golfers rarely give much thought about. It is the movement of their body.
When I have been on a golf course, I do see golfer stretching using the traditional stretching techniques dating back to the days of Byron Nelson. The question you should ask about this type of stretching is, “Is it strength training or stretching?” What is the most stretch you see almost every golfer do before hitting their ball.
- Place the club across the back of their neck, stand with their feet apart, and start twisting their spine as if the back is actually twisting during the swing. Didn’t your pro say, keep your back straight and rotate your body around the spine?
- Stand with your feet slightly apart and bend down with your club in hand attempting to touch your toes. What part of your game requires you to touch your toes? Besides 90% of golfers can barely get past their knees.
- Lastly, that is it, for the common stretches and for the majority of golfers they walk out on the course and just start playing golf without stretching at all.
The very basics of the golf swing begins and ends with the legs, more importantly the rotation of the legs starting at the ankles going up to the hips. Most people do not realize, including professionals,
- there are 4 muscles in each calf
- 3 muscles in each hamstring area
- 4 muscles in the inner thigh
- 2 muscles on the outside of the thigh (IT area)
- 26 muscles in your feet
All of these muscles will determine how far you hit the ball based on the flexibility. These muscles will determine the injuries you will get if they are inflexible.
Let’s look at some simple stretches you can do before you get to the golf course and while on the course.
- Sitting in a chair, cross 1 leg over the other leaving the ankle on the opposite knee. For most people the knee of the bent leg will not lay flat without either pushing it down or engaging muscle to force it down. In this position, focus on the muscles of the inner thigh. Place your hand on the knee, using just a little pressure than the weight of your hand, press down on the knee. While pressing for 3-5 seconds, focus on your muscles up nest to your hip and let them relax. Repeat this 8-10 times. You can even do this on a golf cart.
- Sitting on the floor, or in a hard back chair with an ottoman, extend 1 leg out in front of you. If you can flatten you knee that is great, if not, the tight feeling behind your knee is your calf muscles, not your hamstring. After extending your leg, place a yoga strap, rope, or belt around the ball of your foot. Gently pull your toes back towards you without using your leg muscles. Hold 3-5 seconds and repeat 8-10 times. Rotate your foot inward and repeat the stretches. Finally, rotate the foot outward and repeat the stretches again.
- While sitting in a chair, place a golf ball under the arch of your foot. DO not press hard as pressure will cause tightness which is not what you want. Do not roll the ball around as this may be fun, but it has little to no value. Use the ball as a guide to sore spots on the bottom of your foot. When you find a sore spot, stay there, maintain the pressure, and breathe out while relaxing the muscle to stop the pain. Do both feet.
I would suggest that you go to my YouTube Channel, The Muscle Repair Shop, and watch the videos on calf stretching and hamstring stretching. The hamstrings and calves work together to give you the freedom to rotate your body. The softness of your feet allow your body to grip the ground for better stability as you hit the ball. Once you re-gain your flexibility in these areas, and it won’t take long, the rest of your skills in playing golf will be greatly enhanced. For one on one coaching, either in person or video, go to my website at http://www.musclerepairshop.com.