1. Check Your Movement
Whether you’re an avid golfer or only take part in the occasional round with friends, it’s good to test for strains and asymmetries in your body. You can easily do a self-test by:
- Keeping your feet planted and facing forward,
- Rotate to look over your shoulder on each side.
- It would help if you watched for any indifference in your rotation from one side to the other. This quick test should quickly reveal any imbalances and guide you on which areas to pay extra attention to during the next steps.
2. Increase Mobility with Targeted Stretching
Create a simple golf routine that allows you to warm up before a game with 10 to 20 minutes of low-intensity activity. A brisk walk or jog, followed by stretching the muscles used in your swing – the back, shoulders, neck, and forearm could be a good warm-up. Be sure to gently stretch each area and hold it for 10 to 20 seconds.
After, try some golf-specific warm-up exercises and slowly move through a swing, back and forth. It would be best if you were balancing each movement on either side of the body, followed by practising shorter shots on a driving range.
A perfect way to stretch and condition your mid-back is with the half or full “rainbow stretch.” To perform this stretch, lie flat on your back with your knees bent, feet on the floor, and arms stretched out to the side. Gently rotate your entire trunk to bring one arm over your body and across to meet the other arm, as if you were tracing the arc of a rainbow above you. Go as far as you are comfortable and repeat on the other side.
Moving the body through a full golf swing can also strain the lower back, so stretch it out with a similar move: stay on your back and twist at the hips, letting your leg fall out to each side. This will release any tension there and allow for more fluid motions.
Research has shown that failing to warm up for at least 10 minutes before playing golf doubles your risk of injuring yourself.
Following these steps ensures your body is warm and less prone to injury. Once you’ve finished with your game of golf, go through a similar set of exercises to cool down.