If you have limited side bend, then you will also be limited in your spinal rotation because one motion cannot happen without the other motion. Any limitations in this area will cause you to slide or sway in your golf swing. Improving your range of motion so you can side bend will help you make a better backswing and improve your swing plane to be more consistent.
Stand in a shoulder width stance. Keeping your back, head and shoulder in the same line, raise your arm over your head and bend to the side.
Go as far as you can without losing your balance.
Hold position for 8 to 10 counts and return to start position.
Every time you play golf, you turn, twist, bend, squat, lunge every part of your body and then you repeat the same movements for 4 to 5 hours–this can tighten your muscles and cause a condition called ‘repetitive stress injuries’. Repetitive stress injuries are injuries that happen when too much stress is placed on a part of the body, resulting in inflammation muscle strain, or tissue damage.
It is no wonder that that 53% of amateur golfers have sustained some sort of injury while playing golf. Maintaining and improving flexibility may be one of the easiest ways to prevent those ‘repetitive stress injuries’ that occur while you play golf or when you do other daily activities. Research reports that regular stretching may be more effective in preventing injuries rather than occasional stretching.
Why is stretching so important?
Stretching increases flexibility to improve over all fitness, muscular strength and endurance.
Stretching can ease ‘repetitive stress injuries’, also called overuse syndrome. Stretching the muscles and tendons that become tight from repetitive movements combined with a strengthening program can prevent or help heal these chronic conditions that golfers are susceptible to.
Stretching keeps joints limber. Each joint has a different degree of movement. This is called “range of motion.” Stretching properly, can maintain an optimal range of movement to help you turn your shoulders and hips completely in the backswing and follow-through.
Regular stretching can help fight and lessen muscle imbalances, which can ultimately lead to injury.
Stretching relieves stress. Stretching throughout the day or even during a round of golf may help you relax, swing more freely and help you focus.
Over the next few weeks I will be posting various stretches that can be done on and off the golf course to keep you loose, increase your range of motion and help you recover from your golf round.
If you have any tightness or inflexibility in your neck area, you will have a hard time completing a full shoulder turn and you may take your eye off the ball as you swing back. This may result in raising your body up or standing up as you swing back or using excessive hand and arm motion causing a faulty clubface.
If your tendency is to lift your head, take your eye off the ball, have an incomplete shoulder turn or have an abbreviated finish, it is important to incorporate neck flexibility exercises into your daily routine to not only improve your swing mechanics, but also prevent injury.
This exercise may not be for everyone. Stop if you feel any pain or dizziness.