Golf is a lifetime sport, and it should be. But the activities we do and the positions we put our bodies into for an extended period of time at work or at school leave us susceptible to some nagging injuries that can pop-up out on the golf course or at the driving range.
There are things we do in our everyday lives that cause pain and discomfort before we ever pick up a golf club. For example, by sitting in a chair for an extended period of time at school or at a desk at work, we open ourselves up to a variety of issues from back stiffness to hip and shoulder tightness. The good news is that there’s something we can do about it: stretching.
In our Anatomy, Exercise and Biomechanics class with chiropractic physician Dr. Jordan Mackner, we’re learning how to take better care of our bodies and reverse some of the effects of sitting all day. Through his years of working to strengthen and rehab golfers of all levels at Golfstretch Therapies in Scottsdale, Dr. J has developed a simple, 10-minute warm-up routine. It’s geared toward golfers, but it won’t just benefit golfers. These stretches are designed to reverse the strain and the pain of the positions we put ourselves in every day.
I will list the exercises here, but I highly recommend that you do them under the watchful eye of a physical therapist until you get them down. I have found them to be very beneficial in a very short period of time.
In the two weeks I’ve been doing them, my plantar fasciitis has almost completely disappeared, and my lower back pain is virtually non-existent. Dr. J has his older patients do these stretches every morning when they wake up, but 60-90 minutes before a round of golf or other physical activity will work too:
Cat-Camel = Alternates core and extension contraction; 1 set, 10 reps
Press-Up = Focuses on full lumbar extension and hip extension; 1 set, 10 reps
Dynamic Child’s Pose = Stretches the shoulders and thoracic spine; 1 set, 10 reps
Rotation/Thoracic Spine (T/S) Mobilization = Teaches correct rotation; 1 set, 10 reps
Dynamic Pigeon = Warms-up the posterior capsule of the hip; 1 min., each leg
Dynamic Hip Flexor = Stretches hip flexors forward and laterally; 1 min., each leg
Dynamic Triplanar Ankle Mobilization = Restores dorsiflexion and mobilizes calf muscle; 1 min., each leg