EVERY avid golfer wants to improve their swing but might not know the best way to make it happen.
The most effective way is to work on your range of motion, as the full golf swing forces your body to move in ways your normal daily activities don't. A flexible muscle reacts and contracts faster and with more force than a less flexible muscle, thereby improving your performance. Greater flexibility in your shoulders, torso and hips will not only help you attain a fluid swing, but it will also help you avoid poor alignment of the spine and pelvic girdle, and minimize your chances of pulling or tearing muscles. Your stretching routine should include the three following stretches. Perform them after your warm-up, and hold from 15 to 60 seconds.
? Upper pec/pec major
Face through a doorway with your arms flush against the frame. Apply a gentle force while pushing your body through the doorway. Remember to keep good posture and to keep your stomach tight so you don't overextend your back. The stretch should be felt across the chest muscles.
? Latissimus dorsi/back extensors
Kneel on a mat, and stretch your arms forward in front of your head with your palms down. Make sure you keep your gluteal muscles in contact with your heels and your arms stretched out as far as possible. You should feel this stretch through the middle and outer part of your back, and down into your lower back.
? Rotation lower back stretch
Lie flat on your back on an exercise mat or blanket. Bend your legs to a 90-degree angle and keep your feet flat on the floor. With your arms out to the side and your shoulders flat on the floor, roll both of your knees together down to the floor. You should feel a gentle stretch in your lower back. Repeat on the opposite side.
Shaun Karp is a certified personal trainer. For more information call 604-420-7800 or visit www.karpfitness.com.