Flexibility is THE most critical physical attribute you can develop if you want to improve your game. It is especially important if you’re going to get that perfect golf swing.
This focus on a golf flexibility routine surprises most golfers, both those new to the game or even very experienced players. If asked, most golfers would probably say that strength is the king. After all, swinging a golf club to get the ball over 200 yards down the fairway takes a lot of sheer power. It does, but you will never get the full range of motion needed to hit the ball correctly without that flexibility.
You need to be able to twist your body effortlessly but in a controlled way. You will be able to do that so much better if you are more flexible when you are playing. Flexibility means that you deliver strength and power where you need it, right through your body, through the club, and onto the ball.
Full range of motion can help your golf game
There is another important thing too. Having a good golf flexibility routine is also critical in avoiding injury. It’s not just the top professionals who suffer from back problems, knee issues, and pains in the elbows and the wrists. It can happen to us all, even if our game is much gentler and less pressured. The movements we make with our bodies as we play the game, especially the moves we make to get a good swing, can pressure joints and muscles. If we are out of shape physically, this can be too much and lead to injury. The fitter and more flexible you are, the better you will play, AND you will avoid damage.
Keeping fit and flexible is an essential part of the game as practicing your shots. Here are some exercises designed to fit in with the rest of your life and will make you feel better all around and improve your golf.
Even if you are leading a busy life, you can fit in everything which follows easily.
Videos for golf flexibility
Let’s start when you are at home and have some time. I would recommend that you get your computer, laptop, or even your phone and follow one of the excellent YouTube videos which are available. The great thing about videos is that you can track the movements precisely and be sure you are doing the exercises correctly and getting maximum advantage from them.
I especially like this YouTube video. It’s just 10 minutes long and gives you a great workout routine for general flexibility.
So, all you have to do is put your laptop or phone where you can easily see the movements. Look around and make space, so you have room to move, and away you go.
Golf stretches on the go
I would advise that you follow a golf flexibility routine from a video such as the one above as often as you can. But of course, it will not always be possible to fit this in. And I know some people find following a routine a bit boring and restrictive and prefer to build a personal program.
Here is a great alternative.
Five simple flexibility exercises
Here are five quick and straightforward activities which you can do anytime and more or less anywhere. After each, I have made a recommendation of how many times you should repeat each one.
Do these repeats if you can, but you will still get some benefit even if you can only do one or two. If you have five minutes before your next meeting, use the opportunity to get in a bit of flexibility practice. You can improve your flexibility in these little bits of dead time.
I have chosen these exercises to be gentle enough not to need to do a full warm-up before starting. Just roll your shoulders in a rotation and shake your legs and arms. Breathe deeply, right down into your diaphragm to relax, and you are good to go. But if you do have time, try these essential warm-up and rotation exercises. They are useful in themselves for building up your flexibility.
WARM-UP before you start
Do 3 minutes walking on the spot, lifting your knees high. Then do some rotations. Follow these simple rotation exercises:
Exercise One: Lower back flexibility
- Sit on an upright chair without arms (a dining chair is ideal)
- Let your chin drop to your chest
- Bend forward slowly and in a controlled manner
- Stop when you can feel tension across your lower back and hold for 30 seconds.
- Relax and repeat five times
Exercise Two: Leg and knee flexibility
(It is best if you can do this exercise in front of a mirror to make sure you are keeping your body in line)
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Let your shoulders relax and pull them slightly back (just a little, do not put any pressure on them)
- Stretch your arms up. Make sure they are in front of you, in line with your shoulders.
- Breathe in and engage your core.
- Slowly bend your knees and lower your hips as if you were about to sit on a chair (make sure you are keeping your upper body, head still and straight)
- Keep going until you feel the stretch in your thighs
- Hold for 30 seconds
- Straighten up and repeat for six times
Exercise Three: Wrist and arm stretching routine
- Stretch out your right arm
- Fingers of your left hand behind your right hand
- Gently push until you feel a stretch right along with your arm
- Relax and repeat six times
- Change sides and repeat with the other arm
Exercise Four: Hip balance and movement
- Put your feet apart so they are in line with your shoulders
- Slowly bend over to reach toward your toes, keeping your rear tucked in
- Hold for 30 seconds, come back up slowly to the starting position, and repeat ten times.
(If you cannot reach your toes, do not worry and don’t force it. Get as near as is comfortable for you. You will get better the more you repeat).
If you want visual support to improve your toe touching, here is an excellent video
Exercise Five: Shoulder stretch
- Stand against a wall. Make sure your whole body is flat.
- Keep your back straight and move your arms up the wall until your hands are just above your head.
- Move your arms down slowly until your elbows come into your sides
- Move up again slowly.
- Repeat ten times
Golf flexibility routine summary
The great thing about a flexibility program is that a little can make a big difference. A few minutes of practice every day will loosen up tight muscles and increase your range of motion. Try it, and you will see a difference within a week.