Do you routinely skip out on stretching before playing golf? Let’s face it, we’ve all heard the lecture about stretching and how important it is, particularly as we age. But you may tell yourself that a round of golf doesn’t warrant a stretching routine. Would it surprise you to hear that instituting a stretching routine can not only help you avoid injuries, but it’s been shown to actually help you play better?

Golf is a far more dynamic and physically demanding sport than its looks at first glance. Hitting the ball with enough power to drive it hundreds of yards, and getting exactly the right torque on your backswing puts some pretty hefty demands on your body. Most of us are always working to improve our game, and learning how to stretch can make a big difference. Studies have shown that performing a regular stretching routine several times a week can result in improved range of motion and even a lower handicap.

Your new routine

Ideally, you may want to set aside around twenty to thirty minutes three times a week. However, consistency is actually more important than the precise amount of time you dedicate to stretching. Even if you have five or ten minutes on a busy day, it’s better than skipping a session all together. You always want to start with muscles that have been warmed up, because they are more pliable and less likely to incur injury. A light aerobic exercise like five to ten minutes of walking at a brisk pace or jogging should do the trick.

Shoot for working each of the muscles groups that undergo the most use in playing golf. Major muscle groups like arms, legs, chest and back should be targeted, of course, but don’t forget to stretch your hands and wrists as well. They take a lot of wear and tear when playing golf.

A lower score

Warming up before golf is an excellent way to get loose and avoid injuries. It’s important to note that if you plan to do your stretching before golf rather than after, your stretching program should not be static, which leads to tension in your muscles rather than flexibility. That said, committing to a consistent stretching routine helps you play better.

Before teeing off at the beautiful first hole, “Road to Rio”, at the Calabasas Country Club, set aside a few minutes to loosen your muscles, increase your flexibility and get ready to beat your friends!