Ten of the Best: Golf stretches

Ten essential golf stretches to help you play better, everytime

Charlie Lemay's picture
Charlie Lemay
Fri, 20 Sep 2013

Ten of the Best: Golf stretches

Stretching only takes a few minutes and it can prevent injury and add distance to your golf shots. If you arrive at the course and jump straight on the first tee, there is a high probability you will struggle for the first few holes.

Here are ten best golf stretches that will have you starting your round with a bang!

1. Quadraceps

Using your legs in your golf swing creates power and I’m sure you want more of that! This simple golf stretch for your legs can be seen on sportspitches worldwide and I’m sure you’ve done it countless times before but many golfers neglect it.

Method: Bend your knee and pull your shoe towards your bottom. Hold for 10 seconds and do the same to the other leg. Then, as you do this rotate your torso to the right (right-hander) or left (left-hander), mimicking your golf swing. 

2. Lateral back stretch

Back problems are among the most common injuries in sport. The golf swing puts enormous pressure on your spine and has it twisting a number of directions so this golf stretch for the back is vital.

Method: Take an iron in both hands as if you were going to snap it over your knee. Lift it above your head and, while maintaining a steady pelvis, lean as far as you can to the right and hold for 10 seconds. Repeat on the left side. 

3. Hips

Often a neglected area, you shouldn’t forget about your hips. This golf stretch for the hips is from a seated position which in my experience is always preferred to a standing stretch.

Method: Sit on a bench and place your right ankle on top of your left thigh. Push down on your right knee with your right forearm and lean forward until you feel a stretch. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat on the other side.

4. Wrists

Wrists are a danger area in golf. Flex them when you’re putting and you'll be in trouble but don’t flex them in the backswing and you’ll be losing a heap of distance, so check out this golf stretch for your wrists to keep them loose.

Method: Grab the tips of your fingers on your right hand with your left hand and pull back as far as possible. Hold for 10 seconds and do the same on the left side.

5.  Shoulders

If your shoulders aren’t loose a full rotation will be near impossible. Without full rotation your timing will likely be off and you will be losing distance, therefore a gofl stretch for shoulder turn is very important before the round.

Method: Stand as if you were addressing the golf ball. Hold your left elbow with your right hand and slowly rotate your torso. Pull you left elbow until you feel a stretch and hold for 10 seconds. Repeat to your left side. 

6. Neck

Although you may not think it, the neck also has a strenuous workout when playing and should be taken into consideration when doing your golf stretches and exercises.

Method: Look to the left and use your right hand to push your head as far as comfortable. Hold for ten seconds. Repeat looking right, down and up. Do not swing your head in a circular motion as this will cause damage.

7. Hamstrings

If you’ve stretched your quads, you also need to stretch your hamstrings. A large muscle group, the hamstrings are used in the followthrough to create power, so a thorough golf stretch to increase power is needed.

Method: Stand upright and put your right foot on a bench, chair, golf cart or anything that will elevate it enough. Lean as far forward as possible and hold for 10 seconds. Do the same with the left leg.

8. Front hip muscles

When you finish your swing and hold that classic golf pose, you will be flexing your front hip muscles and it would be a really bad/embarrassing time for one of them to tear. To avoid the embarrassment and pain make sure you do a golf stretch for your hips before teeing off.

Method: Kneel on your right knee and hold an iron with your right and use it like a walking stick for balance. Place your left foot in front of you with a bent knee and place your left hand on your left knee for stability. Keeping your back straight, lean forward which will move your weight onto your left leg. Repeat on the other side. 

9. The cat and camel stretch

A bizarre name and an equally humorous stretch. This one may get people staring, but who will be laughing when they pull a muscle in their back? Hopefully not you, but you know what I mean. This is a golf stretch for the lower back that Greg Norman utilised in his warm up.

Method: Kneel on all fours, extend your arms forward and lower your chest to the floor. When you exhale, extend your shoulders and press down on the floor with your arms to produce an arch in your back. Hold the stretch for 10 seconds. When you inhale do the opposite and straighten your arms and ark your back upwards.

10. Pectoral stretch

Your pecs are important if you want to increase club head speed and distance as they are used to pull the club into the contact zone, so a golf stretch for a round is absolutely pivotal.

Method: Stand upright facing a door. Raise your elbows to shoulder height at your sides and have your elbows bent so that your index finger points straight up. Place your palms on the doorframe and stretch until it starts to feel uncomfortable. Hold for 10 seconds then do the other side.

Originally published May 2013. Updated September 2013.

Want anymore articles on golf stretching? Then check out...

Five top golf warm up stretches
Five key stretches for golf