Do you find the same areas of your body keep getting stiff? Do you repeatedly stretch it out but it constantly feels like you are trying to move concrete? What can you do differently? So glad you asked…
Melanie Smith, owner of Sanctuary on Peninsula Pilates, explains warming up it a crucial part of pre game preparation. “However, sustained stretches can lead to reduced power of the muscle at the time and shortly after the stretch.
“Stretching after your game or at another time during your week can assist in improving your flexibility. This really comes in handy to golfers when you increase your range of motion in your backswing, which leads to more power,” Melanie explains.
How should I warm up for golf?
So if we shouldn’t be holding static stretches before we play golf, how should we be warming up?
To increase mobility before a game, we want to release the tension of a particular part of the body. For example, Hip Flexors (located at the front of the hip) can get extremely tight on golfers, and this can impact your ability to rotate effectively, bend over to pick the ball up and even balance. Pilates can be incredibly effective in releasing tension before a game.
When performed correctly, an exercise like knee openings (pictured) can be a great release of tension. And this sort of exercise combined with strengthening particular areas of the body, such as low tummy (deep core muscles) and bottom (gluteus maximus), can take the pressure off the hip flexor so gradually the hips stop getting so tight. It’s all about training the body to rebalance.
Can a lack of stretching make us more prone to injury?
Absolutely. As Melanie explains, “A great example of this is the hamstring and calf muscles. If this chain-of-muscles at the back of our legs are tight it restricts our ability to bend at our hips, knees and ankles leading to us then bend from our backs and we all know this done repetitively is an injury waiting to happen.
“Think about this in relation to picking up the golf ball or even putting on your golf shoes.”
So while its great to stretch post game or through the week, a combination of increasing mobility and strength through Pilates before a game can improve your range of movement.
In the Pilates for Golfers program you will learn how to properly engage muscles and use them for specific movements that relate directly to the golf swing. The program is currently running at Kingston Heath Golf Club and will be launching at more golf clubs in 2018. Alternatively, contact your local Pilates studio.
Belinda Kranz is a highly qualified Pilates Instructor (APMA) with over 6 years experience working with Physiotherapists, Chiropractors and Myotherapists.
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Melanie Smith is the owner at Sanctuary on Peninsula Pilates in Mt Eliza. With over 15 years experience, her knowledge is extensive, cementing her as a leader in the industry.
In addition to her Pilates training Melanie runs a pre requisite Anatomy course for people wanting to become Pilates teachers, holds a Cert 4 in Work Place Training and Assessment and a Certificate 4 in Personal Training and lectures on the Evolved Pilates Level 2 APMA teacher training course.
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