Golf stretching

Published 25/09/2009 08:10:02

The key to getting fit starts with the warm-up. As the name implies, a warm-up session is a gradual, safe way of increasing the temperature of the body by speeding up your heart rate and getting blood pumping into your muscles, thereby lessening the risk of straining them.


A good warm-up session is a great way to make the transition from the daily stress of life to the joy of playing a winning round of golf. Do an abbreviated version of your warm-up routine before you reach the first tee.


Release tension


Each warm-up session should consist of a searies of stretches, which may be followed by a vigorous workout if you have the time. Or you might want simply to confine yourself to warming up with a few gentle stretching exercises whenever you feel tense or stiff.


You might start the morning this way, use your lunchbreak at work, or even as a way to release tension before you go to bed. But remember, whenever you stretch a muscle, make sure you are reasonably relaxed and that you take it easy until the body is ready. Breath slowly and deeply and don't force anything. Go at your own pace and try not to be competitive if you're in the presence of others.


Ideally, a warm-up should last at least ten minutes, but it can go on for over half an hour. You might include riding a bike, walking, jogging, running or just some simple stretching. As long as your body is warm, you should be ok.


Gaining flexibility


The term stretching implies exactly the effect you want. When you neglect exercise for a long period of time, muscles tend to shorten and get tight. This can also happen if you're doing a lot of weight training without the necessary stretching and warm-downs involved in that.


Stretching helps warm the muscles up with blood, which in turn allows them to become loose, more supple and more easily used by the body to their maximum effectiveness. Just look at someone like Tiger Woods - he's as much an athlete as he is a golfer.


We can all strive to gain greater flexibility by gentle stretching. The secret is to do each stretch to the point of slight discomfort - your body will tell you when to stop. The general rule is to hold the position and count to five if you're a beginner, gradually working your way up as experience grows.


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