Us golfers know there really isn’t an “offseason.” Taking practice swings without a club in the office, at home, and while watching TV are all part of the lifestyle. But what if there were exercises and stretches (beyond these practice swings) that you could use to train when courses are too snowy or unplayable? Being certified through the Titleist Performance Institute (TPI), I have 3 stretches and functional movements for you today that you can work on when you’re not able to get out and play a round.
1. Prayer Stretch w/ exercise ball assistance
The prayer stretch is an excellent way to keep your mid back, shoulders, and lat muscles loose and freely moving. In today’s society we are glued to our phones and laptops, which can lead to a tight or restricted mid back. This stretch is designed to stretch and lengthen your mid back after long hours of social media or meetings
Start by getting into a prayer position by kneeling down on the ground and sitting back onto your heels. Place both arms on an exercise ball and slowly roll the ball straight out in front of you. Go until you feel a big stretch in your lats and stop if there is any pain. Hold the stretch at the bottom of the movement for 1-2 breaths, and then return to neutral.
Body Parts targeted: Mid back, shoulders, thoracic spine, upper body
2. Alternating Supermans
Alternating Supermans are the next exercise to keep your body and core engaged within your golf swing. This exercise helps promote the cross body connection between your right and left sides as you swing a club. Even though you may swing a club right or left handed, it is incredibly important to train both sides of your body for a smooth take away, impact, and follow through with your swing. Alternating Supermans are designed to develop stability in your lower back and mobility in your spine, hips and shoulders.
Lie face down with your arms extended over your head (looks like superman flying through the sky). Engage your core and begin by raising your right arm and left leg simultaneously. Lower them back and now lift your left arm and right leg. Repeat back and forth.
Body Parts targeted: Abdominals, core, glutes, hip flexors, hips, lumbar spine, shoulder
3. Clam Shells
Clam shells are the third exercise to incorporate, and they focus on glute muscles. Throughout the day after prolonged sitting in meetings, on calls, or while driving to and from the office, your glutes can become deconditioned, which then affects your lateral stability in your golf swing. Clam shells are designed to strengthen and stabilize your trunk.
Lie on your side (with your back against a wall) with your knees bent and feet on top of each other. Keeping your feet in contact with each other, try to lift your top knee up as far as possible. Stop if you have any pain while performing this exercise.
Body Parts Targeted: Glutes, hips, lower body
There you have it! Obviously this is not an extensive list of stretches and exercises to work on during your off season, but this is a great starting point to get your body ready and engaged for when your first round of the year comes around.
The level 1 TPI screen involves an analysis of 16 (SIXTEEN!) different body movements that are all used within a simple golf swing. Who knew that swinging a stick to hit a little white ball could be so complicated? If you’re looking to improve your game or to decrease some of the aches and pains that happen during or after you play a round, then the full level 1 screen is for you.