What type of stretches do you recommend following a round of golf?
- - Daniel C.
Post-round stretching helps the musculo-skeletal system recover from the physical impact generated by the effects of the golf swing, reduce the onset of lactic acid which contributes to muscle soreness, and reduce the risk of injury. You will also reduce pain in your low back pain and reduce lower body fatigue. The following Yoga for Golfers poses incorporate a style of yoga called Restorative Yoga - referring to the bodys ability to restore itself to a healthy condition. Additionally when you are sleeping the body is in a natural state of healing. Practice these poses before bedtime and you will sleep more soundly.
These post-round Yoga for Golfers poses are passive stretches that use gravity vs. muscular strength to stretch the body. Close the eyes and practice your yoga breathing. Have a sense that the body is stretching deeper with every exhalation. When the mind and body are relaxed, one is open to the conscious as well as subliminal or unconscious thoughts.
Take this relaxing opportunity to practice visualization - - seeing the body as flexible and strong, seeing your mind and body free from tension. Visualize your optimum golf swing as you focus on your breathing. Inhale and exhale through the nose. Allow the exhalation to be twice the duration of the inhalation.
Lye on the back with the arms perpendicular to the body, bend the knees and bring the heels close to the buttocks. Allow the knees to fall to the left, resting the knees on two to three rolled up blankets. Keep the right shoulder on the ground. Measure the height of the blankets by the intensity of the twist. For less intensity raise the number of towels under your knees. You should feel a gentle stretch in the low back, ribcage and chest area. This pose supports the range of motion in the low back and passively stretches the intercostals.
Sitting on the floor place your buttocks as close to the wall as possible or to the legs of a chair. Bring body around so the legs rest on the wall or on the seat of the chair. If the legs are on the wall the hips should be on the floor and not elevated. If necessary, place a small towel under the head so the neck is not hyper-extended. Arms place next to the body, palms facing up. This pose offsets the effects of the round in the lower extremities. You will feel relief in the low back, knees and feet, reducing swelling and joint pain.
Prepare for this pose with your foam roller or rolled up towels to recreate the diameter and length of the roller. Sit on the roller with the knees bent and lie back. Support the head on the roller or place a small towel under the head. Allow the arms to open, palms facing up. Place towels or a second roller under your knees supporting your low back. Hold for three to five minutes. To come out of the pose, bend the knees and roll off the roller. Use the strength of the hands to bring the body up to a seated position.
Bend your knees and bring the heels close to the gluts. Place the arms perpendicular to the body, palms facing up. Roll the shoulders under, facilitating an opening in the chest. Allow the knees to fall to the left and come to rest on the yoga blocks. Your level of flexibility determines how many yoga blocks you need. Relax in this pose for three to five minutes. Switch sides.
If you are challenged by knee flexion place a towel behind the knees before you sit back on your heels. Focus on the stretch in the lower back. Breathe and relax in this pose for a few minutes.