Golf Fitness on the Go - Flexibility Series Recap

By Kelly BlackburnJuly 5, 2004, 4:00 pm
This week we are going to recap our first Golf Fitness on the Go series. Now that you have had 6 weeks to learn all of the flexibility exercises, we will combine all of them in a simple 15-minute format! Remember your benefits from this routine:
  1. Improve flexibility to lower the risk of injuries and improve range of motion

  2. Increase flexibility of the shoulder girdle for more stability at the top of your back swing

  3. Increase flexibility of the upper legs for improved balance during your swing

  4. Increase flexibility of your hip girdle for more power and club head speed

  5. Increase flexibility of the lower legs for more push-off power in the downswing

  6. Increase the flexibility of the trunk which is critical in making an effective turn

  7. Increase the flexibility of the forearms and wrists for better club control

  8. Ultimately increase your overall fitness level!
Flexibility is vital to the game of golf and general fitness. Stretching while the muscles are warm and supple will increase long-term range of motion. These exercises will speed recovery and reduce the likelihood of residual stiffness. All of the exercises will be performed two times using a static technique (no bouncing) before advancing to the next exercise. The stretch will be accelerated slightly farther the second time, which will produce maximum gains in flexibility. Move into each stretch to a comfortable position. Never stretch to the point of pain and hold each stretch, including acceleration, 30 seconds each.
 
Ok, you're ready to go! Grab your Stretch Trainer and let's get started!
 
Kelly Blackburn with a stretch trainer
Exercise 1 - Calf
Exercise 2 - Low Back
Exercise 3 - Chest & Shoulder
Exercise 4 - Hamstring
Exercise 5 - Adductor
Exercise 6 - Mid Back
Exercise 7 - Bicep & Forearm
Exercise 8 - Tricep
Exercise 9 - Neck
Exercise 10 - Cross Hip
Exercise 11 - Low Trunk
Exercise 12 - Quadriceps
Exercise 13 - Abdominals
 

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Related Links:
  • Natural Golf Makeover Challenge on The Golf Channel
  • Kelly Blackburn Article Archive
  • Health & Fitness Main Page
     
    EXERCISE 1 - CALF

    Stretching Your Foundation - assisted calf stretch

    Start: Sit with your legs extended, feet upright and wrap the center of the stretch trainer across the right ball the foot. Sit upright holding on to each side of the stretch trainer.
     
    Action: Slowly pull the stretch trainer toward the torso keeping equal tension to create the stretch.
     
    Finish: Return to the start position and repeat, but the second time increase the stretch.
     
    Tips: Keep the abdomen flexed. Insure upper back posture.
     
    Keeping the lower leg flexible will add more push-off power in the downswing.
     
    EXERCISE 2 - LOW BACK

    Low Back stretch

    Start: Lie back with both knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Pull the right leg to the chest and wrap the center of the stretch trainer around the back of the thigh.
     
    Action: Hold the stretch trainer equally on both sides and slowly bend the knee into the chest to create the stretch.
     
    Finish: Release the tension and repeat but the second time increase the stretch.
     
    A flexible low back will promote a fuller turn.
     
    Note: If you already have a Stretch Trainer you can now get the Flexibility for Your Game DVD that accompanies this piece of equipment.
     
    EXERCISE 3 - CHEST & SHOULDER

    Chest & ShoulderChest & Shoulder

    Start: Stand with both feet shoulder width apart and hips rotated forward. Place the stretch trainer behind the back and grip with both hands at shoulder width, palms up.
     
    Action: Expand the chest while raising the stretch trainer back and slightly upward to create the stretch.
     
    Finish: Return to the start position and repeat but the second time increase the stretch.
     
    Tips: Keep the abdomen flexed and the neck in a neutral position. Keep both knees slightly flexed. Do not arch the back.
     
    This stretch extends the range of motion for arms and shoulder girdle.
     
    EXERCISE 4 - HAMSTRING

    Hamstring Stretch with Stretch TrainerHamstring Stretch with Stretch Trainer

    Because low back problems are directly related to weak and inflexible hamstrings, its important to insure hamstring strength.
     
    Start: Sit upright and wrap the center strap of the Stretch Trainer around the arch of one foot. Bend the opposite knee and place the opposite foot on the floor to create equal balance.
     
    Action: Pull tension on the stretch trainer and slowly roll onto your back extending your leg with the strap upward. Gently pull the stretch trainer towards you increasing the range of motion in your hamstring.
     
    Finish: When you have reached a comfortable position hold the position.
     
    Tip: Do not bounce and to increase the stretch, extend the bend knee leg flat to the floor.
     
    Flexible hamstrings help to alleviate low back pain associated with golf.
     
    Note: If you already have a Stretch Trainer you can now get the Flexibility for Your Game DVD that accompanies this piece of equipment.
     
    EXERCISE 5 - ADDUCTOR

    LegsLegs

    The inner thigh (adductor) is crucial to the golf swing because it is part of the hip girdle which helps generate power in your swing.
     
    Start: Sit upright and place the soles of your feet together.
     
    Action: Wrap the center strap under your feet and gently pull your heels towards the groin area.
     
    Finish: Hold for 30 seconds and repeat.
     
    EXERCISE 6 - MID BACK

    Strengthen Back with Stretch TrainerStrengthen Back with Stretch Trainer

    Start: Stand with both feet center strap of the Stretch Trainer.
     
    Action: Slowly bend at the waist towards the floor until your torso is parallel to the floor. Slowly round the back upward and pull tension on the stretch trainer.
     
    Finish: When you have reached a comfortable position hold the position and contract the abdomen.
     
    Note: If you already have a Stretch Trainer you can now get the Flexibility for Your Game DVD that accompanies this piece of equipment.
     
    EXERCISE 7 - BICEP & FOREARM

    Bicep and Forearm StretchBicep and Forearm Stretch

    Start: Standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hips rotated forward, place your right hand into the loop of the Stretch Trainer.
     
    Action: Holding your arm straight out in front of you, slowly pull downward on the Stretch Trainer until you feel the stretch in your biceps and your forearms.
     
    Finish: Hold this stretch for 30 seconds and repeat to the opposite side.
     
    Note: If you already have a Stretch Trainer you can now get the Flexibility for Your Game DVD that accompanies this piece of equipment.
     
    EXERCISE 8 - TRICEP

    Tricep StretchTricep StretchTricep Stretch

    Start: Stand with both feet shoulder width apart and hips rotated forward. Place the loop into the right hand and extend the stretch trainer overhead. Place the opposite hand behind the back and grip the stretch trainer.
     
    Action: Bend the elbow of the extended arm and slowly pull downward on the stretch trainer.
     
    Finish: Release the tension and repeat but the second time increase the stretch.
     
    Tips: Keep the knees and abdomen flexed. Do not arch the back.
     
    Flexible triceps assist with distance off the tee.
     
    EXERCISE 9 - NECK

    Neck StretchNeck Stretch

    Start: Stand with both feet shoulder width apart and hips rotated forward. Wrap the center of the stretch trainer around the upper back of the head.
     
    Action: Hold onto the stretch trainer equally and slowly drop the chin to chest. The hands will create a greater stretch by serving as anchors.
     
    Finish: Release the tension and repeat.
     
    Tips: Do not pull downward with force. Keep the knees and abdomen flexed.
     
    EXERCISE 10 - CROSS HIP

    Cross Hip stretchCross Hip stretch

    Start: Lie on your back with both knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Cross one leg over the opposite and place the ankle over the opposite knee.
     
    Action: Slowly raise the foot off the floor with the knee bent towards your chest. Place your hands around your thigh to increase the stretch.
     
    Finish: Hold for 30 seconds and repeat. Repeat to the opposite side.
     
    Note: If you already have a Stretch Trainer you can now get the Flexibility for Your Game DVD that accompanies this piece of equipment.
     
    EXERCISE 11 - LOW TRUNK

    Low Trunk stretchLow Trunk stretch

    Low Trunk stretch

    Start: Lie back with both knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Pull the right leg to the chest and wrap the center of the stretch trainer around the arch of the foot.
     
    Action: Straighten the right leg holding on to both loops equally and slowly pull the leg towards the chest. Hold both loops in the left hand, straighten the opposite leg and extend the right arm to the side. Slowly drop the extended leg to 10 oclock ( picture shows 9 oclock) and turn the head to the right. (picture 3 shows finish position from opposite side)
     
    Finish: Hold for 30 seconds, release the tension and repeat but the second time increase the stretch. Repeat to the opposite side.
     
    EXERCISE 12 - QUADRICEPS

    Quad Stretch 01

    Quad Stretch 02

    Start: Sit with your legs extended, feet upright and wrap the center of the stretch trainer across the right ball the foot. Sit upright holding on to both loops of the stretch trainer with the right hand.
     
    Action: Slowly roll down onto the left side while simultaneously bending the right knee and pulling the right foot to the buttocks.
     
    Finish: Grab both loops behind the head and gently pull upward to create the stretch. Release the tension and repeat, but the second time increase the stretch.
     
    Tips: Keep tension on the stretch trainer to prevent slack in the transition.
     
    Flexible quadriceps improve balance during the golf swing.
     
    EXERCISE 13 - ABDOMINALS

    AbdominalsAbdominals

    Start: Lie face down and place your hands palms down on each side of your head for support.
     
    Action: Pressing through your palms, bend at the waist arching your back and slowly press upward.
     
    Finish: Hold for 30 seconds and repeat.
     
    Note: If you already have a Stretch Trainer you can now get the Flexibility for Your Game DVD that accompanies this piece of equipment.
     

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    Sergio starts season with 66 in Singapore

    By Associated PressJanuary 18, 2018, 12:56 pm

    SINGAPORE – Sergio Garcia opened his season with a 5-under 66 and a share of the clubhouse lead on Thursday in the first round of the weather-interrupted Singapore Open.

    Playing his first tournament of the year, the Masters champion rebounded after making an early bogey to collect four birdies and an eagle at the Sentosa Golf Club.

    He was later joined by American qualifier Kurt Kitayama in the clubhouse lead. Still on the course, Tirawat Kaewsiribandit was at 6 under through 16 holes when play was suspended for the day because of the threat of lightning.

    Louis Oosthuizen, the 2010 Open champion, was at 5 under through 16 holes when he also had to stop his round because of the weather.

    Of the players who did finish their opening rounds, only three were within two strokes of Garcia and Kitayama. One of them was Casey O'Toole, who aced the par-3 second with a 7-iron.



    The 38-year-old Garcia dropped his only shot of the day on the par-4 15th, his sixth hole after teeing off on the back nine, when he missed the fairway and was unable to make par. But he made amends when he birdied the par-3 17th and then eagled the par-5 18th to go out in 33.

    ''I was 1 over after (the) seventh but it didn't feel like I was playing badly,'' said Garcia, who made birdies on each of the two par 5s and one of the par 3s on the second nine. ''But then I hit two greats in a row for holes 17 and 18. I got a birdie-eagle there, so that settled me a little bit and I could play solid in the back nine and it was a great round.''

    Garcia made the shortlist for the Laureus Sports Awards in the Breakthrough of the Year category after claiming his first major at Augusta National last year and is hoping for more success this season.

    He credits the Singapore Open as having played a part in toughening him up for his Masters win because he opted to start his 2017 campaign in the stifling humidity of Southeast Asia to prepare himself for the bigger tournaments ahead.

    Although he finished tied for 11th in Singapore, Garcia won the Dubai Desert Classic the next week and was in peak form when he won the Masters two months later.

    Kitayama only secured his place in the $1 million event on Monday by finishing at the top of the qualifying competition, but he made a strong start with birdies on three of his first five holes. The 25-year-old Thai was 6 under through 13 holes but spoiled his otherwise flawless round with a bogey on his last.

    ''I started with a birdie and I just let it roll from there. I had some good tee shots, which I think, is the biggest thing for this course,'' Kitayama said. ''I'm a little tired, but I'm hanging in there. Whenever I have time off, I'll try not to think too much about golf.''

    Getty Images

    13-year-old beats DJ in closest-to-the-pin contest

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:26 pm

    Dustin Johnson didn’t just get beat by Tommy Fleetwood and Rory McIlroy on Day 1 of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    Even a 13-year-old got the best of the world No. 1.

    Oscar Murphy teed off on the 177-yard 15th hole as part of the tournament’s Beat the Pro challenge during the opening round. The Northern Irishman, one of the HSBC’s Future Falcons, carved a 3-wood toward a back-right pin, about 25 feet away, closer than both Johnson and Fleetwood.

    “An unbelievable shot,” Fleetwood said afterward, “and me and Rory both said, ‘We don’t have that in our locker.’”



    Johnson still made par on the hole, but he mixed four birdies with four bogeys Thursday for an even-par 72 that left him six shots back of Fleetwood and Hideto Tanihara after the opening round.

    Johnson, who tied for second here a year ago, is coming off a dominant performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, where he won by eight shots to strengthen his lead atop the world rankings. 

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    McIlroy 'really pleased' with opening 69 in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:10 pm

    It was an auspicious 2018 debut for Rory McIlroy.

    Playing alongside world No. 1 Dustin Johnson for his first round since October, McIlroy missed only one green and shot a bogey-free 69 at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. McIlroy is three shots back of reigning Race to Dubai champion Tommy Fleetwood, who played in the same group as McIlroy and Johnson, and Hideto Tanihara.

    Starting on the back nine at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, McIlroy began with 11 consecutive pars before birdies on Nos. 3, 7 and 8.


    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


    “I was excited to get going,” he told reporters afterward. “The last couple of months have been really nice in terms of being able to concentrate on things I needed to work on in my game and health-wise. I feel like I’m the most prepared for a season that I’ve ever been, but it was nice to get back out there.”

    Fleetwood, the defending champion, raced out to another lead while McIlroy and Johnson, who shot 72, just tried to keep pace.

    “Tommy played very well and I was just trying to hang onto his coattails for most of the round, so really pleased – bogey-free 69, I can’t really complain,” McIlroy said.

    This was his first competitive round in more than three months, since a tie for 63rd at the Dunhill Links. He is outside the top 10 in the world ranking for the first time since 2014. 

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    Hadwin returns to site of last year's 59

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 11:04 pm

    Adam Hadwin had a career season last year, one that included shooting a 59 and winning a PGA Tour event. But those two achievements didn't occur in the same week.

    While Hadwin's breakthrough victory came at the Valspar Championship in March, it was at the CareerBuilder Challenge in January when he first made headlines with a third-round 59 at La Quinta Country Club. Hadwin took a lead into the final round as a result, but he ultimately couldn't keep pace with Hudson Swafford.

    He went on to earn a spot at the Tour Championship, and Hadwin made his first career Presidents Cup appearance in October. Now the Canadian returns to Palm Springs, eager to improve on last year's result and hoping to earn a spot in the final group for a third straight year after a T-6 finish in 2016.

    "A lot of good memories here in the desert," Hadwin told reporters. "I feel very comfortable here, very at home. Lots of Canadians, so it's always fun to play well in front of those crowds and hopefully looking forward to another good week."

    Hadwin's 59 last year was somewhat overshadowed, both by the fact that he didn't win the event and that it came just one week after Justin Thomas shot a 59 en route to victory at the Sony Open. But he's still among an exclusive club of just eight players to have broken 60 in competition on Tour and he's eager to get another crack at La Quinta on Saturday.

    "If I'm in the same position on 18, I'm gunning for 58 this year," Hadwin said, "not playing safe for 59."