Take Five and Stretch


Grab a 3-iron and get ready to play

We all understand the importance of warming up the body before a round of golf, but the lack of time stops most golfers from preparing the body. In recent articles I have offered flexibility programs for the locker room and utilizing the golf cart. This week I offer a short series of exercises, five minutes in total, using the club as for balance and resistance. Your fitness / flexibility level will determine the level of intensity. All the exercises are perfect for senior golfers, the inflexible golfer and the fit golfer. A little preparation will reap big results!
Side stretch:

Side Stretch

Place the feet wider that hip width apart, bend the knees and pull the navel towards the spine. Feel as though you are lifting the ribcage up and off the waist. Exhale and stretch the body to the left, inhale stretching to the other side. Repeat five times.
Twisting with the club:

Twisting Stretch

Bend the knees, maintain a solid lower body foundation and lift the club to waist height. Inhale, draw the navel towards the spine and twist to the left. Exhale and twist to the right. Allow the eyes to follow the hands. Begin slowly and then increase the intensity and speed. Move in a controlled manner, using the core for stability. Repeat ten times.
Down Dog with the club:

Down Dog Stretch

This pose stretches the shoulders, low back, hamstrings and Achilles. Place the feet four feet apart and the club approximately three feet in front of you. Walk the feet backwards, bringing the body to a 90 degree angle to the legs. Relax the neck. Inhale, draw the navel towards the spine and return to the starting position. Exhale, move into the pose. Repeat this dynamic stretch five times and then hold the pose for twenty seconds.
Standing forward fold with the club:

Standing Forward Fold Stretch

This pose targets the hamstrings, Achilles and core abdominals. Place the right foot approximately four feet on front of the left. Turn the left foot inward at a 45 degree angle. Pull the right hip back so the hips face forward. Inhale, draw the navel towards the spine and flex the quads. Exhale and hinge at the hips. Repeat five times and then hold the pose for twenty seconds.
Five minutes on the practice tee will pay big dividends on the first tee. These stretches work well on the golf course, but will help you maintain flexibility if practiced in the living room five days a week.
Next week begins a six week series on strengthening your swing. Get ready to build more strength and power.
Katherine, the fitness expert for Your Game Night, can be seen every Monday evening on The Golf Channel. Her new book Yoga for Golfers is available on her website @ www.YogaForGolfers.com or at book retailers worldwide.
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    Editor's Note: Katherine Roberts, founder of Yoga for Golfers, has 20 years of experience in fitness training, yoga studies, professional coaching and motivation. Katherine welcomes your email questions and comments, contact her at info@yogaforgolfers.com.