I'm a scratch player and play on two mini tours. I find myself feeling great after my rounds, but its the next day that I feel tight in my lower back. Any info on how to feel pain free the next day? Thanks, D. B.
Post-round stretching helps the musculosckeletal system recover for the taxing physical effects of golf, reduces the onset of soreness, and reduces the risk of injury. Paul Chek, of the C.H.E.K. Institute in Southern California has done extensive research on the benefits of post-round stretching and I believe taking the time to stretch the evening after a round of golf will offset your low back pain the following day. Yoga for Golfers poses incorporate a style of yoga called Restorative Yoga - referring to the bodys ability to restore itself to a healthy condition.
The following post-round 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. This is also an opportunity to practice visualization which plays a key role in creating a positive golf experience. Take this time to practice visualizing your body flexible and strong, seeing your mind and body free from tension. Visualize your optimum golf swing pattern.
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.
Lying on the back bring 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.
Both poses offset 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.