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.
     

  • Getty Images

    Schauffele just fine being the underdog

    By Rex HoggardJuly 21, 2018, 8:06 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Following a breakthough season during which he won twice and collected the PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Award, Xander Schauffele concedes his sophomore campaign has been less than stellar, but that could all change on Sunday at The Open.

    Schauffele followed a second-round 66 with a 67 on Saturday to take a share of the 9-under-par lead with Jordan Spieth and Kevin Kisner.

    Although he hasn’t won in 2018, he did finish runner-up at The Players and tied for sixth at the U.S. Open, two of the year’s toughest tests.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    “Growing up, I always hit it well and played well in tough conditions,” Schauffele said. “I wasn't the guy to shoot 61. I was the guy to shoot like 70 when it was playing really hard.”

    Sunday’s pairing could make things even more challenging when he’ll head out in the day’s final tee time with Spieth, the defending champion. But being the underdog in a pairing, like he was on Saturday alongside Rory McIlroy, is not a problem.

    “All the guys I've talked to said, 'Live it up while you can, fly under the radar,'” he said. “Today I played in front of what you call Rory's crowd and guys were just yelling all the time, even while he's trying to putt, and he had to step off a few times. No one was yelling at me while I was putting. So I kind of enjoy just hanging back and relaxing.”

    Getty Images

    Open odds: Spieth 7/1 to win; Tiger, Rory 14/1

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 21, 2018, 7:54 pm

    Only 18 holes remain in the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie, and the man tied atop the leaderboard is the same man who captured the claret jug last year at Royal Birkdale.

    So it’s little surprise that Jordan Spieth is the odds-on favorite (7/4) to win his fourth major entering Sunday’s final round.

    Xander Schauffele and Kevin Kisner, both tied with Spieth at 9 under par, are next in line at 5/1 and 11/2 respectively. Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, both four shots behind the leaders, are listed at 14/1.

    Click here for the leaderboard and take a look below at the odds, courtesy Jeff Sherman at golfodds.com.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    Jordan Spieth: 7/4

    Xander Schauffele: 5/1

    Kevin Kisner: 11/2

    Tiger Woods: 14/1

    Francesco Molinari: 14/1

    Rory McIlroy: 14/1

    Kevin Chappell: 20/1

    Tommy Fleetwood: 20/1

    Alex Noren: 25/1

    Zach Johnson: 30/1

    Justin Rose: 30/1

    Matt Kuchar: 40/1

    Webb Simpson: 50/1

    Adam Scott: 80/1

    Tony Finau: 80/1

    Charley Hoffman: 100/1

    Austin Cook: 100/1

    Getty Images

    Spieth stands on brink of Open repeat

    By Rex HoggardJuly 21, 2018, 7:49 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Jordan Spieth described Monday’s “ceremony” to return the claret jug to the keepers of the game’s oldest championship as anything but enjoyable.

    For the last 12 months the silver chalice has been a ready reminder of what he was able to overcome and accomplish in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, a beacon of hope during a year that’s been infinitely forgettable.

    By comparison, the relative pillow fight this week at Carnoustie has been a welcome distraction, a happy-go-lucky stroll through a wispy field. Unlike last year’s edition, when Spieth traveled from the depths of defeat to the heights of victory within a 30-minute window, the defending champion has made this Open seem stress-free, easy even, by comparison.

    But then those who remain at Carnoustie know it’s little more than a temporary sleight of hand.

    As carefree as things appeared on Saturday when 13 players, including Spieth, posted rounds of 67 or lower, as tame as Carnoustie, which stands alone as The Open’s undisputed bully, has been through 54 holes there was a foreboding tension among the rank and file as they readied for a final trip around Royal Brown & Bouncy.

    “This kind of southeast or east/southeast wind we had is probably the easiest wind this golf course can have, but when it goes off the left side, which I think is forecasted, that's when you start getting more into the wind versus that kind of cross downwind,” said Spieth, who is tied for the lead with Xander Schauffele and Kevin Kisner at 9 under par after a 6-under 65. “It won't be the case tomorrow. It's going to be a meaty start, not to mention, obviously, the last few holes to finish.”

    Carnoustie only gives so much and with winds predicted to gust to 25 mph there was a distinct feeling that playtime was over.

    As melancholy as Spieth was about giving back the claret jug, and make no mistake, he wasn’t happy, not even his status among the leading contenders with a lap remaining was enough for him to ignore the sleeping giant.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    But then he’s come by his anxiousness honestly. Spieth has spent far too much time answering questions about an inexplicably balky putter the last few weeks and he hasn’t finished better than 21st since his “show” finish in April at the Masters.

    After a refreshingly solid start to his week on Thursday imploded with a double bogey-bogey-par-bogey finish he appeared closer to an early ride home on Friday than he did another victory lap, but he slowly clawed his way back into the conversation as only he can with one clutch putt after the next.

    “I'm playing golf for me now. I've kind of got a cleared mind. I've made a lot of progress over the year that's been kind of an off year, a building year,” said Spieth, who is bogey-free over his last 36 holes. “And I've got an opportunity to make it a very memorable one with a round, but it's not necessary for me to prove anything for any reason.”

    But if an awakened Carnoustie has Spieth’s attention, the collection of would-be champions assembled around and behind him adds another layer of intrigue.

    Kisner, Spieth’s housemate this week on Angus coast, has led or shared the lead after each round this week and hasn’t shown any signs of fading like he did at last year’s PGA Championship, when he started the final round with a one-stroke lead only to close with a 74 to tie for seventh place.

    “I haven't played it in that much wind. So I think it's going to be a true test, and we'll get to see really who's hitting it the best and playing the best tomorrow,” said Kisner, who added a 68 to his total on Day 3.

    There’s no shortage of potential party crashers, from Justin Rose at 4 under after a round-of-the-week 64 to 2015 champion Zach Johnson, who also made himself at home with Spieth and Kisner in the annual Open frat house and is at 5 under.

    Rory McIlroy, who is four years removed from winning his last major championship, looked like a player poised to get off the Grand Slam schneid for much of the day, moving to 7 under with a birdie at the 15th hole, but he played the last three holes in 2 over par and is tied with Johnson at 5 under par. 

    And then there’s Tiger Woods. For three magical hours the three-time Open champion played like he’d never drifted into the dark competitive hole that’s defined his last few years. Like he’d never been sidelined by an endless collection of injuries and eventually sought relief under the surgeon’s knife.

    As quietly as Woods can do anything, he turned in 3 under par for the day and added two more birdies at Nos. 10 and 11. His birdie putt at the 14th hole lifted him temporarily into a share of the lead at 6 under par.

    “We knew there were going to be 10, 12 guys with a chance to win on Sunday, and it's turning out to be that,” said Woods, who is four strokes off the lead. “I didn't want to be too far back if the guys got to 10 [under] today. Five [shots back] is certainly doable, and especially if we get the forecast tomorrow.”

    Woods held his round of 66 together with a gritty par save at the 18th hole after hitting what he said was his only clunker of the day off the final tee.

    Even that episode seemed like foreshadowing.

    The 18th hole has rough, bunkers, out of bounds and a burn named Barry that weaves its way through the hole like a drunken soccer fan. It’s the Grand Slam of hazardous living and appears certain to play a leading role in Sunday’s outcome.

    Perhaps none of the leading men will go full Jean Van de Velde, the star-crossed Frenchman who could still be standing in that burn if not for a rising tide back at the 1999 championship, but if the 499 yards of dusty turf is an uninvited guest, it’s a guest nonetheless.

    It may not create the same joyless feelings that he had when he returned the claret jug, but given the hole’s history and Spieth’s penchant for late-inning histrionics (see Open Championship, 2017), the 18th hole is certain to produce more than a few uncomfortable moments.

    Getty Images

    Wandering photographer costs McIlroy on 16

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 21, 2018, 7:44 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Rory McIlroy bogeyed two of his last four holes Saturday to fall four shots off the lead at The Open.

    One of those mistakes might not have entirely been his fault.

    McIlroy missed a short putt on the par-3 16th after a photographer was “in a world all his own,” wandering around near the green, taking photos of the crowd and not paying attention to the action on the green.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    “It’s fine,” McIlroy said after a third-round 70 put him at 5-under 208, four shots off the lead. “It’s one of those things that happens. There’s a lot of people out there, and it is what it is. It’s probably my fault, but I just didn’t regroup well after it happened.”

    McIlroy also bogeyed the home hole, after driving into a fairway bunker, sending his second shot right of the green and failing to get up and down.

    “I putted well,” he said. “I holed out when I needed to. I just need to make the birdies and try to limit the damage tomorrow.”