Many golfers don’t stretch prior to their round! This lack of stretching is actually better for your golf game than stretching incorrectly. What do I mean by stretching incorrectly? Before I answer that question, lets cover the different stretching techniques. There are three basic techniques, static, ballistic and PNF stretching. (Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation)
Stretching Static stretching is what most golfers do, but shouldn’t be doing before a round. They get into a stretch and hold that position for 30 or 40 seconds. Now, static stretching has its place. It should actually be used as a cool down technique after a round. When you hold a stretch for 30 second or more, you are lengthening your muscle! However, you have now stretched your muscle to a point to where its become “lazy.” Now that muscle doesn’t want to snap back like it needs to in a golf swing.
Here is how you need to gain flexibility before a round. You have two options, ballistic, and PNF. Ballistic stretching is movement based stretching. You don’t hold any stretch for a period of time, you are constantly moving around. A good example of ballistic stretching is how football players do high knees before a game, or baseball players doing long toss to warm up their arms. (I’ll give some ballistic techniques for golfers in a later article.) PNF stretching is a mix of both static and ballistic stretching. When doing PNF stretching you hold a position for 5 seconds and then increase the stretch and hold it for 10 seconds. Then you just repeat that 4 or 5 times. By doing PNF stretching you are not overstretching your muscles into that “lazy” mode, but you are warming up your muscles so that they now have a greater range of mobility!
The next time you decide to stretch before a round, which you should always do! Forget the idea of holding those old static stretches, and do some ballistic or PNF stretching. Your game will improve and your body will thank you for it!