Posts Tagged ‘Golfing’

Golf

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Golfing Injuries

Golfing is a sport that necessitates repetitive motion of the shoulders, hips and elbows. Large muscle groups used in golf include the hamstrings, quadriceps, abdominals, obliques, trapezius, latissimus, rhombus (these muscles are located in the upper- and mid-back), deltoids and over five muscles in the forearm. Overuse and improper alignment of these muscle groups can cause a variety of injuries including golfer’s elbow and DeQuervain’s Tendinitis.

Golfer’s elbow is characterized by pain localized near the inner right elbow. Golfer’s elbow is caused by the swelling of the tendon surrounding the inner right elbow due to overuse during a golf swing. Ill-fitting equipment, such as golf clubs, can exacerbate the condition. Bracing and strapping your elbow before golf, ensuring you engage in proper form and stretching to promote blood flow to the elbow help prevent golfer’s elbow. Most often, the RICE method (Rest, Ice, Compress and Elevate) is recommended for treatment.

DeQuervain’s Tendinitis is typified by pain at the base of the thumb near the wrist. The two main tendons of the thumb pass through a tendon sheath, or a line of connective tissue that wraps around the wrist like a bracelet. When the tendons swell, the sheath continues to hold the tendons, but compresses them on to the nerves, causing pain and tenderness in the fingers. Treatment includes splints, anti-inflammatory medications and corticosteroids for mild cases and surgery for more serious cases.

Stretches for Golfers

Top 6 Stretches (Calf, Quads, Glutes, Wrist Flexion & Forearm, Tris/Lats & Hamstrings, Shoulder & Chest)

Top 12 Stretches (Add to the above: Hamstrings & Shoulder, Hip Flexor & Psoas, Hip & Low Back, Trunk Rotation, Wrist Extension & Forearm, Anterior Shoulder & Chest)

Top 18 Stretches (Add to the above: Achilles, IT Band, Groin, Side Bend, Triceps & Shoulder, Neck)

Performing the Stretches Correctly

Achilles Tendon – Stand straight with your hands against a wall with one leg slightly behind your other leg. Keeping your heels flat on the floor, slowly bend both knees. You should feel the stretch in the lower part of your leg. Repeat on the other side.

Anterior Shoulder & Chest Stretch – Hold a club with both hands behind your back as close together as is comfortable and elbows extended. Stick your chest out while you raise the club back away from your body. Hold for 20-30 seconds.

Calf – Stand facing a wall or other support, approximately one leg’s length away.  Lunge forward with right leg, extending arms to allow the wall to balance you. Feet should be about hip width apart, toes forward and left leg extended back with the knee straight and the foot flat on the floor. Push the left heal to the floor and move hips slightly forward. Repeat on the other side.

Gluteus Maximus – Using a golf club for balance, cross your right ankle just above your left knee. Once you are balanced, sit back and lean forward while keeping your back straight and our chest pushed out. Hold for 10-60 seconds. You’ll feel a gentle stretch in your glutes. Repeat on the other side.

Groin – Stand with your feet about 2 meters apart, toes pointing forward. Gradually shift all your weight to your left leg by bending your left knee. Your right leg stays straight. You can increase the starting distance between your feet for a greater stretch. Repeat on the other side.

Hamstrings & Shoulders – Begin standing upright. Extend your arms behind you, clasping hands together. Maintain a flat back while folding forward from the hip, releasing the shoulders and letting your hands and arms hang towards the ground. Feel the deep stretch in both your hamstrings and your chest. Hold for 30-60 seconds.

Hip Flexor & Psoas – Stand facing a bench or elevated platform, approximately one leg’s length away. Place right foot on bench or platform. Slowly lunge forward by bending right leg. With chest high, straighten hip of left leg by pushing hips forward. Keep torso upright, close to vertical and hips square to the wall. Repeat on the other side.

Hip & Low Back Stretch – This great cyclist’s stretch opens up the hips and stretches the muscles of the hips, groin and lower back.

Begin in a forward lunge position then drop your left knee to the ground. Place your right elbow on the inside of your right knee. Press your right elbow gently into your right knee and twist your torso to the left. Reach your left arm behind you until you feel a gentle stretch in your lower back and right groin. Repeat on the other side.

IT Band – Standing near a wall for support, cross your right leg in front of your left leg. Extend your left arm overhead and reach to your right side. Put your right hand on your hip and push slightly to move your hips to the left until you feel a gentle stretch along the left side of your torso, hip, upper thigh and knee. Repeat on the other side.

Lower Back Trunk Rotation – With feet hip width apart and arms crossed over your chest, twist only at your torso until you feel a gentle stretch. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds. Repeat on the other side.

Neck – Bend your head forward and slightly to the right. With your right hand, gently pull your head downward. You’ll feel a nice, easy stretch along the back left side of your neck. Repeat on other side.

Quadriceps – Near a wall or bench, stand with your feet hip width apart. Bend your left knee and grasp the top of your left foot with your left hand. Bring your heel as close as possible to the left side of your buttocks, feeling a gentle stretch of the quad and shin. Keep your back straight, your left knee vertically in alignment with your left hip and horizontally in alignment with your right knee. Repeat on the other side.

Shoulder & Chest:  Holding onto both ends of a club, lift it forward, over your head and then pull it behind your back as far as you can go while keeping your elbows straight. Hold for 10-30 seconds to open the shoulders and upper chest.

Side Bend – Hold a club with both hands over your head. Keeping your core engaged, bend as far as you can to the right and hold. Feel the stretch in your obliques and latissimus. Slowly return to the upright position. Repeat on the other side.

Triceps & Shoulder – Extend your right arm straight up in the air. Bend arm at the elbow, pointing the elbow towards the sky and letting the forearm fall behind your back. Take your left hand and grab your right elbow.  Pull the elbow behind your head feeling a gentle stretch. Repeat on the other side.

Tris, Lats & Hams – Take a golf club and sit it upright in front of you touching the ground. Hold the top of the grip with both hands and arms fully extended and back straight. Let the head drop deeply between the shoulder blades to create a powerful stretch in the lats and triceps. Pulling down with the arms increases the stretch further. You should feel a great stretch around your rib cage, hamstrings, triceps and lats. Hold for 30-60 seconds.

Wrist Flexion & Forearm: This stretch loosens the wrists and helps prevent golfer’s elbow.

Extend your right arm straight out, palm down and elbow locked. Use your left hand to pull back your fingers so they are pointing toward the ground. You will feel a gentile stretch in the forearm. Repeat on the other side.

Wrist Extension & Forearm: This stretch loosens the wrists and helps prevent golfer’s elbow.

Extend your right arm straight out, palm up and elbow locked. Use your left hand to pull back your fingers so they are pointing toward the ground. You will feel a gentile stretch in the wrist and forearm. Repeat on the other side.