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Diana Remaley, LMT
Diana@RemaleyMassage.com
(203)292-5362
19 Compo Road South
Westport, CT

Golfing Stretches, Part 1

Upper body stretches to help golfers stay limber

Despite the fact that golfing isn't a sport where we actually sweat, the movements used in actually swinging a golf club are quite coordinated and complex. I've seen many clients with pain after a long weekend of golfing, and while I'm completely in favor of an outdoor activity that we enjoy, I don't think we should suffer because of it.

My next two entries will explore stretching the major muscle groups involved in golfing. If you notice any pain in a particular group, feel free to comment below or ask me about it during your next massage therapy session. I've actually never golfed (unless putt-putt counts), so these are all just my educated guesses! I believe that these stretches, performed before and after you hit the links, should help maintain flexibility and decrease pain. Here's hoping for more eagles!

Neck

Turning your neck to one side, especially while moving the arms, uses both the lateral (side) neck muscles and the large trapezius ("Trap") muscle.

To Stretch the Neck: Gently turn your head to one side, pointing your chin up. Hold on to the top of your head with your opposite hand, and gently pull your ear to shoulder. They won't touch, but bringing them closer to touching is the goal. Play with moving your chin in different directions in order to engage different neck muscles.

To Stretch the Trap: Seated in a chair, grasp the bottom of the seat with your hand. Tilt your head to the opposite side, letting it pull your body, but keeping the grasping arm holding the chair tightly. Try to let your neck and upper arm pull away from each other gently, creating space in the side of your neck.

 

Deltoid

The deltoid wraps around your entire upper arm. Every part of it is used while golfing, but the easiest part to stretch is the anterior (front) of the muscle.

To Stretch the Anterior Deltoid:

Stand perpendicular to a wall. Reach the arm closest to the wall behind yourself, and place it up against the wall, palm down. Slowly and gently rotate your wrist down, so that your palm is facing out. You can angle your arm up slightly to increase the stretch. Try to keep your entire arm and shoulder pressed against the wall with your body perfectly perpendicular to get the most benefit from the stretch.

Rotator Cuff Group

This is actually a group of four muscles; they perform a similar function and are therefore grouped together. They're easy to stretch, but many people perform the stretch less than ideally.

To Stretch the Rotator Cuff Group: Raise one arm to the level of your collarbone and bring it close to your body. Hook your other arm above the elbow and use that arm to gently pull the first arm closer to your body. It's important to keep the arm at the level of the collarbone, and pull above the elbow. You should feel a stretch in the back of the shoulder, affecting this group.

Wrist Extensors

These are the muscles that move your fingers and wrist, but for the sake of a golf swing, they grip. Often, overly tight extensors can cause elbow pain. Even if you're not experiencing that, it's a good idea to keep this muscle group limber.

To Stretch the Extensors:

Hold your arm out in front of your body, at shoulder height, with your elbow locked. Rotate your arm so your palm is facing away from yourself. With your other hand, grasp your fingers and gently pull them back as a unit, toward yourself. You should feel the stretch not just in your fingers and hand, but in the back of your arm, all the way up to your elbow. Practice this one as often as possible!

And if all these stretches simply aren't enough, it's time to book a massage therapy session. I'll see you in my Westport office!



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Diana Remaley, LMT
Diana@RemaleyMassage.com
(203)292-5362
19 Compo Road South
Westport, CT