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Diana Remaley, LMT
19 Compo Road South
Westport, CT

Golfing Stretches, Part 2

Stretching the lower body muscle groups associated with a golf swing

Last time, I explored the upper body musculature associated with golfing.  This time, I explore lower body stretches.  These muscles are bigger and more powerful; meaning they can take more abuse, but are also easier to stretch than smaller groups.  Take the time before and after your golfing outings to stretch - it'll be five minutes well spent!

Latissimus Dorsi ("Lat")

The Lats are actually huge muscles that run from the inside of the arm, down the side of the body, attaching at about the lower back and pelvis. Despite the fact that they're critical for posture and extremely easy to stretch, we don't stop to stretch them that often. This is probably the most aggravated muscle I see in golfers - take lots of time to stretch it completely before and after your game.

To Stretch the Lats:

Standing up straight, with your stomach pulled in, raise one arm up toward the ceiling, as if you were trying to touch it with your fingertips. Keeping that arm up, tilt your entire body toward the other side, tipping over as completely as you can. You can use your other arm to hold on to something if that helps with balance. Tip to the side until you feel the stretch not just under your arm, but in your lower back as well.


Gluteal Group

The glutes are responsible for supporting the body and twisting the legs during a golf swing. You many not feel them burning or being used the same as when doing squats, but they are activated and need to be stretched.

To Stretch the Glutes:

The posterior hip is actually a very complicated area, and I've written many other posts about stretching them more completely. But for the sake of ease, this stretch is the main one. Raise up one knee and rotate your leg so your heel is pointing out. Firmly take hold of your knee and ankle with your hands. Pull your lower leg toward your chest, keeping your lower leg straight and perpendicular to your body. The closer to can get to your chest, the better the stretch.


Calf and Foot

The calf and foot are along for the ride at the end of the golf swing. Keeping them limber is a challenge; they're being used every time we take a step. I've explored many other calf stretches, but this ankle circle is my favorite for mobility.

To Stretch the Calf and Foot:

Reach one foot out in front of your body, toes pointed. Keeping the leg straight, draw a circle using your toes. You want to try to keep the ankle as still as possible, drawing as large a circle as you can possibly reach. Make a circle slowly in one direction, then reverse it and draw a circle in the other direction. Spend plenty of time with this - if you notice a spot that you cannot move toward, pause and intend to move toward that spot more. Flexibility comes with time, and attempting movements. Keep at it!

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
19 Compo Road South
Westport, CT