Contrary to contact sports such as football or rugby, the great game of golf isn’t thought of to be a dangerous sport.  For anyone who has spent countless hours on the driving range and walked thousands yards up and down the course with a 50lbs bag on their back will know that golf can lead to serious injuries without the proper stretching and muscle training beforehand.  Twisting the body one direction and uncorking the body 100 miles an hour the opposite direction, and doing this only on one side of the body over and over again, is just one example of how the body can tear down over time.   Here are 3 key exercises designed by David Jacobs, Personal Trainer with Level 3 Fitness, that anyone and of all ages should do on the driving range to improve flexibility before playing a round of golf. 

Hip Hinge

This first exercise demonstrated is coined the “hip hinge”, which is designed to give flexibility to your gluts (butt muscles), as well as your hamstrings.  This exercise should help you to exert the maximum amount of power in your golf swing.  You should start hip width apart at the feet, it does not matter which foot is facing forwards, and maintain a position of optimal balance.  You will want to hinge forward at the pelvis, bending the knees while keeping your lower back aligned and erect and then coming back up.  The important part of this stretch is maintaining good posture, keeping your neck and line of sight in front of you.  You can extend the stretch by stretching your arms in front of you while bending up and down.  The stretch lengthens the glut and hamstring muscles, but remember to keep the weight on the heels as you are pulling yourself up.

Rotational Twist

This is a nice rotation exercise for anyone golfing.  When you get to the course grab the club, stand hip width apart and rotate the body as far as you can.  This exercise looks different if you hold a little bit narrower, it will feel a little different on your shoulders too.  This can also be done while looking at the golf ball, keep your eyes on the ball as you rotate left and right.  It can really help with your consistency on the golf swing and can really channel in the power of your core and hips and the rotation dimension.

Toe Tap

There is a lot of energy we use in the golf shot moving to the right, and then translating to the ball moving left in order to send the ball 300 yards down course (left to right if you are left-handed).  To do that we are going to need the left knee to move in than out.  Holding golf stick with non-weight bearing plant leg and stepping side to side, moving the stick coming back.  The important thing is where is the knee relative to the foot?  The knee is going to move in and move out, which could be the reason that Tiger has had so many knee surgeries.  How well does that knee allow to come in when we perform our back swing?  Exercise moving laterally side to side when the foot is on the ground (weight bearing leg), and letting the core and pelvis move side to side.  If you have good balance, get rid of the stick and do this exercise as a toe tap, and then a single leg balance where you don't touch down.  Really building the foot knee hip kinematics to get them stronger.

Article and Video written and composed by Alex Milzer and Nick Schaller with Senior Directory.  Special thanks to David Jacobs - Personal Trainer with Level 3 Fitness.