Most amateur golfers around the world are men over 40.
Men over 40 are starting to feel the effects of aging and have many more physical limitations than their younger counterparts. One of them is the l oss of flexibility (tissue elasticity) which directly effects the mobility of joints.
There are many factors that contribute to loss of flexibility and mobility: (ischemia, injury, poor posture, dehydration, poor nutrition, illness, inflammation, improper breathing patterns, arthritis, and muscle soreness) and more.
This article isn’t going to address how to fix all of those issues, but it will emphasize the importance of regualr stretching as part of the solution.
Ball Flight The flight and destination of the golf ball is dependent of the following five factors:
- Clubface alignment
- Swing path
- Angle of attack at impact
- Sweet spot
- Club head speed
Not having adequate flexibility and mobility will effect all of the above five factors.
Who Needs Stretching? Almost everybody can benefit from stretching. If you’re naturally tight and want to participate in a sport or leisure activity that requires more flexibility than you currently have, becoming more flexible will help you avoid injury.
Loss of Flexibility & Mobility Dr. Greg Rose of the Titleist Performance Institute says that flexibility training should account for 10% of your program for every decade of life. So if you’re 60, 60% of your training time should be focused on flexibility training. That’s because as we age muscle and tendon elasticity decreases.
Three Steps To Improving Tissue Flexibility and Joint Mobility
1) First: Use a form of soft-tissue rolling to break down adhesions and flush the area with blood flow.
2) Second: Perform isolated stretches that target the problem area specifically.
3) Third: Perform a dynamic stretching routine that stretches multiple muscles in multiple planes of motion. Dynamic stretches are performed rapidly and repeatedly to help improve overall flexibility and mobility.
Advice From A Legend
The legendary golfer, Gary Player just turned 82. And he’s still shooting 70! Gary was one of the first professional golfers to embrace fitness. In fact, he admits to being a “fitness fanatic.” Here’s some advice he offered recently in an interview with a popular golf magazine.
The old adage ‘if you don’t use it, you’ll lose it” definitely applies to fitness and golf.
That’s why Golfers Need to Stretch, Stretch and Stretch again!
The author is certifed TPI Fitness Level 3, Functional Aging Institute – Functional Aging Specialist and National Academy of Sports Medicine Senior Fitness Specialist.