In Part 1 f this blog series, I spoke of the need to have Recovery & Regeneration strategies in place if want to play your best golf this summer.
Strategy #1 was a passive form of regeneration. Sleep. Getting enough hours and during the right time frame (10 pm to 6 am) is key to giving your body and mind time to recover.
The third strategy is to apply some post-event stretches to the most used muscles in golf.
The Difference Between Pre-Event and Post-Event Stretching
Many amateurs don’t naturally possess the level of flexibility needed for optimal swing mechanics. Such factors as sitting for long periods of time at work, old orthopedic injuries, or current aches and pains may limit the range of motion needed to swing the club effectively and efficiently. Even if you are flexible enough for golf naturally, a pre-event warm-up will help you avoid injury and prepare your mind and body for the activity to follow. But the right type of stretching must be applied. For instance, the static holding techniques we will apply in the post-event section are not desirable before the exercise. In the pre-event phase, we want to move in and out of positions more rapidly as the brain will recognize the relative timing pattern that is relevant to the movement used in our activity. To learn my Dynamic Warm-Up For Golf watch it on YouTube:
Stretching after any athletic event is a good means of reducing post-exercise muscle soreness. When muscles fatigue, they tighten and the blood flow through them is reduced. To prevent unnecessary and unwanted muscle soreness after golf, it is a good idea to perform post-event stretching. In post-event stretching, we are doing the opposite of pre-event. Now we want to isolate major muscle groups used in golf and hold them in a stretch position typically for 30 seconds or longer.
What To Stretch
- Neck side flexors
- Lateral flexors-oblique abdominals
- Lumbar erectors
- Hip rotators
- Rectus abdominis
- Hip flexors
Best Time To Stretch
The best time to do your static stretching is at night (within 1 – 2 hours before bedtime). While you sleep is when a significant amount of healing takes place. If you go to bed with shortened muscles from work and golf, your muscles will heal progressively shorter. Doing these stretches before you sleep helps restore muscle length and allows the muscles to heal at their optimal length.
“Stretching without rolling is like pulling on a knot in a shoelace. It only gets tighter.”_Brett The Golf Guy
Before you stretch you must roll. Remember, your muscles are sheathed in a casing (fascia). Muscle tissue doesn’t just get short, it also gets dense. If the fascia is abnormal or injured, an athlete will never achieve optimal levels of flexibility, strength, or power… no matter how much stretching you do.
If you don’t have time to do both, roll and skip the stretching.
Brett’s Bottom Line:
Increasing flexibility through stretching is one of the basic tenets of physical fitness. Stretches help lengthen short or stiff muscles by reprogramming your muscles to a new range of motion. Stretches alleviate the aches and pains associated with training & sport and help bring your body back to balance. If you don’t give your body the time and tools to recover, it’s never going to improve. To get superior performance out of your training, you need to combine quality work with quality rest. The better and more rapidly you recover, the more quickly your body adapts to the stress of exercise and the sooner you can do another high-intensity workout, in other words-play more golf!
The Holy Trinity
To get the most out of your body apply the following rules:
- Hydrate (drink sufficient amounts of water)
- Manipulate (apply self-massage techniques)
- Elongate (apply pre and post-event stretching techniques)
There you go. You’re on your way to Longer Drives, Lower Scores, and Fewer Injuries!
To schedule your FREE Strategy Session call (917) 596-8485.
Brett The Golf Guy