We’ve all heard about the benefits of stretching and there is no doubt adequate stretching and warm-up can limit the possibility of injury
but what is the best and most practical way to do it?
Interestingly there is little evidence to suggest that stretching cold ie without a warm-up is of any use at all. At least two major studies have suggested there is no benefit in preventing injury from a stretching programme done before activity. On the other hand stretching after a brisk warm-up is far more useful.
How should you warm up? Five minutes of a brisk walk, ride on an exercise bike, jog gently on the spot
anything to raise a light sweat and you have warmed up. Now with more blood flowing to the bodies musculature you have a much greater chance of stretching being effective.
You can even do a warm up by combining movement with stretch positions. Now there are a golf-bag full of stretches and movements I could give you but let me be reasonable and realistic and give you four you could do on your way to, or standing at the tee.
- Side bends: Standing, feet slightly apart and arms by your side, slide your hands down one leg then back down the other side
do 10 down each leg.
- Standing arch-backs: Stand hands on hips and arch back as far as you comfortably can, then straighten up. Do this 10 times.
- Sitting rotation: Sit on the nearest bench, chair, golf cart, stump, etc and twist one way and then the other. Do this 10 times in each direction.
- Standing push outs: Clasp hands in front of you, arms extended, lift up over your head stretching to the sky
unclasp and let your hands sweep down to your side, clasp in front again and repeat this 10 times. You’re now ready to play!