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Thread: Stretching before playing

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    Tour Pro roswellj's Avatar
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    Stretching before playing

    I'm hoping you can help me out here.
    I understand the importance of warming up and stretching before engaging in any activity. I will always warm up with nice soft swings into a net before playing a round just to get that blood flowing and those muscles loose. My problem is the last few months I have been tweaking my lower back more than I normally do (I have a bad lower back anyway).
    I was wondering if there are specific stretches that pro's or teachers use to target the muscles that you use in the golf swing. I really want to make sure they are warmed up properly before playing so I can limit the amount of times I tweak my back.
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    On the Fringe Hanks's Avatar
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    alternate toe touches helps my lower back stretch out nicely
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    Major Champion Lynchburg14's Avatar
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    Just my two cents but I would try and strength your back muscles. That will help with tweaking your back. I would ask your doctor what exercies he thinks your back can handle. Also I would check into a foam roller, you can use it all the time and it really makes my muscles feel better. By the way do you drink a lot of water? I ask because studies show that drinking 8, 12oz glasses of water a day can decrease back pain by 46% (I only know this because I am a health teacher)
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    I'll be keeping a close eye on this thread. Wednesday morning I was putting my 2 year old in her car seat and my back went out. Thanks to muscle relaxers and a lot of rest, it's starting to get a little better. The only problem is that my club's big spring tournament starts tomorrow morning. I probably shouldn't play, but I'm too hard headed for that, so I'll be doing my best to stretch well and take it easy on the course.
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    Official Improvement Center of THP GolfTEC's Avatar
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    I agree that the best treatment for back pain is strengthening the core muscles in the first place, but since we can't turn back the clock once we're standing on the first tee, try these out as a last minute "quick fix".

    This one looks a little goofy if you're doing it next to the first tee, so you might want to hide on the end of the range stalls for it... It's the cat pose from yoga- get on all fours (with straight arms) and arch your back such that from the side view you'll see quite a bit of concave nature in the spine (think of driving your bellybutton to the ground). Hold that position for a few deep belly breaths, trying to get more arch in the back with each breath. Now reverse the arch in your back by trying to drive your bellybutton as far from the ground as possible (picture a scared cat, lots of convex curve in the back now). Same breathing exercises as before.

    Part of the back tightness comes from being tight "up front"- it's spasming to stabilize the system. So to open up the front, take a knee and step the other leg forward such that the front knee forms a 90 degree angle (shin perpendicular to the ground, 90 degrees from femur to shin). Leaving your back knee on the ground and keeping your hips square, try to drive your front knee past your toes. You should feel a stretch on the front of your trail hip. To really open things up, reach up with the hand on the side of the knee that is on the ground and lean away (if the right knee is on the ground, right hand goes up and tries to reach as far to the left without falling over.) Switch sides at some point to get a symmetric stretch.

    Finally, lay face up on the ground with your arms in a T. Lift your right knee to 90 degrees and try to touch it to the ground to your left. The arms will need to stabilize as it will want to lift your right shoulder off the ground. Keep it down... If you can't quite get your knee to the ground, get it as far down as you can without lifting your shoulder up. Switch sides and you're ready to go!

    Hope that helps,

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    If you need more help try to find a video of Miguel Angel Jimenez stretching before a round
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    Club Pro JohnEB's Avatar
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    I have found that pain in the lower back starts with weakness in the front (abdominal muscles). If I keep my abs strong, I have no back pain. If I slack off and let the abs get weak, lower back pain is sure to follow. As GolfTec said, this is something that takes time -- you cannot just do some crunches before your round.

    The other source of back pain for me is actually tight hamstrings. If I have lower back soreness, often stretching my hamstrings will be like flipping a switch -- back pain is gone for the whole day. I usually do this before going out for morning rounds, works wonders.
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