Post Play Recovery For Golf

Make stretching part of your golf fitness program

Post Play Recovery For Golf

Why is recovery important after golf?

Recovery after your golf game is important whether you are an elite professional or recreational golfer who plays at the local club.

Recreational Golfer

As a recreational golfer good recovery is important for different reasons, it is more about staying healthy and fit to play golf enjoying your club membership to the full. Looking after your body will help you to play to a lower handicap and improve your golf swing performance.

Recreational golfers tend to come off the course and head straight to the bar. This social aspect is very important and why many of us play golf for fun. However, when you get home spend some time doing some recovery stretches, you will feel better the next day.

Professional Golfer

Professional golfers tend to be good at doing their recovery stretches as this is their job to perform and they need to earn a living. Obviously when you are competing for big prize money, any advantage you can gain over the rest of the field can be the significant difference between winning or losing.

Recovery after golf is essential for several reasons, including:

  1. Injury prevention: Recovery helps reduce the risk of injuries by reducing muscle fatigue and soreness, and allowing your body to repair and rebuild muscle tissue. Injury prevention or playing golf without pain and stiffness allows you to swing freely.
  2. Improved performance: Recovery helps your body to recharge, rest, and prepare for the next round of golf, so that you maintain your performance levels.
  3. Reduced muscle soreness and fatigue: Proper recovery helps reduce muscle soreness and fatigue, allowing you to recover faster and feel better.
  4. Better overall health: Recovery helps promote better overall health by reducing stress levels, improving sleep quality, and promoting healthy habits.
  5. Long-term golfing success: Recovery is crucial for long-term success in golf, as it helps maintain physical and mental well-being, allowing you to continue to enjoy and play the game at a high level.

Overall, recovery after golf is an important aspect of your golfing routine, and should be taken seriously to help prevent injuries, improve performance, and maintain overall health and wellness.

Different tips for recovery after golf

Post-play recovery is an essential part of any golfer's routine. Here are some tips to help you recover improving your performance and reduce the risk of injury playing golf:

Hydrate: Drinking water and/or sports drinks after your round of golf can help you replace lost fluids and electrolytes.

Stretching: Perform some gentle static or dynamic stretches to help reduce muscle soreness and improve flexibility and regain power.

Use a foam roller: Foam rolling can help desensitise tissue making it easier to do stretches, it may help release muscle tension and improve blood flow to the muscles.

Ice any sore areas: If you experience any soreness or inflammation, applying ice can help reduce swelling and relieve pain.

Take a warm bath or shower: Soaking in warm water can help relax tight muscles and promote blood flow to the muscles.

Get a massage: A professional massage can help reduce muscle tension and improve circulation.

Rest: Take some time to rest and allow your body to recover after a round of golf. Avoid overexerting yourself or doing any strenuous activities that may cause further muscle damage or fatigue.

Remember that proper recovery is important to help prevent injury and keep you feeling your best. By taking care of your body after a round, you can help ensure that you are ready to play your best the next time you hit the course.

Dynamic Stretches versus Static Stretches

Dynamic stretching and static stretching are two types of stretching that are commonly used by athletes, including golfers. Here are the main differences between the two:

Dynamic stretches:

  • Involves moving through a range of motion with controlled movement.
  • Helps to increase blood flow, activate muscles, and improve mobility.
  • Typically done before physical activity as a dynamic warm up to help properly prepare.
  • Examples include leg swings, trunk rotations, lunges with twist.

Static stretches:

  • Involves holding a stretch in a fixed position for a period of time.
  • Helps to improve flexibility, reduce muscle tension, and prevent injury.
  • Should be typically done after physical activity as part of a cool-down routine.
  • Examples include hamstring, pray and posterior shoulder stretch.

Both dynamic and static stretches can be beneficial for golfers, but they serve different purposes and can be used together or at different times in your golfing routine.

Dynamic stretches can be done as a warm up routine to prepare your body for physical activity or as a cool down to restore range of movement. However, static stretch is best done as a cool-down routine to help your muscles relax and recover after physical activity.

It's important to note that static stretches should not be done before physical activity, as it can actually decrease performance by temporarily decreasing muscle power and speed. This can lead to a drop in your driver distance and club head speed.

Static Stretches for Golf

Static stretching can also be beneficial for golfers, but it's best to save these stretches for after your round of golf or practice session.

Do not over stretch and cause yourself pain, always stretch with care.

Static stretches involve holding a stretch for a longer period of time, usually between 10-30 seconds, and can help in injury prevention, improve flexibility and range of motion.

Here are some static stretches that can be helpful for golfers:

Hamstring Stretch: Place a golf club behind your shoulders, then place your left leg in front as you drop into a squat on your right leg. Then allow your body to bend forward as you keep a straight spine, feel a good stretch in your left hamstring. Hold the stretch for 10-30 seconds and repeat on the opposite side.

Lateral Quadriceps Stretch: Stand in front of a bench or chair. Place your right foot up on a bench or chair. Then bend your left knee as you drop into a squat. Lean your bottom back to your right foot as you feel a good stretch in the front of your left hip and down the outside of your thigh. Hold for 10-30 seconds, then switch legs.

Posterior Shoulder Stretch: Standing in a relaxed posture, reach your right arm across your chest and it across your body by hooking your left forearm over your right arm. Feel a stretch in the back of your right shoulder. Hold the stretch for 10-30 seconds, then switch shoulders.

Pray Stretch: Kneeling on all four, slide your arms out in front of you as you drop your chest to the floor, whilst keeping your spine straight. Feel a stretch in your upper body especially your mid back (thoracic spine), shoulders and chest muscles. Hold for 10-30 seconds.

Pigeon Pose Stretch: Take your weight on your hands and left foot as your left leg is extended behind you. Then place your right knee under your chest. Slowly drop your chest towards your knee and hold for 10-30 seconds. Feel the stretch deep behind the right hip then repeat on the opposite side, this stretch is great for opening up your hips.

Remember to breathe deeply and relax into each of your golf stretches. Golf stretches can help improve your overall flexibility and range of motion, which can lead to a more fluid and efficient golf swing.

Dynamic Stretching for Golf

Dynamic stretches are an excellent way for golfers to dynamic warm up and prepare their bodies for the physical demands of playing golf.

It involves performing controlled movements that take joints and muscles through their full range of motion, often incorporating stretches with movements that mimic the actions of golf swings to get their body golf warm.

Warming up actively helps increase club head speed, allowing you to swing faster hitting the ball further.

Here are some dynamic stretches that can be beneficial for golfers:

Gluteal figure 4 Standing: Stand holding a golf club to help balance on one foot. Slowly cross your right ankle over your left knee, then keeping balanced drop into a squat on your left leg. Let your upper body tip forward and feel stretching behind your left hip in your gluteal area as you drop down. Then rise up and down with control feeling a greater stretch with each repetition.

Long Adductor Stretch with Rotation: Take your weight on one knee and your arms extended in front of you. Then place the one leg out to the side feeling stretch in your adductors. Place one hand to your head and slowly rotate this arm opening your chest, then continue to repeat, swap to the other arm stretching open your chest both ways.

Pigeon Pose with rotation: Take your weight on your hands and left foot as your left leg is extended behind you. Then place your right knee under your chest and take your left hand to your head. Slowly drop your chest towards your right knee and rotate your left elbow under and across. Feel the stretch deep behind the right hip then push up and open elbow up the other way pointing to the ceiling. Slowly repeat repetitions and change to the opposite side.

Lunge with Twist: Holding a club out win front at shoulder level. Step forward with your left foot into a lunge position, then rotate the club across your left leg. Feel the stretch through the back hip on your right side and upper back. Keep the club on plane at shoulder level and your spine centred as you rotate. Repeat several times and then repeat on the other side.

Hurdler: Adopt a hurdler position on the floor with your legs out to your left side at 90/90. Support your weight on your right hand as you slide your left hand away and across your right right hand. Feel a stretch down the side of your trunk as you increase the range and repeat the stretch. Repeat to the other side.

Wall Windmill Rotation: Take a split kneeling position with your front thigh and body against a wall. Have your arms out in front at shoulder level touching the wall. Then circle the outside arm up above your head and behind. Then bring your arm back together on the wall in a wide circle. Feel the movement in your upper trunk.

It's important to remember that dynamic stretching should be done in a controlled and gradual manner, and not to the point of pain. This type of stretching can be done before your round of golf or as a part of a warm up routine before playing or practising golf.

In Summary

Make stretching part of your golf fitness program as it really helps improve your flexibility and recovery to play golf. 

To swing efficiently and with fast club head speed requires a combination of flexibility, balance, timing, strength and speed.

Golf is not just about strength and power, it is important to ensure your basic fitness fundamentals are sound such as flexibility, balance and posture. This gives you the platform to develop speed and power.

Elastic Golf has extensive static and dynamic stretching workouts for you to get moving!