Alright, hopefully I have a bit of your attention and will try to keep that going. I don’t know about you but despite the frozen wastes outside I’m still thinking about my last round. It was out at Fairways, near Cheney, and for me, it was a good round. Now, I have no doubt some of you out there would scoff at my ‘good’ score, while I drool over one of your ‘off days’ but you get my drift. It was the kind of day you long to have a repeat performance of.
If your last game was also a good one, you are going to want to start off your 2009 season with as little drop off as possible. On the other hand, if that last game went about as smoothly as chunky peanut butter, you are hoping to leave the past in the past and start a fresh golf season with a good outing.
I’m sure none of you want to waste your first few rounds of golf this year ‘getting your swing back’ or ‘working out the kinks’. So, lets get started.
Feel better, look better, Golf better. As you can see, before we golf better we have some work to do. Do you like to feel better? I know I do so we’ll start there. Probably no single component of fitness is more overlooked than flexibility. When time gets short, as it does for most of us, our workout time gets pinched and we sacrifice stretching for sweating.
While a good hard run or weight lifting session may release pent up energy and relieve stress, a quality stretching session can relax our minds and our bodies. Taking 15 minutes to sit quietly and stretch will improve blood flow and the transport of nutrients and waste products. I challenge you to do nothing else but this for 1 week and see if you aren’t feeling better.
What to do? Here are a few suggestions to get you started.
Kneeling Hip Flexor – Begin in a lunge position with one foot out in front and your back leg kneeling on the floor. Keep your self upright and press your hips forward as you feel a good stretch in the upper part of your kneeling thigh. Hold for 10-15 sec and switch legs.
Pectoral wall stretch – Stand facing into a corner. Raise your arms up such that the upper arm is parallel to the floor and the elbow is bent to 90 degrees. With your forearms placed against the wall. Step slowly in towards the corner, to the point where you feel a comfortable stretch. Hold for 10-15 sec and relax. This can also be performed one arm at a time standing inside of a doorframe.
Lying single leg hamstring stretch – With one leg flat on the floor use your hand to grab the opposite leg just below the knee, keep it bent, and bring the knee directly above your hip. Pull the toes towards your shin and slowly straighten your leg to the point you feel a comfortable stretch without letting your upper leg move in your hand.
There are loads of other stretches one could do. These 3 in particular are good for opening our bodies. Many of you, I’m sure, have jobs that require a lot of sitting. When we sit at a desk our bodies move towards flexion. Flexion at the hips and in the hamstrings, our backs round over as we slouch towards out computers and our chest and shoulders move forward and close. It’s just a function of the workplace environment today. What will make you feel better is to periodically oppose those positions. Move your bodies into extension, correct your posture, stand up and move around once in a while, take a break and stretch in your cubical, office, whatever.
Practice this simple stretching principle 5 out of the next 7 days and see if you aren’t feeling any better. I will try do my best to follow up over the next several weeks with something new for you to try.