Being mobile and capable of moving through different and organic ranges of motion is an important part of having a complete and versatile game. That’s why working to improve your mobility will only be to the benefit of your golf game. Here we provide 6 exercises you can add to your mobility routine.
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When your mobility is consistent, your swing can be consistent, however if your mobility is restricted often due to a sedentary lifestyle or other factors you could find that your swing will struggle. Adding in a mobility routine prior to your game can make a huge difference to swing consistency. It will allow you to flow through the range of motion feeling fluid smooth each session. This can be from just a 5-10 minute routine, making it well worth your while.
Improving your mobility may help mitigate injury while playing, which can increase both your longevity in the game and your consistency of practice. Having a large range of motion will allow you to hit the end ranges of your swings with confidence and prevent you from feeling stuck or strained which can so often be the case. Rotation is not a movement pattern that occurs a great deal in day to day life so being prepared to perform this movement is an important part of playing golf for a long time.
Improved mobility will be great for your golf, but do not underestimate how good it can be for your overall health and wellbeing. Maintaining proper movement is a crucial part of health as it allows to go about our day to day lives without restrictions, which is easy to take for granted when we have them, but are greatly missed when we no longer have that ability.
I couldn’t recommend doing these sorts of mobility exercises for 5-10 minutes before every golf outing enough. It is such a simple and easy way to both increase range of motion and prep for your game. Try and keep these circuits nice and short, if you make them too long you will find the barrier to starting them too high, five to ten minutes is perfect.
These might be more specific mobility sessions, where you focus on multiple joints where you want to increase the range of motion. These might be more like 30-45’ of mobility based exercises. This sort of training is great for someone who has a very specific limitation that they are trying to work on using a mix of strengthening and mobility exercises, I do not recommend this for people who are just looking to feel more smooth and fluid whilst they play.
Tall Kneeling Thoracic Spine Joint Rotations are a great exercise to warm up the spine for rotation. It needs patience and control otherwise it will feel as if you’re not doing anything at all. The goal with this exercise is to segment the spine as much as you are able, if you’re a beginner this may be difficult to visualise but once your become more adept at this style of exercise you will have more and more control of your vertebrae.
90-90 Hip Twists are one of my favourite exercises that I give to my clients to open up both the hips and lower back. They do however require some prerequisite mobility as just finding the initial 90-90 position can be a challenge for a lot of people, so if you lack a lot of mobility you may want to start with slightly easier variations than this one. If you are able to perform this exercise, ensure you keep your feet in the same position throughout as this will ensure the exercise is challenging enough to improve your mobility.
The adductor Stretch with Extension Rotation is another excellent mobility exercise to open up both the hips, specifically the adductors, but also thoracic rotation which are both important for building a consistent golf swing. If you feel as if this exercise is not challenging enough for you, consider lowering your chest closer to the floor, this will increase the stretch on the adductor and make the rotation more challenging.
Jefferson Curl is another exercise that requires spinal segmentation, however this variation does not aim to build mobility in rotation but in the flexion of the lower back and the hamstrings. It can take a while to get the technique on this exercise correct, it requires a lot of control of the vertebrae that most people do not possess. The key with this exercise is to take your time and focus on the movement of your body.
Seated straddle global extension is both great for your mobility but also relaxation, I use this often with clients after challenging full body resistance training sessions. It’s important relax your breathing and release the tension in your muscles to successfully perform this exercise. We do this in order to increase both spinal flexion and increase the mobility of the hip joint.
Sphinx Press is a great exercise to warm up the lower back, if this region is tight it can be really beneficial to perform this exercise prior to a golf outing. Take your time and ease into this exercise, spinal extension is very rarely performed in day to day life so make sure you are not jumping into positions which are too challenging for you. In order to modulate the intensity of this exercise move the position of your hands, the closer they are to your hips the more intense the stretch on the spine will be.
The Frog Stretch with Wrist Pulsation is a perfect mobility and warm up exercise for golf, having open hips will allow the transfer of power from the lower body through to the club. Having tight hips will prevent proper rotation and therefore prevent a full, powerful swing from occurring.
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This resource was written by Sean Klein. Sean Richard Klein has thousands of hours of coaching experience and a BSc in Sports Science with Management from Loughborough University. He owns a gym in Bayonne France, CrossFit Essor, which runs group classes and a Personal training studio.