When we think of recovery in golf, we are usually talking about how to get our ball back in play after a fairly unimpressive shot. What about post-round recovery?
But taking the time to recover, our body can have massive benefits not only for our golf game but also for our overall health.
My personal favorites for recovery include some form of stretching, foam rolling and massage gun, and possibly ice or an ice bath.
Today I want to focus on stretches for recovery.
Before going out to play or practice, I like to have all of my clients do some simple warm-up that consists of movement and light stretching. But once the round and the day are over, we want to let the body rest and recover without force or strain, or much movement for that matter. This is where what I call “inactive stretching” comes in.
If any of you have ever practiced Yin yoga, that is a great example of inactive stretching. We hold poses that are not intense for a much longer time than in a traditional yoga class. Holding poses such as a wide-legged seated pose or a for 5-10 minutes let the muscles open and relax naturally without over-stretching or forcing our way into uncomfortable positions.
My favorite inactive stretches are:
- Seated wide legged
- Feet up the wall
- Lying twist
- Pigeon pose
Post-Round Recovery Stretches
The most important post-round recovery stretch is to relax, and the easiest way to relax the body is to breathe. Make sure to focus on a steady, deep breathing pattern. An inhale of a slow four-count, a two count hold at the top of the breath, and a slow four-count exhale are great breathing patterns for these recovery stretches.
You should feel a slight rise out of the stretch on the inhale and a bit more or deeper into the stretch on the exhale. This breathing with minimal movement but still a rise and fall of the body will help open and elongate the muscles and aid in recovery.
All of the post-round recovery stretches I mentioned above should be held for a minimum of 3 minutes unless you have pain. They can be held for as long as 10 minutes as long as you feel comfortable and not building tension.
If you have to force yourself to stay longer, it’s probably time to come out of the stretch. Uncomfortable is ok; pain is not. If you experience any pain, come out of the stretch immediately.
As always, make sure you are drinking enough water during and after your round to aid in recovery as well.
My rule of thumb is AT LEAST half of your body weight in ounces of water. If it’s warm, you’re tired, or you know you’re dehydrated, try to get your entire body weight in ounces of water.
Stay healthy and play great!
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Here is another video from The Golf Yogi, 3 Back Bends for Posture and Rotation to maintain a supple back. Just one of the many golf instruction videos we have at GolfersRx.com.
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