3 stretches for when you’re in a hurry to get to the 1st tee
In our golf fantasy world, we have a late-Sunday afternoon tee time at Augusta National, with all day to warm up in our quest to win the green jacket. In reality, we’re running late again — traffic jam, kid’s soccer game went into overtime, Zoom meeting ran long. We’re changing into our cleats while sitting on the back fender and racing across the parking lot to get to the first tee with five minutes to spare. And that’s okay — that’s life. Five minutes and a single golf club is just enough time and all the equipment needed to loosen up for an injury-free round.
1. Raised side bend
Hold a club with your hands extended directly overhead. With your feet set just inside shoulder width, bend your body slowly to your left side while maintaining the shoulder-width grip on the club. Dip down as far as is comfortable for you. Hold the stretch for three to five breaths, then repeat the bend on your right side. This move will help loosen your shoulders and your sides to help you achieve a fuller range of motion.
2. Hip opener
Stand on your right foot and bring your left knee to waist height. Use your left hand to rotate the knee away from your trunk 90 degrees. Rotate back to the start position. Release your left hand and straighten the left leg with your foot flexed. Cross your left ankle over your right knee, then sink down into prayer pose. Switch legs. This move strengthens your hip flexors, opens up your hips and adds lower-body strength.
3. Crescent lunge with a twist
Extend one leg forward, making sure your knee is stacked directly over your ankle, and extend your other leg back, long and straight. With a golf club in hand at shoulder width and arms fully extended, twist to the left when your left leg is in front (as shown), and then switch legs. This move increases flexibility in your back while also strengthening and activating your lower body and hip flexors.