Why good flexibility in your golf swing is a double-edged sword

A woman stretches to improve her flexibility.

Flexibility is necessary for you to swing a golf club. Without it, you can’t rotate through the swing and get into the positions required to hit the ball well. 

Women usually have an easier time swinging the club because they are naturally more flexible than men. (Sorry guys, it’s true.) 

Tiger Woods stretches his back and shoulders before a round.
These 5 simple stretches will improve your flexibility and help your golf swing
By: Rachel Bleier

Because of this increased flexibility, women can get into better positions in the golf swing, and they don’t struggle as much as men with getting enough shoulder turn, hip turn and separation in their swings. 

This natural flexibility also helps women in terms of injury prevention. Because women aren’t fighting against their bodies to get into the positions the golf swing requires, they are less likely to experience more severe injuries, like in their lower back. 

However, being more flexible is a double-edged sword, according to Ryan Blackburn, performance coach to LPGA players including Christina Kim

Strength helps stabilize a flexible golf swing

Good flexibility requires (Getty)

Blackburn explained that while women have more flexibility, they need to make sure they build strength to stabilize themselves in the golf swing. Without strength and stability, it’s very hard to control your body through golf swing, and you’ll wind up looking like “an octopus falling out of a tree.” 

Building strength and stability will also help women avoid overuse injuries, including in their shoulders and wrists. 

Blackburn recommends that when golfers go to the gym they should work on what they normally avoid rather than reinforcing what they’re already good at. For men, that means stretching and working on their mobility. Women on the other hand, should work on building strength, particularly in their lower body.

Building lower body strength with exercises like deadlifts, lunges, squats and kettlebell swings teaches you to push through the ground like you would in the golf swing to generate power. These exercises also require you to stabilize your core and upper body, which translates to how your body should react to swinging a golf club. 

If you’re not sure where to start to become a more well-rounded athlete, and yes golfers are athletes, Blackburn suggests thinking about what you want to get out of your workout and not being afraid to push yourself at the gym. 

Don’t shy away from the weights in the gym. It’s exactly what women need to offset their natural flexibility and take their game to the next level.