In monitoring PGA and amateur golfers that have been under my care I have noticed one common pattern over the last 3 to 4 weeks of isolation. The PGA golfers have maintained a diligent exercise regimen doing cardiovascular work 45 to 60 minutes per day 3 to 4 times per week. On line strength and flexibility training with their trainers has been done 3 to 4 times week. Amateur golfers have been exercising regularly also but usually on their own 3 to 5 times per week. My hope is that recreational golfers have also been doing some form of exercise in preparation for the spring golf season.
The more comprehensive and organized the exercise regimen the better you will perform on the golf course when the time comes.
One challenge with stay at home and our decreased activities during the day is that hip flexors and hip rotators will become unusually tight and decrease mobility in our hips. Those in the northern half of the United States have the additional challenge of a long winter and further limited activity. Decreased activity usually means more sitting. More sitting equates with increased tightness in our hip flexors and rotators. Tightness in these areas means we will have a difficult time rotating and turning our bodies when it comes to a golf swing.
Even if we are including hip stretches in our daily exercise regimen they need to be done more frequently at this time of lessened activity. Sitting 8 to 10 hours per day and stretching your hips once per day is usually all the time we can spend on hip stretches. But these are not usual times. We currently have an opportunity time wise to address hip stretches more effectively and improve how our body functions.
Under the circumstances I would advise hip stretches be performed 3 to 5 times per day. Holding positions for 30 to 60 seconds and doing 2-3 repetitions will address muscle and connective tissue efficiently.
Examples of hip stretches are standing lunges, kneeling lunges, heel to buttock, seated “sign of 4” internal and external rotation, and foam rolling exercises. Additional stretches are available on my website under Tier One exercises.
Increasing the frequency of hip stretches will better prepare your body for the increased physical demands you look forward to as confinement ends and spring approaches. Addressing hip mobility will decrease the probability of lower back injury as well as improve your capability to play better golf. You do not want to be faced with the situation where you can finally begin activity only to get injured and have to cease the activity you longed for. Prepare yourself for a better time!