HOW DO I INCREASE HIP MOBILITY FOR GOLF?
Improve your golf swing and move better with less low-back and hip pain with these five all-star golf hips stretches from Mike Boyle, nationally known strength coach. Each stretch can be completed in about one minute for a total of five minutes for more flexible hips and better, injury free golf. When we speak about hip mobility, we will work on increasing movement in our hip flexors, hip abductors, hip rotators and hamstrings.
You should start by getting the kinks and the knots out of your hip complex. A great way to do that is foam rolling. You can start by gently rolling the hips when you're sitting to work on the hip's external rotators. To really get at your glutes you want to be able to cross your legs by sitting on the glute of the crossed leg and slowly moving back and forth on those external hip rotators.
Stationary Spiderman Stretch
This spiderman stretch begins in a push-up position. Step up with one foot just outside your hand and drop the opposite legs knee down to the ground. I like to squeeze hard on that backside glute. I want to think about getting some contraction on my backside glute. I'm trying to get straight from my knee through my hip up to my chest and, if anything, I'd like to actually get a little bit of extension through there. Obviously, when we are switching sides, we're just getting back to the push up position. We're going back to the other side. That's going to get hip flexors and, actually, it's going to get some abductors, some groin on the other side.
For hip rotators, my friend Nao Sakata from Japan, came out with the idea of a Flexcushion or wedge which he actually developed for Sumo wrestlers. It is incredibly helpful for most people to making stretching more tolerable. We'll use a cushion to modify our yoga pigeon stretch. If you think about being on all fours and then getting that leg crossed underneath, again, if you're not real mobile, the Flexcushion really allows you to have that opportunity to get in good posture or position. I like to sit up really tall. We're trying to feel for stretch in the glute that's up on the Flexcushion here. Some people like to lay down. I don't feel that one as much.
Open Legs Stretch
Flexcushion can help you stretch your abductors too. So, with abductors, we're thinking about groin and inner thigh. We want to be able to sit up tall on the top of the Flexcushion wedge. You'd ideally like to be able to get your legs 90 degrees apart in this position. Sit tall, with your chest up. So if I'm leaning, I'm thinking that I'm leaning from my hips. The nice thing about the Flexcushion is it makes you go downhill. So, naturally, if I just sit on this Flexcushion like this, I'm getting stretch up into my groin in my abductor musculature, my inner thigh musculature.
Standing Hamstring Stretch
Lots of people think that hamstrings connect to your spine. Your hamstrings don't connect to your spine. They connect to your pelvis. A great way to stretch the hamstrings is to stand tall while placing one leg up on a table. We want to be tall. The toe has to be straight up. The toe on your foot on the ground is going to be pointing straight ahead. This foot's straight up and then all I want to work on is the idea of opening and closing a gate. So, I've got to be able to move my pelvis against my fixed femur. As soon as you start to get that, you're going to be, oh my goodness, I really feel that in my lateral hamstring up into my glute.
To build hip mobility for golfers, we want to roll and stretch. Roll first, stretch second. When we're stretching, we want to think hip flexors, rotators, abductors and hamstrings. If you get to the point now where your hips can move freely, obviously, you're going to be able to swing the club much better because you're going to be able to, again, rotate that pelvis against the fixed femur.
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