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It’s a stretch to improve your golf game

In a quest to improve their golf game, golfers have been known to spend hours at the driving range, on the putting green or chipping in their backyard. For some, the answer to improving your golf may not lie so much in your backswing but your back.

“It doesn’t take much to throw a golf swing off. Given the routines involved with golf—carrying a bag, swinging a club, walking, waiting, etc.—it’s easy to see how your back can stiffen and impact your form. And we all know that bad form can lead to back injuries,” said Dr. Michael Gottfried, president of the Chiropractic Society of Rhode Island and chiropractic physician at Aquidneck Chiropractic in Middletown, Rhode Island. “With some simple stretches before, while, and after you play, golfers can avoid injury and possibly even knock a stroke or two off their score.”

Dr. Gottfried recommends several stretches for golfers before, during and after playing. That includes reach and scuds, where you grasp a golf club at should width and hold it overhead. Then move in a controlled arc from right to left and back, holding the stretch at the end position for one to two seconds.

Core rotations also provide a good stretch while simulating some of the motion of a golf swing. Simply place a golf club on your shoulders, keep your feet planted and rotate from left to right and vice versa, not twisting your hips. Again, at the end of each stretch hold for one to two seconds. Be sure to avoid over rotating.

“Legs also play an important part to a golf swing and certainly can have an impact to your lower back. Your stretches should include some that involve your legs as much as your torso and upper body,” said Gottfried.

One leg exercise Dr. Gottfried recommends is standing knee pulls. With legs shoulder width apart, lift one leg and grab your knee with the opposite hand and stretch across your body. Hold the stretch for one to two seconds and repeat five times on each side.

“The beauty of these exercises is they are simple enough to do between shots as well as before and after your round,” said Dr. Gottfried. “Yet even with a stretching program, many golfers—amateur and pro—find chiropractic as a great preventative measure and part of their overall wellness. Tiger Woods, Fred Funk and Padraig Harrington are just a few of many professional golfers who utilize chiropractic.”

If you are not currently seeing a chiropractor and want to explore how chiropractic can benefit your overall condition and golf fame, you can utilize the “Find A Doctor” feature on the Chiropractic Society of Rhode Island’s website, www.richiro.org.

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