LIVE LONG, LIVE WELL by Jodi Cornelio: Stretching makes for better golf

By Jodi Cornelio
Health Writer

I trust that all you golfers have been doing something physical this winter to prepare you for a great golf season.
Ultimately, my choice would be to practice yoga two to three times a week. Yoga can help with flexibility and mental stamina for a great golf game.

Still, we all need a proper warm up and stretch before golf and a complete body stretch after golf to perform well and prevent injuries. Like with any sport, warming up properly helps loosen the muscles allowing for a complete range of motion. The better your range of motion the better capable you are in completing your golf swing and getting that needed distance with your drive.
Always warm up before you stretch because it is unsafe to stretch a cold muscle. For me, I like to go for a long run or walk before golf, but if I don’t have time for that, I walk around the parking lot or march in place for five to 10 minutes.
Always take one of your clubs and gently swing it multiple times for three to five minutes. This will help warm up your body and your swing muscles.
After your warm-up, my favorite complete stretch is a lunge with a spinal twist and it looks like this:
* Take one big giant step with your right leg like you are lunging to pick up a ball.
* Place both hands on the ground, one hand on each side of your forward knee; make sure your forward knee is straight up from your ankle at a 90 degree bend. You can drop your back knee to the ground for more comfort and ease.
* Now leave your left hand on the ground and reach your right hand to the sky, twisting in the spine and looking up at the sky.
* Hold this position for no less than 30 seconds
* Gently and slowly return to a standing position. Before repeating this stretch on the opposite side, shake it out and march in place for a minute to loosen up.
Perform this stretch multiple times before and after playing golf. Once you find that this becomes effortless, you know you’re completely stretched out enough to play golf and or join the others on the 19th hole after golf. If this doesn’t become effortless … I’ll meet you in yoga class!
Live long, live well.