Mayo Clinic Health Library

Slide show: Golf stretches for a more fluid swing

Updated: 09-29-2012

The importance of golf stretches

Photo showing several golf stretches

Golf stretches can help prepare you for a day on the course. These golf stretches may help promote a fluid, full golf swing, which can improve your performance.

Before you start your golf stretches, warm up with five to 10 minutes of light activity, such as walking around the practice tee. If you have time, complete the full series of golf stretches outlined here. Hold each stretch for about 10 seconds. Repeat three to five times. Do one set of golf stretches every day and another set before and after each round of golf.

Remember: Keep stretching gentle. Don't bounce. If you feel pain, you've stretched too far.

Golf stretches for your quadriceps

Photo of man stretching the quadriceps muscles

Start off your golf stretches by first stretching your quadriceps, which are the muscles in the front of your thighs:

  • Stand with your back to a chair or bench and cross your arms over your chest. Place your left foot on the chair or bench (image 1). You can use a chair with a lower seat than the one shown here.
  • Keep your left knee even with or behind your right knee. Tighten your left buttock muscles. You'll feel a stretch in the front of your left thigh.
  • To mimic your backswing, rotate your shoulders and torso to the right and bend your left shoulder and trunk slightly toward the ground (image 2).
  • Repeat the stretch on the opposite side.

Golf stretches for your back

Photo of man stretching the back muscles

Next, stretch your back muscles:

  • Stand with your feet apart, facing the back of a chair.
  • Grasp the back of the chair with your hands (image 1).
  • Holding on to the chair and keeping your spine straight, move your body down and away from your hands until you feel a stretch near both armpits (image 2).

Golf stretches for your hamstrings

Photo of man stretching the hamstring muscles

Now move on to your hamstrings, which are the muscles in the back of your thighs:

  • Hold your golf club behind your shoulders. Stand next to a step, low table or tee bench. Put your right foot on the step and bend your right knee slightly (image 1).
  • Bend your upper body forward at your hips, keeping your spine straight until you feel a comfortable stretch in the back of your right thigh.
  • Maintain this stretch while rotating your back and shoulders to the left and to the right (image 2).
  • Repeat the stretch on the opposite side.

Golf stretches for your hips while seated

Photo of man stretching the hip muscles

You can stretch your hips several ways. Try this seated stretch first:

  • Sit on a chair, low table or tee bench. Place your right ankle on top of your left thigh (image 1).
  • Push down on your right knee with your right forearm. Then lean forward at your waist until you feel a gentle stretch in your right hip (image 2).
  • Repeat the stretch on the opposite side.

Golf stretches for your hips and back

Photo of man stretching the hip muscles

Then try this hip and back stretch:

  • Sit on a chair, low table or tee bench. Place your right ankle on top of your left thigh. Raise your right knee and grasp it with your left hand (image 1).
  • Keeping your spine straight, pull your right knee up toward your left shoulder. You'll feel a stretch in your right buttock.
  • Mimic the position of your right hip when you're at the top of your backswing by turning your shoulders to the right (image 2).
  • Repeat the stretch on the opposite side.

Golf stretches for your front hip muscles

Photo of man stretching the front hip muscles

Here's a final hip stretch:

  • Kneel on your right knee, holding your golf club with your right hand. Place your left foot in front of you, bending your knee. Place your left hand on your left leg for stability (image 1).
  • Keep your back straight and abdominal muscles tight. Lean forward, shifting more weight onto your left leg (image 2). You'll feel a stretch in the front of your right hip and thigh.
  • Repeat the stretch on the opposite side.

Golf stretches for your wrists

Photo of man stretching the wrist muscles upward

Now stretch your wrists upward:

  • Hold your right arm in front of you with your palm facing down.
  • Keeping your elbow straight, gently pull your wrist up by grabbing the top of your fingers.
  • Repeat the stretch on the opposite side.

More golf stretches for your wrists

Photo of man stretching the wrist muscles downward

Stretch your wrists downward, too:

  • Hold your right arm in front of you with your palm facing down.
  • Keeping your elbow straight, gently pull your wrist down. You'll feel the stretch in your right forearm and wrist.
  • Repeat the stretch on the opposite side.

Golf stretches for your shoulders

Photo of man stretching the shoulders

Next stretch your shoulders:

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart as though you're addressing the golf ball. Hold your left elbow with your right hand (image 1).
  • Keeping your left thumb pointed up, bend your left wrist toward your left thumb.
  • Rotate your trunk to the right.
  • Pull on your left elbow until you feel a stretch in your back (image 2).
  • To stretch the trailing (right) shoulder, grab your right elbow with your left hand. Then rotate your trunk to the left (image 3).

Golf stretches for your core muscles

Photo of man stretching the core muscles

Finally, stretch your core muscles:

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, and fold your arms across your chest (image 1).
  • Bend your knees and lean forward slightly (image 2).
  • Rotate your trunk in your backswing motion (image 3).
  • Continue from the top of your backswing position to your follow-through (image 4).
  • At home, you may want to try this stretch in front of a mirror to check the different positions of your swing.
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