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The 10 Best Stretches for Golfers | Improve Swing Flexibility

Even though golf may not be a high-intensity sport that requires running and jumping like basketball or tennis, it still necessitates a proper stretching routine. Injuries can still occur while playing golf. That’s why you should know the best stretches for golfers to do before they hit the course.  

Stretching before golf can improve how far you swing the club and help you drive long distances. The more flexible you are, the better of a golfer you can become.

What Muscles Are Used in Golf?

Despite the lower-intensity nature of golf, it still engages various muscle groups without neglecting a particular region. In order to swing a golf club efficiently, the entire body—from the feet to the hips to the spine—needs to work together as a unit in order to execute the swing action. Here are the main muscles involved:


  • Glutes – The gluteus maximus is the largest muscle in the body and helps generate power for a golf swing.
  • Abdominals – The abs provide rotation and transfer energy from the lower body to the upper body when swinging.
  • Forearms – Maintaining a strong grip will help minimize any excess wrist movement and keep the club stable.

In addition, the body also coordinates between various leg muscles (hamstrings, quadriceps) and shoulder muscles (lats, deltoids) to provide power and generate force in a golf swing.

Common Golf Injuries

Like any athlete, injuries are going to happen when on the golf course. Since golf is not a contact sport, many golf injuries are due to overuse or muscular compensation. However, while the reasons for a particular injury may change on a case-by-case basis, the constant repetitive nature of a swing will undoubtedly trigger some common golf injuries.


  • Knee Tendonitis – Without proper hip rotation, your knee can get overstressed and cause pain and inflammation.
  • Bulging Disc – Excessive twisting without adequate muscular resiliency can put too much demand on the intervertebral discs
  • Sports Hernia – Insufficient core strength and flexibility may not provide enough support to the pelvis for the repetitive swinging motion
  • Neck or Shoulder Strain – During the sudden jerky motion of a swing, if the upper body is not moving as fast as the lower body, you can strain your neck or shoulder.

How to Prevent Golf Injuries

As much as we all wish there was a magic pill to prevent golf injuries, the most effective methods are tried and true techniques. Today’s technology allows for a lot of new injury prevention strategies. However, you should always listen to your body and feel out for restrictions. Here are some ways you can prevent golf injuries:

  • Dynamic Warm-Up - Putting yourself through a dynamic warm-up prior to activity can help activate your nervous system and increase your range of motion.
  • Foam Rolling - If you have muscle soreness, self-myofascial release with a Yoga Strong Roller can help loosen up tight muscles.
  • Stretching – Post-workout, old-fashioned static stretching with a Yoga Strong Strap can help accelerate your recovery.
  • Strength Training – Tight muscles are often weak muscles, so making sure your body is strong and durable enough to tolerate the physical demands of golf is a key injury prevention strategy.

The Best Golf Stretches

Now that we’ve looked at what muscles are used, common injuries, and how to prevent them, let’s take a look at the best golf stretches that you can start doing for your game today.

10. Shoulder Stretch

The shoulder muscles can get sore and tight with the repetitive motion of a golf swing. When you perform this shoulder stretch, you can effectively stretch the deltoid muscle in your shoulders, as well as your lat muscle.

Here are the steps:

  1. Raise your right arm to chest height and then move it horizontally across your chest, so your right hand is now on the left side of your body.
  2. Then, using your left hand, gently place pressure on your right arm and pull the right arm further across your chest. 
  3. Remember, keep the shoulder relaxed and do not apply too much pressure.
  4. Hold for 20 seconds and switch sides.

9. Hip Press

The hip press makes sure those glute muscles are firing properly. It also engages your other posterior hip muscles responsible for powerful, athletic movements, such as a golf swing.

Here are the steps:

  1. Lay on your back and place your feet on the ground, shoulders distance apart, directly underneath your knees. 
  2. When in place, pull the belly button towards the spine and on an inhale, press into your feet to lift your hips up high off the mat, pulling your chest towards your chin.
  3. Hold for 20-30 seconds.

8. Standing Forward Bend

The standing forward fold mimics the old-school “touch your toes” stretch you probably learned in elementary school. While this stretch hits primarily your hamstrings, it can help open up the entire posterior leg chain, from your calves to your lower back.
Here are the steps:

  1. Come to standing on your mat with your legs shoulder width apart.
  2. Now, hinge from your waist and reach for the tops of your toes without bouncing or straining.
  3. Hold for 10-20 seconds. Grab your shins or ankles if unable to reach your toes. 

7. Scarecrow Twists

For this stretch, you’re going to need your golf club with you! Targeting your spine and hips, this stretch will help prepare your body for the rotational demands of a golf swing.

Here are the steps:

  1. Place your golf club comfortably behind your neck and onto your shoulders.
  2. Then, with both arms long and holding the golf club on your shoulders, begin to twist your torso to the right.
  3. As you twist your torso to the right, pivot your left foot towards the right and rotate the hip, knee, and ankle.
  4. Also, take your gaze to the right so every part of your body is rotated right.
  5. Then, return to the center and repeat going left.
  6. Repeat this twist 10x on each side.

6. Standing Quad Stretch

The quads, located on the front thighs, help stabilize the knee and mobilize the hip. If the quads get tight, you may put more stress on your knee than you’d like. To stay loose, use this standing quad stretch.  

Here are the steps:

  1. Start standing on your left leg. Use a chair or wall nearby to help with your balance.
  2. When ready, bend your right knee and bring your heel towards your butt
  3. Then, reach for your right foot with your right hand and grab onto your foot.
  4. Next, gently pull your right foot closer to your butt to increase the stretch on your quadriceps.
  5. Breathe and hold for 5 breaths and switch sides

5. Standing Side Stretch

The side body can be just as important to stretch as the front and back body! Although the side body can sometimes be overlooked, improving lateral flexion and abduction with the standing side stretch can increase flexibility in the lats, obliques, and lateral hip.

Here are the steps:

  1. While standing upright with your arms at each side, start to reach your right hand down your side body towards the outside of your right foot. 
  2. At the same time, bump your hips to the left to increase the range of motion. Make sure you are bending to the side (laterally), and not forward or rotation. 
  3. Now, take your left arm and reach overhead and opposite towards the right side to feel a big stretch down the left side body.
  4. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat on the opposite side.

4. Standing IT Band Stretch

The IT band is a long strand of connective tissue that runs along the outside of your hip to your shinbone and helps abduct, rotate, and extend the knee. This makes it crucial for stabilizing the knee and getting the most out of your golf swing. To keep the IT Band healthy, try this standing IT band stretch.

Here are the steps:

  1. Start standing feet shoulder width apart and your hands by your side
  2. Then, take your left foot and cross it over your right foot.
  3. Now, hinge at the hips and reach for your toes with the left foot over the right foot.
  4. Hold for 10-20 seconds and then repeat on opposite side.

3. Shoulder Flossing

Just like regular flossing, shoulder flossing intends to clean up any accumulation from your day. By moving through full ranges of motion, you can clear out any tension in your back, forearms, shoulders, and neck.

Here are the steps:

  • Grab your golf club (or a Yoga Strong Strap) with a wide grip (one hand on each end) and hold it at your waist to start.
  • On an inhale, lift the club up and over your head and back behind your neck, and down your back, ending at your tailbone and butt.
  • Then, when ready, bring the club back the opposite way. Up your back and over your head, then down the front of your body.
  • Repeat 5-10x

2. Kneeling Hip Flexor Lunge Stretch

Your front hip flexors often feel tight and restrictive, due to the amount of time you spend sitting in a flexed, shortened position. The kneeling hip flexor lunge stretch can help alleviate that tightness while also opening up the psoas, which connect the lower body to your torso.

Here are the steps:

  1. Start in a half kneel position on your Yoga Strong Mat, with your right leg upright and your left leg down.
  2. Then, squeeze your left glute and start to push and lunge your left hip so that your right knee is moving forward past your toes.
  3. Hold at your end range of motion, then return to the neutral starting position and repeat 10x before you switch sides
  4. For a deeper stretch, tuck your toes on your back leg for an active foot. 
  5. For an even deeper stretch, raise your right arm straight overhead while you push the hips forward through the stretch.

1. Standing Hip Circles

Hip circles work your hip dynamically through every angle of motion. Opening up your hips in every direction will help ensure you do not have any compensatory movements when golfing that could affect your hip, knee, ankle, or spine.

Here are the steps:

  1. Start standing, feet shoulder width apart, and raise your right leg up to hip height so it’s at a 90 degree angle.
  2. Slowly, rotate your right hip out to the right side, so it is now parallel to your hip.
  3. Then, rotate your hip again, this time backwards, so your right hip and knee are now behind you. Toes should be facing down. 
  4. That makes 1 hip circle in a clockwise direction. Repeat 10x and switch sides.

Stretching Tips for Golfers

Embracing a comprehensive stretching program can have both short and long term effects on the health and success of golfers. Studies have proven that enhancing flexibility through targeted stretches for golfers can improve swing mechanics and efficiency, while keeping all your muscles, joints, tendons, and ligaments healthy.


Any time you’re playing a competitive sport, injuries are a risk you’re taking. But with a stretching and self-care regimen that includes daily stretching (and foam rolling!), you can reduce your injury risk so you can continue to play golf without worry.