If you are playing tour golf, college golf or you are a club player going on a trip with your friends to escape the winter, we all end up at the same spot. The airport, with literally nothing to do! It’s a great time to work in some golf stretches to maintain your flexibility or gain some ground on your friends.
Traveling is hard on your body and can be a major problem for a lot of my Golfers. A few things happen to a competitive golfer after a round that can lead to loss of flexibility. Firstly, golf has a major emotional component related to post round “let down.” Weather you win or lose your body goes through an emotional release which can lead to tightness, right around the time you sit down and drive to the airport, which when you arrive you will be sitting for at least 2 hours. Just enough time to allow your hip flexors and spine to start to stiffen up. A lot of my players over the last 15 years come back from a trip much tighter than they were when they left. I have 3 simple exercises that don’t require you to get down on the ground and are easy to do while you are waiting for your plane, on your next trip.
Standing Hamstring Stretch: Stand facing a chair in the airport and place your left leg on the back of the chair. Try your best to allow your leg to straighten naturally, as you can see my leg is a little tight. Try to hold for 60 seconds. Work on keeping your abs pulled in throughout the exercise. Then switch legs and do it on the other side. Switch back and forth 3 times.
Standing Hip Flexor Stretch: Stand facing away from chair and place the top of your right foot on the back rest of the airport chair. Pull your stomach in and maintain your balance for 60 seconds. Then switch legs, repeat 3 times per leg.
Seated Shoulder Turn: Sit in the airport chair with feet flat on the ground and knees together, pulling stomach in, slowly turn to the left and reach for the back of the chair. Hold for 60 seconds and breath deeply and slowly. This will work your abdominals and rib intercostals, helping to improve the mobility of your rib cage and allowing you to turn more fully. Repeat 2-3 times per side.
When you get off your flight, you will be more flexible and better prepared for playing your next round of golf.