Best Stretches for your Golf Game

By: Brian Rog, Eric Buck MBA, ATC and Tyler Nohren, MS, ATC for ATI Physical Therapy

Best Stretches for your Golf Game by ATI Physical Therapy

How often do we find ourselves full-throttling it to the course, quickly slipping on the cleats and running at the pace of an Olympian to the first tee box? While we like to think that the run from the car to the first tee and those sweat-infused efforts at the range days before a round will translate into that once fantasized single digit handicap, the reality of the situation couldn’t be further disconnected from that fantasy.

Unfortunately, many of us overlook the simplest of necessities before squaring up on the first tee box – setting aside time to stretch! By not stretching, our bodies are never given that opportunity to properly adapt and adjust to the physical demands on the course, resulting in a serious lack of longevity, and ultimately distancing ourselves from that below-par round.

Let’s all make a promise to ourselves to weave in at least 30 minutes of stretching prior to that 18-hole adventure. Your body and scorecard are at the helm of your disciplinary skills, so take control of both and incorporate these stretches before and after a round. Take a look at the following short video where the reasons why and benefits of pre- and post-round stretches are discussed and demonstrated.

Golf pre-round stretches

  • Hip swing
  •  Trunk rotation
  •  Forearm strengthening
  •  Hamstrings and back

Following your round of golf, it’s not uncommon for aches and pains to creep up on you, so to combat these adversities, be sure to fit in time for the following stretches. Your body will thank you later!

Golf post-round stretches

  • Lat stretch
  •  Golfer’s elbow prevention

If aches and pains are getting in the way of your golf game, it’s time to take action. Stop by your nearest ATI Physical Therapy clinic for a complimentary injury screening where one of our licensed providers will take a look at your areas of discomfort and provide next-step suggestions in care.


Golfer Elbow

Golfers elbow, also called Medial Epicondylitis, is a painful condition occurring from repeated muscle contractions in the forearm that leads to inflammation and microtears in the tendons that attach to the medial epicondyle. The medial epicondyle is the bony prominence that is felt on the inside of the elbow.

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8 Off-Season Golf Training Exercises

By Travis Orth for Athletico Physical Therapy

With the unexpected warm weather we have been experiencing recently, it is likely that many of us have wanted to get out on the links sooner than later. Hopefully the wave of warm weather we have been experiencing will continue and allow for an early start to the golf season. Before the start of the season, however, it is a good idea to tune-up your body. With a few weeks of preparation, you can bring your game to the next level in 2017.

When it comes to strength characteristics of highly proficient golfers, a 2007 study shows that a group of golfers with a handicap index of < 0 displayed increased hip, torso and shoulder strength along with greater shoulder range of motion compared to golfers with a handicap index from 10-20.1  What’s more, this study demonstrated that highly proficient golfers also displayed improved single leg stance balance compared to the 10-20 handicap group. The greater strength, flexibility and balance within the low handicap group likely allows for improved posture, sequencing and timing to more consistently hit accurate golf shots on the center of the face of the club. This theory was supported in the study as the self-reported driving distance of the low handicap group was greater than the 10-20 handicap group. Although not proven, the differences in physical characteristics between the two groups likely accounts for some of the increased driving distance.

A separate study had golfers complete an eight week training program focusing on improving flexibility, strength and balance.2  The golfers were instructed to complete the exercises 3-4 times a week, with aspects of golf performance being re-assessed at the conclusion of the training program. This study found that golfers displayed improved club velocity, ball velocity, carry distance and total distance at the end of the training program.

These two studies emphasize the importance of maintaining good overall physical conditioning, as doing so can directly translate to improved performance on the course. The following are exercises from the eight week training program that you can use to help enhance your game for the upcoming season:

golf off season training knees to chestDouble knees to chest: Lie on back, grasp knees and bring to chest. Hold for 30 seconds.



golf off season training kneeing lunge


Kneeling lunge: Kneel with one leg, put the other leg in front at a 90 degree angle and push forward. A stretch will be felt in the kneeling leg. Hold for 30 seconds and then repeat on the opposite side.


Seated trunk rotation with club: Sit on a chair, hold a club behind your neck and rotate torso to the right as far as possible without pain. Hold at end-range for 30 seconds. Repeat to the opposite side.

golf off season training seated trunk rotation with club    golf off season training seated trunk rotation with club

Standing hip abduction: Stand on one leg with elastic resistance tubing attached to the opposite ankle and bring leg out away from your body.  Complete 3 sets of 10 repetitions.

golf off season training standing hip abduction   golf off season training standing hip abduction

Standing hip adduction: Stand on one leg with elastic resistance tubing attached to the opposite ankle and bring leg toward your body.  Complete 3 sets of 10 repetitions.

golf off season training standing hip adduction   golf off season training standing hip adduction

golf off season training static front squatStatic front squat: While standing feet shoulder width apart, squat until knees are at a 45 degree angle to the ground.  Hold this position for 30 seconds.




Single-leg stances on the floor: With hands ongolf off season training single leg stances the hips, balance on one foot without letting opposite foot touch the ground.  If needed stand next to a counter top or railing and use hands to help prevent falling while completing the exercise.  Attempt to stand for 30 seconds without loss of balance.



golf off season training single leg stancesSingle-leg stances on padding: Repeat the single leg stance exercise, but to increase the challenge stand on a foam padding or rolled up towel.  Again, if necessary, use hands to lightly hold onto a countertop or sturdy piece of furniture to help prevent falling.  Attempt to hold for 30 seconds without loss of balance.


To speak with an Athletico Physical Therapist about other golf-related exercises, request an appointment at an Athletico near you.

Golf Training; OTC vs Rx Medications for Pain; Kettleball Training

Episode 17.09 with Hosts Steve Kashul and Dr. Brian Cole. Broadcasting on ESPN Chicago 1000 WMVP-AM Radio, Saturdays from 8:30 to 9:00 AM/ host image

Dr. Nikhil Verma from Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush is filling in this week for Dr. Cole.

Segment One (02:14): Joe Estes from Athletico Physical Therapy talks with Steve and Dr. Verma about preventing Golf Injuries, proper warm up routines and the new indoor simulator at Athletico’s Golf Performance Center in Oak Brook that proudly uses the innovative K-Vest to improve the game for professional and amateur golfers.

The technology behind the K-Vest is a three-sensor wireless system that strategically places sensors on a golfer’s hips, shoulders, and hand to measure motion during a golf swing.  The sensors immediately communicate to a computer a 3D analysis.  This analysis allows the instructor to instantly address critical aspects of a golfer’s body such as hip rotation, speed, sequence and timing.

Segment Two (12:55): Dr. Verma and Steve discuss OTC vs Rx Medications; risks ofRelated image addiction, non-drug alternatives and guidelines for use of OTC pain medications. Dr. Verma is Professor and Director, Division of Sports Medicine, Fellowship Director, Sports Medicine, Department of Orthopedics, Rush University Medical Center. Dr. Verma specializes in treatment of the shoulder, elbow and knee with an emphasis on advanced arthroscopic reconstructive techniques of the shoulder, shoulder replacement, knee ligament reconstruction and articular cartilage reconstruction and meniscal transplantation.

U.S. News & World Report ranks the orthopedic program at Rush University Medical Center #4 in the Nation and the highest ranked program in Illinois.

Segment Three (20:00): Gerard Iaculo from Jim Karas Intelligent Fitness & Wellness talks with Steve and Dr. Verma about the use, history and benefits of Kettlebell training.

At, training is grounded in timeless training principles and has over thirty years of experience recognizing the legitimate innovations in our industry that burn fat (NOT MUSCLE), improve functional performance and decrease your risk of any injury.