The idea behind dynamic stretching is to use movement and momentum to increase your range of motion by lengthening the muscles and tendons and lubricating the joints. Dynamic stretches are used by all kinds of athletes as a way of preparing the body for efficient movement and it’s a good idea to get into the habit of doing them too, because better range of motion helps to generate more power and distance.
Flexibility’s role in a stable swing
When your muscles are well conditioned (supple and strong) they not only allow for fluid movement of the joints, but also strong contractions that produce power. This improves the likelihood of having a stable, consistent swing you can rely on.
Here are some stretches and exercises that will help you improve your power and strength.
1. The Pigeon Stretch
Begin on the ground on hands and knees, tuck your right leg in under your body so that your right foot is under your hip and stretch your left leg out behind you then raise your torso up keeping your back straight and stabilizing with your arms. Hold this stretch for 10 seconds then repeat on the other side.
2. Torso Twist
Place a club in behind your shoulders, with arms holding it in place. Stand with your feet shoulder width and bend your knees slightly and add a slight bend at the waist. Turn slowly to each side so you get one end of the club directly in front of you with each turn.
3. Front-back leg swings
Use a club to stabilize you, stand straight with your feet at shoulder width apart then with knees slightly bent, left your right leg off the ground and swing in one sweeping motion in front of you and then behind you. Complete 5 reps then switch to the other side and repeat. The higher the swing up to the front and behind you the more intense the stretch. Be careful not to swing your leg too quickly and ensure your upper body remains as straight as possible.
4. Side-side leg swings
Use a club to stabilize you, stand straight with your feet at shoulder width apart then with knees slightly bent, left your right leg off the ground and swing in one sweeping motion out to the side then back down and across your left leg as far as is comfortable (bend your knee slightly). Complete 5 reps then switch to the other side and repeat. The higher the swing up to the side and then the further across your other leg the more intense the stretch. As with the front-back leg swings, ensure you don't swing too fast and keep your upper body stable and straight.
Remember with all stretches you complete, these should be gentle and comfortable, they are designed to activate your muscles and joints and get things moving, they shouldn't ever hurt.
Ensure you consult your doctor or practitioner if you have any existing injuries before undertaking any new regime of stretches or warm up.