It has been well documented that flexibility is essential for a full, solid golf swing. As a golfer, how do you maintain and gain flexibility? Sometimes stretching alone isn’t enough. Many flexibility and range of motion issues stem from the superficial fascia located between your skin and the muscle. Fascia is soft connective tissue that surrounds muscles, blood vessels, and nerves. It is essentially the structure that holds everything together. Due to various reasons, the fascia can become “stuck” to the muscles it surrounds. This is called a myofascial adhesion and can restrict muscle lengthening, which in turn will affect range of motion and muscle function. Stretching alone will not suffice in breaking up myofascial adhesions. Most golfers could benefit from going through multiple hours of myofascial release and soft tissue mobilization before moving onto more dynamic golf-specific exercises.
It is critical that this first step is taken because without fascial mobility it is very difficult, if not impossible, to gain permanent mobility at a given joint. Even if you don’t have a clinician by your side, there are self-release techniques you can try out at home or at the gym to help your flexibility. One technique that has gained a ton of popularity the last couple of years is foam rolling. You can roll almost any area of your body. As you roll the targeted muscle, you should be feeling for the adhesions. You will know you are on one because the area will feel tenderer than other areas. Roll slowly across these areas until a release is felt or it no longer feels tender with pressure. Before starting any type of foam rolling program make sure you consult a qualified clinician or trainer for proper form and technique. This can be a great tool to assist you in achieving greater flexibility for your golf swing.