7 Golf Stretches That Improve Flexibility

These stretches are a great warm-up

If you play golf, flexibility is essential. The right golf stretches, performed correctly, can help with shoulder turn, improving your swing with a greater range of motion and less risk of straining a muscle. Stretching helps prevent injuries and boost performance.

Use these 7 golf stretches to increase flexibility, improve your swing, and help you prepare for your best game.


Shoulder Stretch

Stanford International Pro-Am - Round Two
Doug Benc / Getty Images

Use this stretch to open up the shoulders and improve range of motion in the shoulder joint. It's an excellent stretch for golfers and any athletes whose sport focuses on the upper body, arms, and shoulders.

Golfers should consider this a core stretch in the warm-up prior to a round and repeat as needed throughout the game.

  1. Hold a golf club in front of you with your hands at each end of the club, using an overhand grip.
  2. Lift the club forward and up over your head with your elbows straight.
  3. Slowly stretch your shoulders and move your hands back as far as possible until you feel tension across the front of your shoulders.
  4. Hold for 10 to 20 seconds and release.
  5. Repeat two to three times.

Be careful not to go beyond your limits. Increase your range of motion slowly.


Standing Forward Bend

Natalie Gulbis stretching
David Cannon / Getty Images

The standing forward bend is an excellent stretch for any athlete, but golfers, racquetball and tennis players, baseball players, and swimmers should consider this a core stretch for their sports.

  1. Begin by standing up straight with your shoulders relaxed and back.
  2. Reach your arms behind your back and interlace your fingers.
  3. Lift your shoulders toward your ears and lift your hands away from your back.
  4. Slowly bend forward at the waist, keeping your back flat, not rounded.
  5. Continue bending forward and lifting your hands over your head as far forward as comfortable.
  6. At full stretch, you will feel tension in your hamstrings and shoulders.
  7. Hold for 10 to 20 seconds and release.
  8. Repeat two to three times.

Standing Quad Stretch

Standing quad stretch

Verywell / Ben Goldstein

The quadriceps (quads) are a group of muscles along the front of the thigh. There are many different ways to stretch your quadriceps, but here is a simple one you can do while standing:

  1. Stand on one leg (grab onto something solid if you need support).
  2. Bend your knee and bring your heel toward your buttock.
  3. Reach for your ankle with your hand.
  4. Stand up straight and feel a slight pull along the front of your thigh and hip.
  5. Hold the stretch for 20 to 30 seconds, release, and repeat on the other leg.

Be careful not to strain your knee—the goal is not to touch your heel to the buttock but rather to stretch the thigh.


Hip Flexors and Psoas Stretch

Young attractive woman standing in anjaneyasana pose, home inter
fizkes / Getty Images

The hip flexors are a group of muscles that bring the legs up toward the trunk. Here's how to stretch them:

  1. Begin in a forward lunge position and drop your back knee to the ground.
  2. Raise your arms and hands over your head and look up.
  3. Press your hips forward and down toward the floor and feel a stretch through your torso, hip, groin, and thigh.
  4. Hold the stretch for about 20 to 30 seconds, release, and repeat on the other leg.

Simple Shoulder Stretch

Woman in a gym stretching her arm and shoulder

Caiaimage / Sam Edwards / Getty Images 

Golfers can do this stretch during a warm-up before a round and as needed throughout the game.

  1. Bring your right arm across your chest and your right hand toward your left shoulder, keeping your right elbow at chest level.
  2. Place your left palm on your right elbow and pull it toward your chest.
  3. Hold for 10 to 15 seconds and then switch sides.

Standing IT Band Stretch

woman stretching her IT band

Photo: Ben Goldstein / Model: Ana Alarcon

The iliotibial (IT) band, which is on the outside of your hip down to the side of your knee, can become irritated from excess flexion of the knee and hip. For golfers, this stretch can help keep the hips limber so you can swing with more rotational power:

  1. While standing, cross one leg behind the other.
  2. Lean to the opposite side until you feel a stretch across the affected iliotibial band.
  3. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds.
  4. Uncross your legs and stand up straight again.
  5. Repeat four more times and then switch sides.

Hip and Lower Back Stretch

Hip and Lower Back Stretch

Jonathan Daniel / Getty Images

In the photo, Chicago Bears cornerback Devin Hester demonstrates a simple way to open your hips and stretch the muscles of your hips, groin, and lower back.

This lunge with a twist stretch is great for golfers to open the hips for a better swing and prevent potential back strain.

  1. Start in a lunge position with your right leg forward and your left knee dropped to the ground.
  2. Press your right elbow gently into the inside of your right knee and twist your body to the left.
  3. Reach your left arm behind you to feel a stretch in your lower back groin.
  4. Hold here for about 20 to 30 seconds before releasing, and repeat on the other side.
4 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Sorbie GG, Baker JS, Gu Y, Ugbolue UC. The effect of dynamic and static stretching on golf driving performance. Int J Sports Exerc Med. 2016;2(1):035.

  2. Meira EP, Brumitt J. Minimizing injuries and enhancing performance in golf through training programsSports Health. 2010;2(4):337-344. doi:10.1177/1941738110365129

  3. Iwata M, Yamamoto A, Matsuo S, et al. Dynamic stretching has sustained effects on range of motion and passive stiffness of the hamstring musclesJ Sports Sci Med. 2019;18(1):13-20.

  4. Shamus J, Shamus E. The management of iliotibial band syndrome with a multifaceted approach: a double case reportInt J Sports Phys Ther. 2015;10(3):378-390.

By Elizabeth Quinn, MS
Elizabeth Quinn is an exercise physiologist, sports medicine writer, and fitness consultant for corporate wellness and rehabilitation clinics.