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Fit for the first tee
Dan Frost

It only takes five minutes to loosen up those all-important golf muscles before teeing off, but it can make a massive difference to your swing and your scores. One of the UK's leading golf coaches Dan Frost demonstrates six simple stretches that will ensure your body is primed and ready to play.

Dan is also inviting all Golf Today readers down to his Performance Studio in Surrey for a free golf assessment. Simply email and quote GOLF TODAY.

1. Arm circles

What for?

To loosen the upper body muscles that help you make a full fluid swing.

How to...

- Raise your arms so that your shoulders, elbows and fingertips form a straight line. Your body should look like the letter T.
- Start with small circles and gradually increase until you reach the full range of motion of your arms. Your hands should feel light.
- After 20 seconds switch directions and begin again.

2. Overhead extensions

What for?

To stretch your shoulder muscles helping you get into a better position at the top of the backswing and improving your range of motion in the followthrough and finish.

How to...

- Grip the golf club at both ends so that your hands are just outside shoulder width apart and raise the club over your head with your arms extended.

- Keep your feet shoulder width apart and slowly lower the club down to your legs and then back up again.

3. Side stretches

What for?

To stretch out your obliques (the muscles down the sides of your core) to allow for the amount of twisting the body goes through in the swing.

How to...

- Start in your overhead extension position and then lean your body to one side so that you feel the stretch down the opposite side.
- Hold for a few seconds and then lean to the other side.

4. Wrist flicks

What for?

To warm up the muscles in the forearms and wrists that are essential to gripping the club securely. Freedom of movement in the hands and wrists is also crucial for making the correct wrist hinge in the backswing and releasing the club at impact.

How to...

- Imagine you are trying to flick water off your hands, stretching your fingers outwards in a rhythmical motion for 10-20 seconds.

5. Ankle rolls

What for?

Your ankles need freedom to move side-to-side in the golf swing. Without this flexibility your upper body won't be able to turn correctly over a supportive lower body base without having to make swing compensations for a restriction in ankle movement.

Good ankle mobility also helps prevent injury during the weight transfer in the swing

How to...

- Simply roll your ankles from side-to-side.

- Make sure the movement is slow and controlled and don't come too far over on the ankle.


6. Hip turns

What for?

To loosen up the muscles in your hip joints, which are essential to rotation in the backswing and the key to boosting power.

How to...

- Put your hands on your hips and slowly glide your body around your hip joint feeling for tight spots.

- When you feel a restriction just lean into the hip and slowly work around it before moving on to the next position and feeling again for tight spots.

- Perform this exercise on both sides.

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