According to Happy Gilmore, “It’s all in the hips.” (#RIPChubbs) But a solid stretch sesh before and after you tee up is also uber-important.

Here’s how to perform stretches that golfers of all ages and skill levels should be doing.

1. Kneeling/lunging hip flexor stretch

This stretch will give your hips some TLC.

To do a kneeling/lunging hip flexor stretch:

  1. Place your right knee on the floor.
  2. Place left foot flat in front of you, with leg bent at a 90-degree angle.
  3. Place right hand on right hip for support.
  4. Squeeze your glutes.
  5. Shift your bodyweight slightly forward.
  6. Hold for up to 30 seconds.
  7. Repeat on the other side.

Pro tip: Keep your spine aligned the whole time.

2. Standing hip flexion

This one is great for your quads and iliopsoas (thigh muscles). It can also help reduce tension in your hip flexors.

To do a standing hip flexion:

  1. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Hold a stable table or chair for balance support.
  3. Lift one leg up, bending knee, until knee is parallel with your waist.
  4. Return to the starting position.
  5. Repeat 12–15 times.
  6. Repeat on the other side.

Pro tip: Use ankle weights or resistance bands to feel the burn.

3. Standing hip circles

Hip circles can increase hip flexibility and stability.

To do standing hip circles:

  1. Stand on your right leg.
  2. Lift left leg off the floor, but keep it extended.
  3. Move left leg in small circular motions while it’s lifted.
  4. Do 20 circles clockwise and then 20 circles counterclockwise.
  5. Repeat on the other side.

Pro tip: Hold on to a chair or the wall for support.

4. Knee-to-chest

This move is great for your lower back and hip muscles. It could also help relieve pressure on your spinal nerves and relieve tension.

To do a knee-to-chest stretch:

  1. Lie on your back.
  2. Gently pull right knee in toward your chest.
  3. Hold for up to 30 seconds.
  4. Lower right leg back down.
  5. Repeat with left leg.

You can also alternate legs or stretch both at once.

Pro tip: If you can’t bring your knee all the way toward your chest, that’s OK! Don’t push things into the pain zone.

5. Standing back extension

This exercise is a great way to prevent tightness in your back that could come from playing golf.

To do a standing back extension:

  1. Stand tall with feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Place your hands on your lower back.
  3. Slowly arch your back and pull your chest up.
  4. Hold for 10 seconds.
  5. Repeat 5–10 times.

Pro tip: This is a great stretch for folks who do a lot of sitting at desks too.

6. Press-up

This old-school exercise has stood the test of time — and for good reason! It’s great for increasing strength in your upper body and core.

To do press-ups:

  1. Start on hands and knees.
  2. Place your hands flat on the floor, a bit wider than shoulder width.
  3. Straighten your arms and legs.
  4. Lower your body down while keeping toes tucked and legs straight.
  5. Push yourself up.
  6. Repeat.

Pro tip: Feel free to drop your knees if that’s easier for you.

7. Seated flexion

The seated flexion has it going on. It can work your lats, quads, and lower back. We also like that it can increase your knees’ range of motion.

To do a seated flexion:

  1. Sit in a sturdy chair with feet flat on the floor.
  2. Scoot to the edge of the chair so your knees are at a 90-degree angle before the stretch.
  3. Keeping knee bent, lift right leg and hold for 5–10 seconds. You can also use your hands to pull your knee toward your chest and hold if that’s easier.
  4. Repeat on the other side.

Pro tip: To avoid strain, make sure your back is supported during the stretch, either with a straight chair back or with an extra pillow behind you.

8. Core twist

The core twist (aka the Russian twist) is a top-notch ab toner.

To do a core twist:

  1. Sit on the floor with knees bent and feet flat. Keeping your back straight, lean back and lift your feet off the floor.
  2. Cross legs at the ankles and cross arms over your chest, making an X.
  3. Twist your core to the left, then back to center, and then to the right.
  4. Do 2–3 sets of 10–16 reps.

You can also do a standing version of this stretch by getting into your golf stance, crossing your arms over your chest, and doing the same twisting motion.

Pro tip: Avoid slouching and keep your head locked in motion with your shoulders.

9. Hamstring stretch (with golf club)

Put your golf club to good use with this leg stretch.

To do a hamstring stretch with a golf club:

  1. Place a golf club behind your shoulders, grasping one end in each hand.
  2. Set your left heel on a step (a chair works too) with your leg straight.
  3. Lean forward at the waist.
  4. Rotate your body to the left.
  5. Hold for 30 seconds.
  6. Switch sides.
  7. Repeat 2–3 times on each side.

Pro tip: Make sure the golf club is resting on your upper back, just below your shoulders, and not on your neck.

10. Prayer stretch (back or wrist)

Either version of this stretch is helpful if you want to lengthen your lats (latissimus dorsi) or ease pain in your wrists before 18 holes.

To do a kneeling prayer stretch:

  1. Start on hands and knees.
  2. Place your forehead on the floor in front of you and rest your butt on your heels.
  3. Reach hands out in front of you.
  4. Hold for at least 30 seconds.

To do a wrist prayer stretch:

  1. Put your palms together in front of your chest, with fingers pointing up (you know, praying hands 🙏🏻).
  2. Flatten your forearms so elbows are pointing outward.
  3. Pull hands down a few inches, until you can feel the stretch in your wrists.
  4. Hold for 5–7 seconds.

11. Golfer’s elbow stretch

Golfers know the elbow struggle is real. This stretch can override the repetitive stroke motions.

To do a golfer’s elbow stretch:

  1. Extend left arm in front of you with palm facing up.
  2. Use right hand to pull back on the fingers of your left hand and press left elbow up until you feel the stretch.
  3. Hold for 30 seconds.
  4. Repeat on the other side.

Pro tip: Pull slowly when doing this stretch. Shanking this one definitely wouldn’t be good for your arm.

12. Arm circles

This one will get your blood pumping. It can also increase muscle tone in your triceps, biceps, and shoulders.

To do arm circles:

  1. Stand tall with feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Extend arms to the sides so they’re parallel to the floor.
  3. Start making small circles in a clockwise motion.
  4. Gradually make the circles bigger.
  5. Reverse the direction every 20–30 seconds.

Pro tip: Add some small dumbbells to this one if you really want to get some distance on the fairway.

13. Cross-body shoulder stretch

This classic stretch targets your deltoids and rotator cuff, which can enhance your swing.

To do a cross-body shoulder stretch:

  1. Stand tall with feet hip-width apart.
  2. Bring left arm across your body.
  3. Bend right arm and hook it over your left elbow.
  4. Use right arm to push left arm into your body.
  5. Hold for 20 seconds.
  6. Repeat on the other side.

Golf can be a 10/10 workout (especially if you walk from hole to hole). The main muscles worked are the:

Adding a solid stretching regimen to the picture can help you take your golf game to the next level. The right moves can help:

  • open your hips
  • loosen your back
  • improve your swing
  • strengthen your core
  • loosen your hamstrings
  • increase your range of motion
  • reduce shoulder, elbow, or wrist tension

Stretching and strengthening these muscles can totes improve your golf game in the long term. Stretching keeps your muscles strong, flexible, and healthy. It may also help you prevent injury and muscle soreness, although research on this is inconclusive.

Stretching is all about proper form. Nailing each move can enhance your results while reducing your risk of a pulled or strained muscle. Ouch!

Here are some tips to make each stretch sesh a hole-in-one (or at least an eagle):

  • If it hurts, don’t do it. Don’t push past your limits.
  • Don’t hold a stretch for too long. This can overextend your muscles.
  • Keep it slow and steady. Rushing through stretches can reduce their effectiveness.
  • Do a light warmup before you stretch. A 10-minute light jog or a few minutes of jumping jacks should do the trick.

Age is just a number, fam. Golf is one of the best sports you can enjoy at any stage of life.

Youngins should start stretching to help prevent future tight muscles or soreness. For older folks, staying active can help with mobility and flexibility. It’s also great for your overall health and emotional well-being.

Stretching is key to any good golf game. These 13 top stretches for golfers can help you change your game from “fore!” to fab.

Just remember to start slow and not do anything that feels uncomfortable. And if it’s painful, STOP.