Tight muscles don't respond to our requests for activity very easily. Imagine an elastic rubber band that's been tucked into a desk drawer for over a year. The dried-out band has lost flexibility over time. Now consider a rubber band fresh from the office supply store. This band flexes and twists easily. Muscles work the same way. Tight muscles prevent movement through our normal range of motion. If you swing a club without warming up, you may feel tightness in your shoulders, and upper and lower back. Adding a whole-body stretching routine to your regular preparation for a golf match can help prevent the tightness that can cause pulled muscles.
Stretching to prepare your muscles for activity helps protect against microscopic tears and strains to the tissue. However, weak muscles result from a simple strength issue. Weak muscles have little definition and little ability to lift, swing or throw. Trainers consider strong muscles to those conditioned to perform simple as well as athletic tasks. Pulled muscles caused by lack of conditioning can be remedied with stretching and strength-training exercises.
Sometimes our muscles simply get too tired to respond to a request. Muscle fatigue can happen from general weakness or when we're simply too tired to lift that final box or make one more swing of the driver. When muscles reach the point of fatigue, respond by stopping play. Don't risk injury or muscle tears by pushing yourself past the point of fatigue. Rest, drink plenty of water and stretch gently to help recovery.
Our muscles occur in corresponding groups throughout the body. These groups often pair muscles like the hamstrings (backs of thighs) with extremely strong muscles like the quadriceps (front of thighs). When one set of muscles is stronger than a corresponding set of muscles, this can create muscle imbalance. Weight trainers or athletes need to balance strength training to work corresponding muscle groups equally to avoid this type of pulled muscle.
Cold weather can play havoc with a golfer's body. The lowered temperatures force the body into heat conservation mode and often reduce the effect of any warm up stretching of the muscles. Don't forgo that chilly weather golf game. Instead, prepare your body for the different temperatures with more frequent warm ups throughout the golf game. Hydrate properly in the cold weather as well to prevent dehydration. Cold weather tends to move heat to the center of the body, leaving the arms and legs chilled. Dress warmly in layers and stretch between golf holes. Work all major muscle groups with stretches to prevent pulling a muscle to keep your body temperature high and your mind focused on the game.