cramps are a painful activity-halt, whether during or after golf. What can you
do to reduce your chances of cramps and recover quickly if you get one?
cramps have multiple causes that are not well-defined. It’s not the same for
every golfer, so not all remedies work equally. Cramps are involuntary
muscle(s) excitement for an extended contraction. The muscle tightens and won’t
let go - from a few seconds to 15 minutes. It simply can’t relax. And, cramps
don’t always hit immediately, sometimes it can take hours for all the factors
to start the cramp.
calf or lower leg and foot locations account for 80% of muscle cramps. The
hamstrings or back of the upper leg are also a common site. With repeated
exertion, muscle cramps can also occur in the upper body and core. If you are
over 60, you have a 37% chance of getting a night leg cramp.
causes are complex, and cramps likely have two or more related contributing
factors Electrolytes may play a role that is an individual factor based on
exertion level, sweat, and regular diet. Other components include muscular
overwork, lack of range of motion in the legs, neural over-stimulation, sitting
too long, loss of muscle mass with age, unsupported feet/gait, medications, and
are some simple strategies to get fewer muscle cramps, and when you do, get rid
of them quickly.
Leg Prep. Besides resistance training, which keeps up muscular mass, it
is crucial to train the leg muscles to handle the mechanical patterns of golf,
in this case, hills. You change the muscles your body uses based upon grade,
and being accustomed to the slope and resulting activation patterns crosses one
factor off the list. Once or twice per week, walk for 20 minutes on a treadmill
using something similar to the following sequence. One minute of moderate speed
on a flat like 2.6 mph, one minute of walking up a hill at something like
2.8-3.0 mph/8% grade. Then walk slowly at 1-1.5 mph for 30 seconds to recover.
Repeat the sequence with slight variations for desired time.
Electrolytes are chemical compounds help
regulate nerve impulses and maintain body pH. The fundamental strategy is to
take in something where the electrolytes are easily absorbed, and quick
usability is not blocked by too much sugar. Salty bananas may work, yet they
are not golf-bag friendly. Drinks like Tru
lightly carbonated, natural electrolyte and recovery drink, are a good option.
The small can packs in the bag for those days when the sweat meter is over the
Polyphenols are plant compounds fight inflammation and aid exercise
recovery. Montmorency cherries have a high concentration of a very beneficial
polyphenol, anthocyanins. The research on these cherries shows improved
recovery after exercise, a reduction in arthritis and gout, and that in turn
may help prevent cramps. Concentrated Montmorency cherry juice and dried cherries are easy to consume on
the course or after.
Foot Support. The golf shoe needs more
support for most feet than the standard foam sock liner. The golf swing and
walking put repeated stress on the foot to maintain position and is one cause
of foot cramps. Without a support surface, the muscles work harder to support
the foot. This is also an argument for supportive golf shoes, not super soft or
comfortable, as they can collapse under even moderate pressure. Use an orthotic
your foot and wear them in all shoes if foot cramps are a common issue.
Nerve Interceptor. Transient Receptor Potential
(TRP) products like HotShot disrupt the neural signals of
cramping in the muscle through nerve endings in the mouth and esophagus. These
disruptors are effective enough that many endurance athletes keep a sport shot
of the compound handy at all times. HotShot also developed a pre-cramp
you regularly to get them on the course or the gym. Pickle juice also works on
these neural pathways. I favor the cinnamon/hot taste over those pickle
flavors, as golf has enough sour moments in each round.
Stretch Relief. Stop and stretch the muscle in
the opposite direction when you get a cramp. Knowing the likely spot for cramps
is the lower leg, then practicing stretching the leg away from the course will
help you quickly apply a stretch on the course. If you play using motor cart,
grab the side of the cart every three holes, and gently stretch the hamstrings
and the lower leg.