Do you warm up before playing golf? Don’t lie—and I’m not talking about just swinging the club a few times before heading to the first tee.
Injury prevention is the number one goal of a warm up and our second goal is to prepare the body to perform.
Golf is a very physical sport. It’s not “just a game.” Walking 9 holes of golf is approximately 2-2.5 miles and you burn about 360 calories per hour when playing without a cart. Think about repetition: how many times do you swing a club and how much power is going into each swing? If you don’t take care of your body and do the little things (like warm up!), your longevity in the game you love may be cut short.
What’s the difference between static and dynamic stretching?
Static stretching is when the muscle is taken to a point of mild stretch and held for 20-30 seconds. This should not be considered your warm up. Static stretching is to be done following your round of golf—before you get home and head to the couch for the rest of the day! Static stretching helps to increase range of motion but does not warm you up. We want to perform static stretches on warm muscles after the activity to help with recovery.
Dynamic stretching is to be done before your round of golf. It helps to increase range of motion while increasing blood flow and core temperature. Dynamic exercises involve active movements that are sport-specific. This means that exercises done before golf will use muscles and motions similar to the golf swing. A dynamic golf warm up will be different than a dynamic warm up for running or skiing or any other physical activity.
Dynamic Golf Warm Up
Warm up by walking for 3-5 minutes. Perform 10 repetitions of each exercise. Gradually move through greater range of motion. Do not perform any exercise that causes or increases pain.
Hold your golf club in one hand and extend your arm to the side. Pass the club over your head to the other hand. Extend the other arm. Follow the exchange with your head.
Hold your golf club in both hands over your head. Bend to one side. Return to original position. Bend to the other side.
Stand with your golf clubs behind your back in both hands with your arms shoulder width apart. Bend forward and lift your arms over your back.
Around the Body
Hold your golf club in both hands as wide as possible. Rotate the club around your head clockwise. Repeat counterclockwise.
Hold the club upside down with the grip end planted firmly on the ground. Stabilize your upper body and rotate your hips. (Remember: We want rotary motion, not lateral!)
Squat and Twist
Hold your golf club in both hands and extend your arms straight in front of your body. Squat and turn your hands so that your right hand is on top and left hand is on bottom. Return to standing. Repeat with the left hand on top.
Golf Swing Twist
Hold your golf club in both hands and extend your arms straight in front of your body. Continue to hold the club in front of you and twist your body side to side as if your lower body was going through the golf swing.
Step and Turn
Place your golf club on your shoulders, holding onto it with both hands. Step forward with your left leg into a lunge and rotate your upper body to the left. Return to the starting position. Repeat to the other side.
Leg Swings (2 Directions)
Hold the club upside down with the grip end planted firmly on the ground. Stand on your left leg and swing your right leg front and back. Repeat on the other leg. Then perform the same exercise swinging your leg left to right, crossing in front of your stabilizing leg. Repeat on the other leg.