Before swinging a club, stretch with Golf Warmup
As we roll into the meat of the summer, many Arkansans are taking advantage of the state’s beautiful golf courses. From Jonesboro and Hot Springs to Fayetteville and Little Rock, amazing golf venues dot the landscape of The Natural State. This week, I’ll provide a few tips on performing a proper golf warmup.
Warming up will not only minimize the risk for injury but lower your score.
John Daly once said, “There are a few things I could probably do to keep my flexibility up, but I’d rather smoke, drink and drink Diet Cokes.”
While some might argue that philosophy has served him well, most would agree that a comprehensive physical activity program improves golf performance.
Golf-specific exercise should begin with two primary goals, to increase core strength and joint flexibility.
A powerful swing is generated by twisting the shoulders in relationship to the hips, thus generating the torque required to send the ball down the fairway. The lower back, shoulders and hips need to be flexible to get into the right positions, and the core muscles must generate the stability and speed.
I recognize that most amateurs probably aren’t going to spend the time or effort to do golf-specific training yearround, but there’s no reason that a pre-round warmup shouldn’t become a habit. A few minutes of exercises can make all the difference in the first few holes.
The first step in a preround warmup routine is increasing blood flow. A few squats, some pushups on the side of the cart and some short range practice shots are just a few activities that increase blood flow and deliver oxygen to the appropriate muscle groups.
Once the body is activated with the exercises described above, it’s time to stretch.
The minimal stretching session should include a lower back stretch, hamstring stretch, quadriceps stretch, shoulder stretch and a forearm stretch. These five body parts are all active during the golf swing and should be prepared to perform.
This week’s exercise is a blood flow-activator, although it also increases shoulder and hip flexibility to some degree. The Golf Warmup is designed to activate the major muscle groups without requiring any special equipment or gym space. But it helps to do indoors in front of a mirror a few times so when you take it outside (no mirror) you’ll remember the movement pattern.
1. Select a very light Bodybar (3 to 5 pounds) and stand facing a mirror with your feet shoulder width apart.
2. Hold the bar in front of you with the palms down and a shoulder-width grip. You should be holding the bar at chest level.
3. Slowly squat down by moving the hips back and down. As you begin this, slowly raise the bar overhead.
4. Just as you reach a full squat position, the bar should also be reaching the full overhead position. Hold there for five seconds.
5. Slowly stand back up and lower the bar to chest level.
6. Perform two sets of six to eight repetitions to really activate the golf-specific muscles.
The Golf Warmup is a fantastic way to add some physical preparation to the pre-round routine. Obviously, the routine should still include putting, chipping and hitting balls down the range. However, this simple exercise combined with a few other stretches can make a dramatic difference in not only the quality of the rest of the warmup, but swing performance over the first part of your round. Enjoy!
can learn what the Golf Warmup feels like by doing it indoors, in front of a mirror, before he takes it out to the golf course where there are no mirrors because of, duh, flying golf balls.