Does this sound familiar? You have a 10:00 am tee time. The morning has slipped away and you find yourself pulling into the parking lot with only five minutes to spare. Quickly you grab your clubs and rush inside the pro shop to pay before making your way to the first hole to tee off. Naturally you struggle from the start and don’t find yourself loosening up until several holes have passed. Any of us that have played have been guilty of this approach at some point. But make no mistake, golf is very physically demanding and requires a proper warm up. The head of a golf club can travel over 100 mph during a swing, this is an effort equivalent to pitching a baseball. And last time I checked, Mariano Rivera never strolled out to the mound in the 9th inning to close a game without throwing a warming up pitch! Golf shouldn’t be any different, especially when you consider the following:
- The body produces 90% of peak muscle force when hitting a golf ball, an effort that is repeated as many as 40 times per round.
- Up to 53% of male golfers and 45% of female golfers suffer from low back pain.
- Those who play golf and participate in another sport are 40% more likely to develop back pain than those who just play golf
Plus, the benefits to warming up don’t stop with injury prevention. Adding a warm up prior to a round of golf can actually help improve your play! A recent study in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning research found that golfers fared remarkably better in distance, accuracy, and ball contact when incorporating a dynamic warm up prior to hitting the driving range. So the next time you’re ready to hit the links, give yourself some extra time and incorporate the following routine before your round.
Reverse Wood Chops: Begin in a ¼ squat position with your arms straight and hanging towards the right side of your body with your hands together. Power out of the squat position by rotating your arms, hips and shoulder to your left side, similar to the follow through of your golf swing. Return to the starting position and continue the sequence for 8-10 repetitions. Switch directions and repeat for an additional 8-10 reps.
Standing Shoulder Circles: Take a hip width stance with your arms out to your sides and your palms facing up. Circle your arms forward for 10-15 repetitions. Reverse the direction and repeat for 10-15 more.
Standing Adductor Stretch: Take a wide stance. Place your hands on your right thigh and squat down while shifting your weight distribution to your right side while keeping your left leg straight. Continue to a depth in which a good stretch is felt in your left inner thigh and hold for about 1 to 2 seconds. Slowly return to the starting position and repeat on the opposite side. Perform 8-10 rep in each direction.
Standing Torso Rotations: Take a hip width stance. Hold your hands together with your arms out in front of you and rotate your hips, shoulders, and arms simultaneously to your right side while pivoting off of your left foot. Return to the starting position and repeat on the opposite side. Perform 8-10 reps in each direction.
Standing Scapular Retraction: Take a stance about hip width apart with your arms directly in front of you. Keep your arms parallel to the ground and pull your arms away from each another until they are on either side of your body. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and make sure your shoulder don’t shrug. Return to the starting position, then repeat this process for 8-10 reps.
1st Set Using a 5 iron, perform 10 practice swings at 50% of your normal swing speed. Begin with a half swing, then gradually work towards a full swing by swing 10.
2nd Set: Using a driver, perform 10 more practice swings starting at 50% speed then gradually work your way to full speed at swing number 10. Now your ready to hit your pre-round bucket!
Jason Wanlass is the owner of Monster Personal Training & Athletic Conditioning in Meridian, has 16 years of experience in the fitness industry. Contact him at email@example.com or www.monsterfit.com.