A round of golf can be a physically and mentally challenging endeavor. Spending 4+ hours walking (or riding) a few miles and taking 70-120 swings is stressful on the body.
A common theme that I hear from golfers that I work with is that they don’t do much of a warm-up at all. Most amateur golfers think that spending 10-15 mins at the range hitting balls will suffice as a warm up. As a result, many golfers feel tight and stiff on the first couple of holes.
I believe that this thought process is backwards. Mentors of mine throughout my career and schooling have instilled the importance of movement preparation for all activities that are physically strenuous. Golf is certainly one of these activities.
Golfers need to warm-up to swing, not swing to warm-up.
I’ve said that more than a few times in my previous blogs, but I believe it is a super important concept. It becomes especially important for golfers who assume the same position all day and don’t vary their movement. Mike Reinold has written about the importance of ‘reversing your posture’ and the impact that this can have on your movement.
Goals of a Golf Warm-Up
A good dynamic warm-up accomplishes a few different goals. It prepares the golfer to perform the movements that they need for golf, modestly elevates the heart rate, and increases blood flow to skeletal muscles (among other things).
A well structured warm does not necessarily mimic the golf swing exactly, but utilizes the movements used in the golf swing.
The Golf Warm-Up You Should Be Doing
I teamed up with Zach Mahan, a PGA Teaching Professional, to compile a list of warm-up exercises that every golfer should be doing prior to range sessions or a round of golf. Our goal was to create a quick warm-up that required no extra equipment and did not involve getting up and down from the ground. We wanted to make it as easy as possible to complete this warm-up at any range or course without getting dirty or taking too much time. Here’s what we came up with:
Walking Knee Hugs with Reach (6-8 reps each leg)
Walking Quad Pulls with Toe Touch (6-8 reps each leg)
Lateral lunge with OH reach (6-8 reps each side)
Single Leg RDL (6-8 reps each leg)
Reverse Lunge to Trunk Rotation (6-8 reps each side)
Lateral Lunge with Counterbalance (6-8 reps each side)
Squat with Counterbalance (10 reps)
Staggered Stance Trunk Rotations (4-6 each side)
Wide-Grip Trunk Rotations (6-8 each side)
Forearm pronation/supination (4-6 each arm)
Give this warm-up a try and see how great you feel stepping up on to the first tee. If you don’t have time to do all of these, pick 5-6 of your favorites and start there.
Comment below to let Zach and I know how it goes!