At the bottom of this blog is a link to your new golf warm up. You can now prep like the men and women on tour. Before you click that link, lets learn the value behind proper prep and why it’s so important for golfers.
An effective warm up can improve our golf performance and reduce the risk of injury. It provides us the opportunity to become mentally and physically on point before our round of 18 holes. A warm up prepares our muscles, joints, and tissue for movement. Unfortunately, most golfers skip a warm up or perform one that inhibits their performance. It is unrealistic to expect our body to perform at its peak ability without properly prepping it, especially for those of us whose bodies are molded to a desk all week. Our bodies need the proper flexibility and mobility for the task at hand.
Just like a rubber band (the further we pull it back, the further it goes), the more we can “load” our muscles properly in our backswing, the more they can “explode” properly through our downswing and follow through. However, if we are tight, or lack flexibility, this inhibits our load phase. If our hips are tight for example, the load phase of our golf swing will lack range, therefore our swing will lack power in the explode phase. In golf, power equals distance. To put it simply: if we lack flexibility, we lack power, and because we lack power, we will lack distance. This can result in extra shots on each hole and overall a higher score.
More importantly, if we use the same example of tight hips, this can equal a hurt back. The golf swing is an integrated, total body movement. To have an effective and efficient swing, a chain reaction of joint motions must occur from our feet to our head. If one joint like our hip is not doing its job in the chain, it can negatively effect what’s above and below it, like our back. Simply put, if our hip isn’t flexible enough for the demands of the load phase of golf swing, our back can take on more than what it should. Eventually our back will have had enough and begin to cause us discomfort.
As golfers, we want to get as much hip internal rotation as possible (along with the right amount of hip adduction and hip flexion) to load the swing. If our bodies lack this (which most of us do) we will never reach our true driving distance and this is something a new club wont fix.
Now that we know that a proper warm up can improve our performance and reduce the risk of injury the question becomes what should our warm up look like? Just like the golf clubs and balls have improved over the years, movement science has come a long way. Has your warm up changed over the many years that you have played? You are not using a club from the ‘80’s so why are you warming up like an ‘80’s golfer? Here are a few principals of a proper warm up.
Your warm up should be:
This means move! Save static stretching (holding a stretch) for after activity. It has log been known that static stretching can inhibit power before activity. The golf swing is a powerful, total body move. Holding our muscles in place for an extended period of time is the opposite of being explosive. Prepare for the game of golf with stretches and exercises that actively and dynamically move your body.
Although a golf swing looks like one big twist, during your golf swing your body (joints, muscles and tissue) move forward, backward, sideways and it twists and turns. You move in all three planes of motion: sagittal, frontal and transverse. Take your hip for example: in your backswing to successfully load your right glute (if you’re a right handed golfer) your hip must flex forward (flexion), shift sideways slightly to the right (adduction) and rotate to the right (internal rotation). Your warm up must include these movements and cover all three planes of motion. This will properly prepare your body to get maximum power and keep your body safe from injury.
Your warm up should look and feel like the movements you will be performing in golf. In other words, your warm up should be functional to the activity you will be performing. Stretching while lying on the ground may not be the most congruent to golf, as golf is an upright sport. You’re not just warming up your muscles, you’re prepping your nervous system too.
Does your current warm up follow these principals?
Most of us golfers have spent a lot of money on clubs and other items to achieve a better golf game with mixed success. There is another, potentially better investment we can make. An investment in our own bodies! Golf is a sport, and us golfers are athletes. That means that the more flexibility and the more power we have the better we can play. Start improving your game by improving your warm up by downloading the one below.
Dynamic Health and Fitness have the tools for you to improve your body to improve your golf game. Improve your flexibility and power specific to golf. We have the most up to date, backed by science programs for golfers. You can train with and utilize our app at home. Learn more about our golf program here and how it has helped others in our community: