Why Use a Warm-up Routine Before Playing Golf

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Author: Keri Schmit

Why Use a Warm-up Routine Before Playing Golf?

What beginner golfers need to know when it comes to See how you can play better golf with a warm-up routine

A simple golf warm-up routine with not only give you better results, but it also promotes a healthy lifestyle.

If you usually get off to a slow start, hitting shots that aren’t even close to your best, it might be because your body isn’t properly warmed up prior to playing golf.

Many people think that splurging on a fancy new driver or revolutionary new golf ball will help them gain a few extra yards and take a few strokes off your golf game. 

But the fact is, you can get even better results from proper preparation. A pre-golf warm-up routine can add more yards to your drive as well as take several strokes off your score card.

Your pre-golf warm-up routine needs to be deliberate and structured.  You need to warm up your body and work on all phases of your game.  It does not take much extra time, however, it does take a bit of discipline.

Setting a golf exercise routine:

Warm up

Full-body movements that include trunk flexing, extending and rotating are a great start.

Other dynamic warm-up moves should target hip rotation in all directions.

Lastly, make sure that your shoulders are prepared for all parts of your back swing and follow through will ensure a good first shot from the tee box.

Hydrate

Being only 10 percent dehydrated can lead to a loss of up to 5 percent of your ability to produce power. As a result, if you use to be hitting your 9-iron 130 yards, now you’re losing 7 yards.

You like hitting that 5-iron 180? Not anymore: If you’re dehydrated, you’re now only hitting it 170. Any good golfer knows how important being on your distances can be when trying to beat the course.

Get fueled up

If you think hydration is important for athletic output, then you’d better understand how vital proper pre-golf nutrition is to your success, as well. Golf is a marathon with bouts of some pretty explosive movements. And, it all happens over the course of a lot of walking and strategizing.

Keep fueling

It’s so easy to get lost in the competition of the game of golf. The excitement of good shots. The frustration of duffs and slices. It’s all any of us can do to keep our heads together.

Now, try limiting your brain’s energy source during a round and the mental game gets a lot harder.

Something as simple as some trail mix, an energy drink or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich will result in a sharper mind as well as keeping your muscles purring.

Be strong

This isn’t necessarily something you can do before each round of golf, but it should be in the forefront of your mind if getting better at golf is the goal. Any strength-building activity you do consistently will result in playing better golf.

The important thing is knowing that strength is built in the offseason, sped up in the preseason and hopefully maintained in some manner during the season.

Be flexible

You’re not going to see a lot of true flexibility gains from a few stretches before a round of golf. What you will feel is a much more prepared nervous system and improved joint mobility, will reflect in your golf game as more pure and efficient mobility.

This is key for anyone trying to beat a course, break a distance mark or just get through a round without nagging aches and pains.

Seek coaching

Many golfers are good athletes and have played sports their entire lives, but things seem to change when they pick up a golf club; their athletic experience just doesn’t transfer.  Seek lessons with a pro golfer.

Once you get a pro to look at you swing a club and help you refine some of your technique, your game – and outlook – will improve.

Know good pain from bad pain

Knowing the difference between “good” pain that’s part of progress and “bad” pain that leads to injury starts in off-season golf-strengthening programs and continues through life.

Those of us who know what “good” pain is also spend less time sitting out practices or rounds of golf because we know how useful movement is for healing.

Periodize

This term might not be familiar to even serious golfers, but to a strength coach or a physical therapist, however this is one of the most important pieces of the golf strength, injury prevention and performance puzzle.

We use this term to describe how training programs change depending on a golfer’s current fitness level and the time of the year we’re working.

Seek golf-specific programming for all of the different phases of the year, including competition and play. In this way, you can get the most out of each phase and maximize your physical abilities during the golf season.

Rest and recover

Taking proper care of your body after some time at the range or after a round of golf is a good idea.

But until now, you probably never realized it’s probably the single most important – and easiest – thing you can do to ensure a pain-free and rewarding golf season.

Research Study

In a research study  Ben Langdown and Jack Wells (sports scientists) along with Dr Bridge has shown for the first time that compared to just turning up to a range and hitting golf balls a specific dynamic or even resisted warm-up can significantly improve performance.

Using a group of 24 golfers these 3 conditions were put to test and assessed with a launch monitor:
  1. Control Warm-Up: Hitting 20 balls before being tested on 10 drives.  No stretching.
  2. Dynamic Stretching: Conducting 5 simple exercises to mobilise and activate the muscles used in the golf swing before being recorded on the launch monitor. This included movements such as Overhead Squats, Open and Close the Gate and Clock Lunges (pictured below).
  3. Resistance Band Warm-up: Using a mini-band and a theraband, golfers performed 5 simple resisted exercises prior to hitting 10 drives to be assessed on performance.

Pre-golf warm-up exercises

  • Crab Walks.
  • Speed Skaters: A resisted gluteal warm up exercise.
  • Shoulder Blade Retractions: Pulling a band apart for 30 seconds while maintaining good posture.
  • Lunge and Rotate: a backward lunge away from the resistance and turning over the front knee.  Complete 1 set of 6 reps each side.
  • Stomp and Rotate: foot stomping with resistance around the legs and a band between the hands rotating into the backswing and follow-through.  Continue stomping for 30 seconds.