Dynamic Golf warm ups
If you warm up, you’ll play better golf
As with any sport the warm up is crucially important to facilitate the best possible start to your golfing game.
Many golfers either “don’t have time” to warm up correctly or they do it wrong and then wonder why they don’t feel warmed up until their 3rd or 4th hole. The cold rubber band is a classic example of what a muscle is like prior to activity. We need to heat the rubber band (or in our case, the muscle) prior to activity.
Most people think the only reason to warm up before sport is to prevent injury but recent sport science studies have discovered that a series of golf warm up exercises can have measurable positive effects on your golf swing. So don’t spend time “finding your rhythm” – have optimum fluidity and power levels right from your first tee! A study conducted in Texas (1) found when golfers warmed up with dynamic stretches they significantly increased their swing and power straight away, compared to those that warmed up with static stretches. Better still, golfers that warmed up fully compared to those that didn’t made significantly straighter swing paths AND hit more shots out the middle of the club.
Too much stretch can hurt your swing!
Some traditional warm up exercises (static stretching) used just before play can actually impair your golf swing. Stretching can lower your swing speed, it can reduce the accuracy of your shots and it can worsen your ball strike. This may come as a surprise because we automatically link stretching with warming up but current research is telling us this is incorrect and not only in golf but in a variety of sports.
Dynamic Stretching is the way forward…
An effective warm up doesn’t have to take forever. In fact it can take as little as 10mins to achieve the same results.
Dynamic stretching involves movement and momentum to stretch muscle groups. Rather than holding a stretch for a period of time (static stretch) dynamic stretching allows the muscle to stretch briefly at the end of a continual movement. Repeating 10-20 times allows continuous motion and less strain on one area. Dynamic stretches make excellent golf warm up exercises. They reduce muscle tightness (which helps prevent injuries such as muscle tears), and they allow you to make faster, more powerful and more accurate golf swings.
Sample warm up routine using dynamic stretching
References: US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health - J Strength Cond Res.2010 Dec;24 (12): 3326-33.