We all know that warming up for golf is a good idea, but most golfers tend not to. A quick coffee and a few swings of the club is about as far as most golfers get to warming up. Unfortunately, there seems to be a stigma within golf at amateur level towards warming up and some people may feel embarrassed to practice a warm up routine for fear of getting abuse from their playing partners. We do not see this kind of attitude within other sports. If a sprinter, footballer, rugby player fails to warm up adequately and subsequently pulls up in pain early in the event we would instinctively blame the lack of warm up as a cause of injury. Yet golf can be compared to such sports in that it involves short bursts of energy, placing high loads of stress on the body (especially the low back). Furthermore, like the sports mentioned above, golf involves large amounts of rotation and complex movement demands on the athlete.
So, what does warming up do for us? We should look at this from two different perspectives. Injury prevention and performance. Firstly, with regard to reducing the risk of injury, warm up increases blood flow, making muscles and other soft tissues warmer which in turn increases the elasticity of the tissues. This therefore makes them less likely to tear. It can reduce the amount of stress put on previous injury and scar tissue and will also help improve motor control (control of movement / co-ordination).
From a performance aspect, warm up leads to greater rotation through the body and faster muscle contraction / relaxation times therefore improving club head speed and shot distance. It improves muscle recruitment patterns and co-ordination leading to greater shot consistency and improved technical aspects of the game.
The fact is, that with a quality warm up, you will hit the ball further with greater control and reduce your likelihood of injury. Who doesn’t want that? The problem is that most golfers do not know what to do to adequately warm up.
If you are interested in learning a warm up routine for golf or any other rotational sport / activity, watch our golf warm up video below. You can copy the routine or simply take some of the exercises and make them your own. The time spent on warm up will be different for everyone due to differing levels of fitness. The aim is to warm the body up, not fatigue the athlete before they start! The warm up can be performed at home before you leave for the club (provided you don’t travel long distances to the club) or at the club itself.
Doing something is better than doing nothing. However, If you have been provided exercises as part of a rehabilitation programme by a physiotherapist, these would be a great place to start as they will ensure you are prepping your body by activating weak muscles or improving range of motion in the areas that you require. Ensuring you have a mix of mobility exercises and resistance exercises will both allow the body to move well and prime the muscles for activity so that you are ready to start swing off of the first tee.
Watch more of our videos here.