Warm-up routines seldom form part of the amateur sports persons repertoire, and from a golfing perspective, this is no different. Golf creates an incredible amount of stress on the spine and muscular elements of the body and being suitably prepared before engaging in such an activity is vital to ensuring that your injury-risk is reduced and your enjoyment in increased. Furthermore, by encouraging a golf-specific warm-up routine prior to engaging in a round of golf, your performance in the round may be improved as well.
A study conducted in Australia concluded that many amateur golfers do understand theimportance of warming up before a round of golf but the majority do not know which exercises to do and how many to do. The majority performed one warm-up exercise which usually consisted of stretches and/or air swings. The study was a retrospective study (it looked at results after the fact) which seemed to show a link between increased injury and lack of pre-round warm up. However, there are other factors which the authors noted may play a role in injury causation during golf.
Although the authors noted that other variables may play a role in injury, it’s still of interest that many amateurs still do not engage in sufficient warm-up activities prior to starting a round. This may predispose golfers to the potential for injury. Ideally, the exercises need to be based around the specifics of the golf swing to get the muscles primed and ready to be engaged for increased loading during the round. This may predispose golfers to the potential for injury.
Ideally, the exercises need to be based around the specifics of the golf swing to get the muscles primed and ready to be engaged for increased loading during the round. The aim with the following number of exercises is to activate the core and gluteal (buttock) muscles as they are the primary muscles required for the golf swing. Additionally, I have added some thoracic mobility exercises to allow for increased rotation during the backswing and follow-through.
The following two drills will require the use of one of your clubs (7 or 8 iron):
1. Lie on your back with legs bent to 90 degrees and arms raised above you.
2. Using your club, brace the club against the foot using the opposite hand (LEFT hand should be stabilizing the club against the RIGHT foot). This allows for activation of the core and prevents over-arching of the lower back.
3. When you are stable and ready, and using the leg and arm opposite to the club, straighten the leg and arm. However, do not touch the ground. Return to the starting position.
One Legged Romanian Dead Lifts
1. Starting in the standing position, place your club on your Right foot and using your Right hand to stabilize the club against the foot.
2. Now extend the right leg backwards (keeping it straight) and pushing the club into the foot at the same time. This will create a hinge pattern at the hips (body bends forwards). You may use your left hand to stabilize your movements when moving forward.
3. If you can get your leg to full perpendicular, that is the ideal position but this may take a while.
This exercise has a number of different names and I am sure you may have seen it done differently elsewhere. However, it’s still a great exercise to perform.
1. Start on all fours, hands as wide as the shoulders and knees as wide as the hips.
2. Place one hand behind your head (you will be balancing on three limbs at this stage) and rotate the elbow upwards towards the sky. Be aware not to rotate the hips during this movement to ensure proper use of the required muscles.
The final piece of advice that I can give most amateur golfers before there round of golf… arrive 30-40 minutes earlier than your designated tee time to warm-up sufficiently before your round. Even if it’s to hit a few wedges or short irons to get the body loose and ready for the round!
Although these are not the silver bullet of exercises, they will still go a long way in ensuring that you and your body are ready and prepared for the round ahead! And finally, one last thought, if any exercise or recreational activity causes pain, please consult your trusted healthcare professional for further advice.
Although these are not the silver bullet of exercises, they will still go a long way in ensuring that you and your body are ready and prepared for the round ahead!
And finally, one last thought, if any exercise or recreational activity causes pain, please consult your trusted healthcare professional for further advice.
(Fradkin, A.J., Cameron, P.A., and Gabbe, B.J. (2007). Is there an association between self-reported warm-up behavior and golf related injury in female golfers. Journal of science and medicine in sport, 10 (66-71)