Why a Golf Warm-up is MANDATORY!

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A Golf Warm-Up is MANDATORY!

 

Very rarely do I speak in absolutes. Within the strength and conditioning and sport performance industries, there are way too many people who speak with an absolutist attitude, thinking they have the magic pill for all. 

 

However, one thing I will say with certainty. 

 

PRIOR TO GOLFING, WARMING UP IS MANDATORY. 

 

Let’s start out by saying what isn’t warming up… 

 

  1. Grabbing 3 clubs and taking some practice swings… 
  2. Static stretching
  3. Putting and chipping for 15 minutes
  4. Showing up to the first tee 30 seconds before your tee time, taking 2 practice swings, and calling it good to go.

 

You are asking for poor performance with these bad warm-up habits, or worse, injury.

 

One study completed in 2001 found that just 17% of recreational golfers complete any dynamic stretching prior to playing (2). Another one found that 48% of recreational golfers completed NO warm-up prior to playing (3). 

 

Why You MUST Warm Up?

 

When we complete a sufficient and high intensity warm up, we are not only preparing our bodies for our golf swings, from an injury resilience perspective, but we are also preparing them so they can complete our golf swings at a higher level!

 

Benefits of a golf warm up: 

  • Improved cognitive and brain function
  • Increase muscle temperature
  • Better joint fluidity
  • More nutrients reaching your muscles
  • Higher power output
  • Yada, yada… 

 

One research study completed in 2004 found that golfers using a consistent warm-up routine prior to playing increased their clubhead speed by 7-10 mph in just 7 weeks (1). 

 

Another one completed in 2003 found that the injury rate of a warmed up golfer was significantly less than a non-warmed up golfer (4).

 

Tilley and Macfarlane (5) found that adding resistance band exercises to your warmup produces greater distance, clubhead speed and smash factor ratio as compared to a dynamic warm-up alone or practice swings alone

 

You want to play better golf? The lowest hanging fruit is an effective and efficient warm up. 

 

What should your warm up emphasize?

 

There are 3 central pieces of a great golf warm up: 

  1. Elevate heart rate. 
  2. Mobilize the spine. 
  3. Increase your movement capacity. 

 

By elevating your heart rate, we increase blood flow to our muscles and joints, preparing them for the upcoming explosive golf swing we will be utilizing!

 

Spinal mobility is a must. If you have been following me for any time, you know the importance and prioritization I place on spinal mobility. I believe many spinal injuries could be avoided by simply preparing our spines for higher levels of impact and movement prior to playing. 

 

Increasing your movement capacity means widening your breadth of movement potential. By completing certain exercises and movements prior to playing, we can prepare our body for the wide breadth of movement it is about to encounter. 

 

Other important keys that will probably fit into one of those three categories above:

  • Mobilize hips
  • Complete a highly powerful movement that isn’t swinging a golf club (like a squat jump)
  • Rotate
  • “Activate” proper musculature

 

My Recommendation

 

I have designed a ~5 minute warm up that I encourage all of my athletes to complete prior to playing golf or swinging at the range… go check it out! 

 

VIDEO LINK: ~5 Minute Golf Warm-Up to Take to the Course With You

About Carter Schmitz

Carter Schmitz

I graduated from the University of St. Thomas in 2019 with a business degree and a minor in exercise science. While there, I played football (as long as we consider being a kicker, playing football) and found two of the deepest passions in life - learning and human performance. Since then, I have become a certified strength coach, TPI Specialist and have had the opportunity to train hundreds of athletes ranging from the middle school to the professional level.

I believe in building humans first, athletes second.

I believe that everybody has extraordinarily high amounts of value to offer.

I believe that the pursuit of improvement will lead to growth, no matter the outcomes.

With my writing, I strive to break down and apply complex ideas in order to boost understanding, draw comparisons from seemingly separated and opposing topics, and empower growth in my readers. Knowledge and understanding are power, and they create the foundation of improvement. Moving forward, I plan on continuing to seek the betterment of my athletes, myself and my community, empowering growth along the way.

Be sure to check out my Instagram and YouTube channel for more content:
Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/coach_carter_schmitz/
YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQ7DxYHKGuZIykzVIaxp3XQ

Sources 

1.) Fradkin AJ, Sherman CA, Finch CF Improving golf performance with a warm up conditioning programmeBritish Journal of Sports Medicine 2004;38:762-765.

  1. ) Fradkin A, Finch C, Sherman C. Warm up practices of golfers: Are they

adequate? Br J Sports Med 35: 125–127, 2001.

3.) Fradkin AJ, Finch CF, Sherman CA. Warm-up attitudes and behaviours of

amateur golfers. J Sci Med Sport 6: 210–215, 2003.

4.) Gosheger G, Liem D, Ludwig K, Greshake O, Winkelmann W. Injuries and overuse syndromes in golf. Am J Sports Med 31: 438–443, 2003.

5.) Tilley NR, Macfarlane A. Effects of different warm-up programs on golf performance in elite male golfers. Int J Sports Phys Ther 7: 388–395, 2012.

 

 

Meet Dave

Dave Schmitz, PT, CSCS, PES has been writing, teaching and training how to implement resistance band training for rehabilitation, general conditioning, and performance since 1996. He is the founder & co-owner of Resistance Band Training— the leading band provider worldwide.

Along with being a co-author of the Amazon best seller, Total Body Breakthroughs, Dave is also the author and producer of numerous fitness & nutrition articles, E-books, DVDs. His passion is focused on trainers, clients, and athletes improve their body’s ability to handle momentum, gravity and ground reaction forces using elastic resistance. Dave also consults online with several high schools, universities, private performance training business and is also on the board of experts for the International Youth and Conditioning Association (IYCA).

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