Before a round of golf many of us hurry from our car to the practice range, hit a few balls, practice a few chips and putts, jump in the cart and head to the first tee. Is it any wonder that it may take 3 holes to finally feel warmed up and in the zone to play? Sadly, for most of us recreational golfers we can’t make up what we lost in the first few holes. What if you could do a simple 10 minute warm up that would improve distance with drivers and woods and ultimately improve your golf score?
The Titlist Performance Institute did a study that found golfers who did a dynamic stretching warm up had more power and distance with their drives than those who did not do a dynamic warm up. One person hit almost 40 yards further with dynamic stretching.
How does dynamic stretching differ from regular stretching? Regular stretching or static stretching holds the stretch position for longer periods of time typically 20 seconds or more. Dynamic stretching involves movements of the major joints with a very short stretch and is designed to increase circulation, mobility and activate muscles used in golf. You should feel loose and warm after.
Dynamic stretching is best done after light cardio. Walking quickly back and forth from the putting green to your car twice will get your body warmed up and ready for dynamic stretching. A dynamic stretching routine is done right before playing golf, while static stretching is done after golfing. Static stretching will alleviate the soreness and acheyness in your body after a round of golf. If you experience pain while playing golf or after call our office for an evaluation. Golf related injuries respond well to the treatments provided by our clinic.
The stretches described on the back of this page should not be painful. Do not continue if the stretches cause pain.
Dynamic Stretches for Golf
- Balance on one leg: Hold 30 seconds and switch legs. If this is too easy, balance on one leg with eyes closed. Hold 30 seconds and switch legs.
- Front and Back Leg Swings: Holding a club in front of you with both hands, swing a leg forward out in front of you and then swing the same leg backwards. Perform the leg swings 20 times each leg twice. Make sure each swing is a nice and easy swing. You should feel gentle stretching of your hamstrings and hip flexor muscles.
- Side to Side Leg Swings: Holding a club in front with both hands, bring a leg out to the side and then swing the leg across your body. Swing each leg back and forth across your body 20 times.
- Squats: Holding club in front with both hands, keep back straight and squat as far down as is comfortable and come up to standing position. Do 10 times.
- Open the Gate: Stand on your left leg while you lift your right leg up. Raise your right knee to hip level, turn it out and open away from your body. You will feel the stretch in your groin. This is referred to as “opening the gate.” Bring your knee back around in front of your body and then lower your leg. You just “closed the gate.” Repeat steps 1-3 with your right leg. Do each leg 10 ties.
- Hula Hoops: Circle hips as if using a hula hoop. Do 10 times then do the opposite direction 10 times.
- Arm Swings: Swing arms up and down 20 times. Swing arms across chest 20 times
- Rotation Club Reaches: Holding a club out in front of you with an “address” stance, slowly reach the opposite arm back to get a gentle, rotational stretch. Hold each stretch for 10 seconds. Do each side twice.
- Half swing rotations: Cross arms over chest. Hinge low back slightly as if in address stance. Looking down rotate shoulders gently while keeping belly button straight. Gradually increase rotation while keeping belly button straight. Do 20-40 times.
- Back Stretch: Placing both hands on a golf club centered in front of you, slowly lower your upper body down towards the ground gently stretching your back and shoulders. Be sure to keep your knees bent and your low back flat.