Top Five Warm-ups/Stretches for Every GolferPosted by Karen Palacios-Jansen on: March 8, 2012
Karen Palacios-Jansen, is a LPGA Teaching Professional, AFAA Certified Personal Trainer and member of aboutGolf’s Board of Innovation.
For many of you, you used to be able to hop out of the car, go straight to the first tee and rip a drive down the middle of the fairway. Now, by skipping a warm up before a round of golf may mean four or five holes before you are loosened up and can regain your form – and, by that time your score may already be ruined.
The point of a warm up is to elevate your heart rate, to get blood flowing and warm muscles so they are loose and supple, so it is easier to swing. Most people mistakenly think that static stretching is the correct warm up before a round of golf, and stretching is advisable, but only after the body is warm and prepared to stretch.
You should incorporate an active warm up before you stretch specifically for golf. An active warm up incorporates large muscles of the upper and lower body and requires you to move at a brisk pace for 5 – 10 minutes, so to elevate your heart rate. There are many ways to warm up, such as jogging, jumping jacks or even taking practice swings.
Here is a quick and easy pre-round warm-up routine to help you avoid those big numbers on the scorecard. I have chosen exercises that target golf-specific muscles.
Using a club for balance:
- Hip Swings: Simply swing your knee back and forth for 30 seconds per leg. This movement will help loosen up your muscles and joints and elevate your heart rate. These muscles are typically tight especially if you sit all day.
- Squats: Squat up and down for 60 seconds. This is an excellent overall exercise to build strength, but it will also get your heart rate up to warm up muscles and make them more elastic so they will move easier.
- Cross-Crawl: Hold the club parallel to the ground and raise your knee to the opposite elbow for 60 seconds. The simple motion of crossing your elbow to the opposite knee activates the core muscles for better rotation. You should feel your heart rate getting faster.
- Core Warm Up: Put the club behind your back and loop your arms around it. Practice shifting your weight back and forth for 60 seconds. This is to practice the motion that you are going to be doing for the day. Shift your weight to the back leg and then to the forward leg. This exercise will active core muscles used in the golf swing.
- Shoulder Warm Up: Put the club behind your shoulders and practice making a good shoulder turn for 60 seconds. Try to get your shoulder under your chin on the backswing and practice finishing in balance.
At this point, you should feel warmed up and even winded, younger athletes may even break a sweat. Your muscles are loose, your joints are lubricated and now you can hit a few practice shots without feeling tight, or head to first tee knowing you can swing freely for a good tee shot.
For more information, please visit Karen’s website at www.kpjgolf.com.
Core Warm Up:
Shoulder Warm Up:
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