Proper Golf Warm-up
Updated: Jun 23, 2019
You have probably seen someone on the course pull their clubs out, head to the first tee, swing for the fences and say “AWW, My Back!” You yourself may be one of these golfers. A simple 5 to 10 min warm-up could be the solution to this problem. But why should we warm up, and what does a proper warm up look like? These are things that most golfers should be asking but aren’t.
As a physical therapist I treat many golfers who have sustained injuries, with the most common being low back pain. There are other things besides golf that can cause low back pain (future blog to come) but not warming up before you golf is definitely a contributing factor. It's my personal opinion that everyone should warm up, but there is plenty of research to back me up. Golf is a dynamic and explosive sport as far as muscles are concerned. Swinging cold is similar to turning your car engine on in 0 degree weather and trying to go from 0-100 mph. You just wouldn’t do it unless you were trying to break your engine! Your body is like your car’s engine and needs time to warm up before gunning it. The nice part is it only take 5 or 10 mins to do before you hit a single ball. Warming up will help your muscles have more power, which means more distance off the tee. It will improve your stability, which can mean a more consistent swing, thus a lower score!
So, if you’re really crunched on time, what can you do in 5 to 10 mins before you even hit a ball? To start, hold the club out in front of you horizontal to the ground and rotate your torso side to side. This will help warm up your back, hips, and core. Then do a few squats with your feet a little wider than shoulder width, sitting your butt back as far as you can. Squatting helps to warm up legs, hips, and core. Follow that up with some side bends, reaching your arms up overhead stretching to the left and then the right. Hold only for a few seconds to warm up the back and shoulders as you reach overhead. Finish with reaching toward the ground and then up overhead bending slightly backwards to warm up the low back and loosen up the legs. Just getting through these 4 stretches/exercises before hitting a single shot can help reduce your risk of injury, may add some yards off the tee, and could help you golf more consistently.
As I have stated in other blogs, physical therapists are not just here to treat you after you get injured. I feel it is just as important to prevent injuries by developing a proper warm up routine before swinging a club. Physical therapists can identify deficits in mobility, strength, and coordination which will allow them to tailor a warm up or exercise routine that would best fit you. If you are a golfer in the Colorado Springs area, come see me and let me help you stay on course!