We all remember the days where we could wake up, roll out of bed and hit the first tee without fear of pulling a hammy. But for most of us, those days are gone and we need to take our pre-round warmup seriously. That doesn’t mean you need to do jumping jacks or Pilates on the range before you dial in your 60 degree, but it does mean you should dedicate a few minutes to get the blood pumping and knock the dust off your joints to get that extra distance off the tee. Give this routine a try and you’ll thank us later.
Unless you’re racing to get the club before your boss realizes you’re gone, you should arrive to the club 20 minutes before you normally would. This gives you time to go through the routine in a controlled manner. Warming up takes patience and you can’t stretch a cold muscle.
Nervous System Warmup
Begin your warmup routine by giving your nervous system a jumpstart. Stand with your feet a little less than shoulder width apart and raise one foot off the ground. As you begin to balance, your mind and body work together to sync your muscles and tendons with your brain. You’ll feel all the small muscles in your feet, hips, legs, ankles and core begin to fire as you balance. Start with two rounds of 20 seconds on each foot. For a bigger challenge, close your eyes as you perform the movement.
Dynamic stretching routine
Once your brain is awake and ready to tell your body what to do, it’s on to warming up the big muscles. There are two basic types of stretching: static and dynamic. Static stretching is what you’ll see amateur players doing on the range, and it’s what most of us were taught during elementary school P.E. classes. But static stretching does very little to help improve range of motion and does not help muscles contract which is what they need to do during the golf swing. Instead, perform the following dynamic-stretching movements in sets of 10-12.
- Overhead Squats
Place a club over your head with your hands on both ends of the club. Your arms should be fully extended up. Stand with your feet shoulder width and squat down until your thighs are close to parallel with the ground.
- Pendulum Arm Swings
Stand with your feet shoulder width and arms extended out to your sides. Slowly swing your arms back and forth across the front of your body.
- Torso Rotations
Place a club in front of your shoulders, arms crossed with your hands on both ends. Stand with your feet shoulder width and bend your knees slightly and at your waist. Turn to each side so you get one end of the club directly in front of you with each turn.
- Side Bends
Stand with your feet shoulder width and hold a club behind your neck. Bend to each side and keep your torso straight. Avoid leaning forward or backward, only go to each side.
- Pendulum Leg Swings
Stand with your feet approximately shoulder width and near an object you can grab for support. Begin by slowly swinging your right leg forward and backward. Switch to the other leg. Your body should remain standing straight up through the leg swings.
- Alternate Toe Touches
Begin by spreading your feet a comfortable distance apart. Lean toward your left leg and touch your left foot with your right hand. You should feel a stretch in your lower back and hamstrings. Repeat the motion for the other foot.
- Hip Twisters
Place a club in front of your shoulders, arms crossed with your hands on both ends. Stand with your feet shoulder width and bend your knees slightly and at your waist. Keeping the torso and shoulders still, rotate your hips to each side trying to turn your belt buckle towards and away from target.
Once you’ve completed these dynamic stretches, you’ll be ready to make the athletic movements that make up the golf swing. Hit the range, dial in your wedges and make sure to let the big dog eat.