The smell of fresh-cut grass, the warmth of the rising sun, and the peaceful quiet of a golf course on a summer morning: what a great way to start the day.
Many people crowd around the first tee, eagerly awaiting the start of their rounds. It’s your turn, and there are plenty of spectators. Your hands tremble, your muscles tighten, and you are asking your body (after waking only an hour ago) to accelerate a club head to more than 100 mph.
Good thing you spent a few minutes before you stepped on the tee with a dynamic, practical warm-up routine that will maximize your muscles’ performance and ensure that first drive will captivate your audience.
Below is a quick, practical warm-up that can be performed at the course to prevent injury and enhance your performance. These are active, dynamic exercises; the days of passive stretch routines with long hold times are over because they have been shown to decrease post-stretch muscle performance via neurologic inhibition.
All exercises should move into the stretch position, pause, and then release. Should any exercise cause discomfort beyond that of a normal stretch, discontinue the exercise and consult a physical therapist.
Dynamic piriformis stretch
Lift one leg up, grabbing onto your knee and ankle. Pull your leg toward your chest until stretch is felt. Pause then release. Repeat 10 times then switch legs.
Dynamic hamstring /IT band
Cross right leg over left. Turn your shoulders to the right and reach down and back toward your left foot. Allow your left foot to roll up on its side. Repeat 10 times then switch legs.
Lateral lunge with rotation
Start with feet together holding a golf club in front of you with both hands. Step out to your right side, accepting almost all your weight on your right leg. Turn your shoulders to the right then use your right leg to push back to your starting position. Repeat 10 times then switch sides.
Dynamic posterior capsule stretch
Reach across your body with your right arm, using your left hand to help pull it across. Pause then allow your arms to come back to resting position. Repeat 10 times then switch sides.
These exercises offer a quick, easy way for you to warm up properly before your round. They will promote improved flexibility and improve circulation to your neurologic and muscular systems, which should lead to longer drives and lower scores.