Dynamic Golf Warm Up

Posted by Andrea Lawson in Training
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GOLF is an explosive rotational sport that requires a specific sequence of muscles and proper biomechanics all executed with absolute precision. Most recreational golfers enter the driving range or approach the first tee expecting their body to be ready to deliver the perfect swing, without doing anything to prepare beforehand. But there’s something you should know if you golf – you ARE an athlete, and as an athlete it’s absolutely necessary for you to take a few steps to properly prepare your body to deliver optimal performance.

If you’re not doing this then you are selling yourself short and your golf game will suffer as a result.

Warm-ups don’t have to be fancy and they don’t have to take long, but they should be specific and purposeful. Prior to playing golf there are a few basic guidelines that you should follow to maximize your drive.

First you want to create mobility through areas that may be restricting you from getting into a proper golf posture, or that may be limiting your range of motion during your golf swing.

Next you want to active the muscles that play a role in shoulder, core, and pelvic stability to facilitate proper biomechanics, core timing, and power.

Lastly, you want complete drills to prep your body for rotational power so that you can have a powerful drive right off the first tee.

Developing a good habit of a regular warm up also helps to establish routine and improve overall consistency with your game.

Here’s a list of exercises that you should do in sequence prior to a golf game or practice:

1. PEC MOBILITY

Stand with one foot in front of the other with your feet pointing forward. Use your club to press your arm up and back so that you feel a stretch in the front of your shoulder.

How many: 5 per side: hold each in end position for 3 seconds.

Why? Most people have stiff or shortened pectoral muscles from prolonged sitting and poor posture. This drill encourages an upright posture while lengthening the pectoral and hip flexor musculature.

 

2. ½ KNEEL HIP FLEXOR STRETCH

Kneel on one knee, hold a dowel in front of you and make sure you are in a good 90/90 stance (your front heel is directly under your knee and your back knee is directly under your hip). Press the dowel into the floor, keep your chest up and tighten the glute of the leg on the knee that is down so that you feel a stretch in front of your thigh.


How many: 5 per side: hold each in end position for 3 seconds

Why? Hip flexors are another muscle group that tend to be stiff and/or short due to prolonged sitting and poor posture. Proper length through your hip flexors enables you to better activate your glutes.

 

3. ½ KNEELING ROTATION

Kneel on one knee, assume a 90/90 stance, hold your club on the back of your shoulders. Rotate your head, shoulders, and torso towards the knee that is up making sure that the front knee stays directly over your toes on that same foot. Then rotate away from the knee that is up.

How many: 5 turns to each direction

Why? This drill is good for hip mobility as well as core control. It’s important for you to be able to move your torso independently of your lower body and this drill helps to reinforce that dissociation.

 

4. STEP OUTS

Assume a tall kneeling position and hold your club over your head (arms should be straight). Step one foot out in front of you without moving your upper body (your core should be engaged).

How many: 5 per side

Why: Reaching your arms overhead will help to encourage thoracic extension (assuming you don’t have any limitations in your shoulder mobility), which is important for your golf posture. Being able to move through your lower body without disrupting your upper body is equally important as the above drill. Another benefit of this drill is that it will help improve your core timing.

 

5. STORK TURNS

Stand on one leg and place your opposite foot on your lower calf region. Use a club in front of you for balance and rotate your hips one direction and then the other while trying to keep your upper body still.

How many: 5 per side

Why? This exercise helps to improve hip mobility, core stability, and balance.  You will notice that your hip rotation will be limited by your ability to balance, with practice this should improve quickly.

 

6. STANDING HIP TURNS

Place your club behind your head so that it’s resting on the back of your shoulders. Rotate your hips and shoulders to one direction, making sure to shift your weight on to the foot you are turning towards.

How many: 5 per side

Why? This drill is good for posture, hip mobility, and helps prep your body for rotational power.

 

7. PELVIC TILTS

Hold a club out in front of you and anchor it into ground, then assume a 5-iron stance with good golf posture. Keep your abdominals engaged and tilt your pelvis anteriorly (arch your back) then tilt your pelvic posteriorly (flatten your back). If you haven’t tried this before, it would be good to do so in front of a mirror for your first time to make sure you are moving through your pelvis and not through your ribs/upper back. If you are unable to complete this exercise standing then try lying on your back with your knees bent.

How many: 5-8

Why? In order to complete a pelvic tilt you need hip mobility, lumbar spine mobility, as well as core control.  Those are 3 very important factors for golf power as well as injury prevention so you can also use this drill to assess your readiness to swing a golf club. If you are having difficulty completing a pelvic tilt, you may not be setting up for your golf swing in a neutral stance, and as a result, most likely are compensating during your swing. Having good pelvic mobility and control also enables you to transfer energy from your lower body to your upper body, meaning you could also be losing out on potential power.

 

8. SEQUENCING DRILL

Place your club in front of your shoulders, rotate your hips without moving your upper body, then rotate your upper body and shoulders. Once you’re able to properly dissociate your upper body from your lower body then you can increase your speed.

How many: 5-8 (only do the direction that you swing to)

Why? This drill helps prep the kinematic sequence for your golf swing to ensure you are getting optimal force production.

 

9. BASEBALL SWINGS

Hold your club upside down and swing the club like a baseball bat emphasizing this sequencing: hips first, then upper body, then arms. Pay attention to where the “swoosh” noise occurs. You want the strongest point of force to be where you connect with the ball, if the “swoosh” is occurring too early then you know that you are definitely losing power.

How many: 5-8 (only do the direction that you swing to)

Why? Much like the above drill the baseball swing helps to prep the kinematic sequence to ensure you are achieving maximal force with your swing.

Below is a chart that you can easily print off and bring with you to the range or course, or even complete at home.

EXERCISE REPS
Pec Mob 5/side
½ Kneel Hip Flexor Stretch 5/side
½ Kneel Rotation 5/side
Step Outs 5/side
Stork Turns 5/side
Standing Hip Turns 10 (alternating)
Pelvic Tilts 5-8
Sequencing 5-8
Baseball swings 5-8

By following these movements you will prime your body for movement, maximize your golf swing, and ultimately improve your golf game.

Best of luck this golf season!

Andrea

 

If you’d like to take your golf game to the next level, sign up for our 8-Week Performance enhancing Golf Program. More information about that program can be found HERE.