Golf Warm Up Tips

By James Roland

It may be played at a slower pace, but golf is just like any other sport in that a good warm-up is essential to optimal performance and to avoid injuries. Warm-ups not only get muscles stretched and ready for action, but they improve blood circulation to the muscles you'll use while walking and swinging. Just remember not to overdo any stretching or warm-up exercise. A good rule of thumb is that once you feel a good stretch in your muscle, don't try to extend yourself any more, especially if it is becoming painful.

Shoulder Warm-ups

Raise your arms out to each side and rotate them in small circles, gradually making the circles bigger. After 10 to 15 seconds, stop and start rotating your arms in the opposite direction. Another exercise to improve circulation and flexibility in the shoulders is called an overhead extension. Hold a golf club with both hands about shoulder-width apart and raise it above your head. Then lower the club back down to your legs, keeping your arms straight at all times. Repeat 10 to 12 times.

Trunk and Back Warm-Ups

Hold the club over your head with both hands about shoulder-width apart. Slowly bend to one side and feel the stretch on the other side. Hold for a few seconds and then lean to the other side and hold for a few seconds. Repeat each side three times.

A good exercise to work the specific muscles used in the golf swing is to hold a club behind your neck on your shoulders and assume the stance for a golf swing. Keeping your legs relatively still, rotate your upper body as you would in your golf swing. Repeat 10 times.

Leg Warm-Ups

The seated hamstring stretch should help keep your legs in good shape throughout the round. Sit with one leg stretched out straight in front of you and the other leg bent so it is comfortable. Lean forward, without bending your back too much, and try to touch the toes of the outstretched leg. Hold for 10 to 20 seconds while you feel your hamstring stretch and then repeat with the other leg. To work the muscles in the front of the thigh, hold a club parallel to the ground in front of you with your legs about shoulder-width apart. Keeping your back straight, bend your knees until your thighs are almost parallel to the ground. Stand straight again and repeat 10 to 15 times.

About The Author

James Roland is the editor of a monthly health publication that has approximately 75,000 subscribers in the United States and Canada. Previously, he worked as a newspaper reporter and editor, covering issues ranging from the environment and government to family matters and education. He earned a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Oregon.


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