Now that golf season is in full swing (pun intended), we have the 2021 PGA Championship right around the corner, May 19-May 23. Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy, and Collin Morikawa… Who is going to come out on top? Will it be one of the former champions or an underdog? The same South Carolina course hosted the event in 2012 and McIlroy ran away with that tournament.
It’s an exciting time of year no matter what the outcome.
All this golf talk makes me want to hit up the country club and play a round or two, but before I do, I need to engage in a proper warm-up. I cannot stress enough the importance of this and the positive effect it has on your golf swing. I see time and time again how golfers get to the course just 5 minutes before their tee time and expect to play a good round after a few static hamstring stretches and some practice swings. I’m not going to lie, I used to be “one of those” golfers, but after having a back injury or two, my routine has changed. It may take a little longer in the beginning, but the benefits it has to my body and game are worth the extra time. Those green fees aren’t cheap, so every stroke counts in my book!
The golf swing is one of the most complex, athletic movements to execute correctly. Each swing requires a lot of coordination, strength, explosive power, flexibility, and balance. Without a proper warm-up, your body doesn’t have the flexibility and blood flow needed to make all this happen. Not to mention, you have considerably increased the chance of straining muscles in your back, thighs, or shoulders. Believe it or not, a proper warm-up has positive effects on swing performance such as increased club head speed, increased ball speed, straighter swing paths, and making better contact. But the question is, what is a proper warm-up?
An ideal warm-up should loosen up your body and consist of exercises that engage all the major muscle groups. These exercises should include overhead reaching, squatting, lunging, and rotation. The literature suggests performing 9 exercises at 10-25 repetitions, depending on the movement to prevent injury, activate cold muscles, and enhance performance. Here is an example routine to incorporate before you hit the first tee…
Be sure to stay ahead of any symptoms of injury and contact an Axes physical therapist who can assess your condition at the first sign to avoid being kept off the links this summer. Request an appointment online today!
- Moran KA et al. Dynamic stretching and golf swing performance. Int J Sports Med. 2009; 30: 113 – 118.
- Tilley NR, Macfarlane A. Effects of different warm-up programs on golf performance in elite male golfers. Int J Sports Phys Ther. 2012 Aug; 7(4): 388–395.
- Coughlan D, Taylor M, Jackson J. The impact of warm-up on youth golfer clubhead speed and self-reported shot quality. Int J Sports Phys Ther. 2018 Oct; 13(5): 828-834.
- Meira E, Brumitt J. Minimizing injuries and enhancing performance in golf through training programs. J Sports Phys Ther. 2010 Aug; 2(4): 337-344.
Big thanks to Kyle Martin, PT, DPT, COMT, OCS at The University of Kansas Health Systems: Sports Medicine and Performance Center