General Advice

Best way to warm up for Golf!

Dr Alex Eade (Osteopath) – Weekend golf hack

Feel like it takes a couple of holes to warm up before you can follow through with your swing? If it is normally a slow start, it could be due to not warming up before your round. This is especially true if you’ve been at work all day or had a long drive to the course.

Most pro golfers are fully prepared to make their best swings on the first tee. Most weekend golfers however, have done the dash from the car to the pro shop and then straight to the tee box. Before I even start a round of golf, I make sure I go through a small warm up. This occurs even if I am pressed for time. If time permits then in conjunction with hitting a few chip shots and putts, I make sure I go through my warm up routine before the first tee. A good rule of thumb before any round is to try and get to the course early, not 5 minutes before teeing off. It is important not to feel rushed, that way you feel more comfortable and relaxed. Below I will outline a few dynamic exercises that are quite handy.

What is static and dynamic stretching?

Static stretching – Static stretching means a stretch is held in a challenging but comfortable position for a period of time, usually between 20 to 30 seconds. Static stretching is the most common form of stretching and is effective for improving flexibility.

Dynamic stretching – Dynamic stretching or warm ups stimulate and prepare muscles for use during exercise. Dynamic stretches not only stretch the muscles and tissues, but prepare the muscles for the action by activating and warming them up.

Research behind dynamic warm ups over static stretching

Static stretching has recently been criticised for reducing muscular performance. This has resulted in a shift from static stretching to dynamic stretching in warm ups. Dynamic stretching may increase range of motion, increase metabolism and provide readily available oxygen to the muscle site. Other findings have shown that rehearsing specific movement patterns can enhance proprioception, which is the ability to sense the joint position and movement at any given time (Pamboris, Noorkoiv, Baltzopoulos & Mohagheghi, 2018).

When applied specifically to golf, a study was conducted to test the impact of dynamic stretching on the golf swing performance. The golf swing was tested with a 5-iron and performance was measured at 0 minutes, 5 minutes, 15 minutes and 30 minutes after the warm up. Dynamic stretching was compared to static stretching and no stretching. Results indicated that dynamic stretching produced greater club head speeds and ball speeds than static and no stretching. They also found that dynamic stretching produced straighter swing paths and more central impact points on the ball (Moran, McGrath, Marshall & Wallace, 2009).

The major areas we want to address

Neck – need to maintain position while our body rotates for part of the swing. Helps keep eye level on the ball

Thoracic spine – middle back, most of our rotation comes from this region. Will allow a smooth back swing and follow through

Shoulders – First point of contact with the club and our torso, need full range of motion to get adequate club head speed and central ball contact

Hips – can help with power during the shot


Club Hip Hinge

Feet shoulder width apart
Hinging at the hips, thinking of pushing glutes back into a wall
As you come down, do not flex through the lower back, maintain semi back arch, think about lifting chest as you go down
Coming up think about hips swinging forward and standing tall

Reps: 6
Aim: Prepare for golf stance

Stork turn single leg, holding onto club 

Think about rotating on stance leg
With other leg think about opening it up like a book
Swap to other leg

Reps: 5 each leg
Aim: Hip mobility

Staggered stance lunge with rot holding club 

One leg forward and back leg up on the ball of your foot
From here rotate the club to the side of the front leg
Keep hips locked
Think about rotating through the thoracics and maintaining balance
Swap to other leg

Reps: 6 – 8 each leg
Aim: Proprioception / balance for the swing

Club overhead lunge

Lunge down and have club overhead
From here rotate the club towards the front leg
Keep hips locked
Want to feel movement through the thoracics and shoulders
Swap to other leg

Reps: 5 each leg
Aim: Hip flexors / Thoracic spine mobility

Hamstring bend knee active stretch

Find a step and have the middle of your foot on the edge
From here bend your knee
Have the club outstretched in front of your body, holding with both ends
From here rock your body towards your foot, stretching the hamstring
Think about lifting your chest up as you come down
Swap to other leg

Reps: 5 each leg
Aim: Hamstring flexibility

Golf stance cross arm

Set up in your swing stance
Have club across your chest with your arms crossed
From here rotate your thoracics and the club side to side without moving the neck

Reps: 6 – 8
Aim: Thoracic mobility / Improve golf follow through

Give this a try and let me know if it helps you drop a few strokes

Moran, K., McGrath, T., Marshall, B., & Wallace, E. (2009). Dynamic Stretching and Golf Swing Performance. International Journal Of Sports Medicine, 30(02), 113-118. doi: 10.1055/s-0028-1103303
Pamboris, G., Noorkoiv, M., Baltzopoulos, V., & Mohagheghi, A. (2018). Dynamic stretching is not detrimental to neuromechanical and sensorimotor performance of ankle plantarflexors. Scandinavian Journal Of Medicine & Science In Sports, 29(2), 200-212. doi: 10.1111/sms.13321

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