It is a typical scene for some golfers especially of the non-professional kind to walk straight to the tee ready to get some swings on immediately they get to the course, totally ignoring the importance of a proper warm-up before the game. Golf may not entail the use of power that a football game would require, but the overall energy used by the end of both games are somewhat similar. Which is why a proper stretching session is essential before your first swing to manage the force travelling through your body over the period you spend on the course. Next time you are the golf course try out the following warm-up exercises to efficiently alert your neuromuscular skeletal system for the swing in just ten minutes.
This stretch is usually quite efficient with the golf club behind your back but can also apply to the use of a towel. Begins by placing the golf club or towel in your right hand in a manner that your palm faces upwards. Then bring your arm over your head with your right palm (holding one side of the club or towel) behind your back. Follow up by bringing your left arm behind your back to keep the other end of the golf club or towel. Then inhale as you tag on the towel or club gently and exhale as you release in repetition for a minimum of five times before switching sides. This stretch enhances your shoulder muscle’s flexibility on the swing.
Pelvis tilts are standing position kind of stretches. First, you put your arms across your chest taking up the X shape. Then you tuck your pelvis beneath to create a posterior tilt of the pelvis. Follow up by arching your back to create an anterior tilt of your pelvis. Then you return to a neutral spine. You should repeat that whole procedure at least five times in each direction to ensure even distribution of the stretch to the muscles around the pelvis. Pelvic tilts also give your pelvic muscles the flexibility essential for a 100+ yard shot.
This stretch requires a little bit of balance to enhance its effectiveness as you will see. You begin by standing on one leg which if, is a challenge to you then you can use your golf club for support. Loosen your hip and bend your swinging leg. Then start moving the swinging leg in a rotation that forms an invisible figure eight. Gradually increase the speed and diameter of your spirals kicks as you proceed. If you get it right, it will look like a continuous kick at an invisible ball. Keep it up for a few seconds before you switch.
This stretch would need a little more space, which of course would not be a problem on a golf course unless someone is standing close to you. You begin by slowly swinging your arms forward, backward and to your sides. Gradually increase your speed as you repeat this arm movement. You can switch it up a little bit and move your arms in more random directions like over your head to increase the effectiveness of this exercise. This stretch loosens your shoulder muscles, making it freer to move your arms thus swing that club.
This stretch helps to loosen your hip muscles which is another essential factor for flexibility in that swing. Begin by standing in address position making sure that your thighs are as far apart as possible. Follow up with a clockwise rotation of your hips like you have a hula hoop around your waist. Swing your hips until they feel loose then switch the direction (anticlockwise direction).
Neck and Upper Back Stretch
Begin by holding your golf club or your towel by both arms in front of you at shoulder height. Then slowly bend your knees and tuck your pelvis. Follow up by inhaling as you gradually press your arms away from you. And as you take this position keep your chin into your chest and your face towards the ground. Then exhale as you squeeze the shoulder blades together and lift your head. Repeat this procedure five times after which you will feel freer around your shoulder, neck and back muscles. Another stretch that makes you flexible for that swing.
Conclusively, lack of doing the demonstrated dynamic stretches before heading for the eighteen holes is more of why you never feel warmed-up until the fourth hole. Those stretches may not measure up to the kind stretches that pros go for, but they are better than getting out of the car doing three practice swing shots and heading straight for the tee. All you need is a maximum of ten minutes with the above stretches, and you will be surprised at how responsive your body becomes to your swings and how well your game is improved.