If the pros do it, why don’t you?
Guest author: Kathy Ekdahl, Personal Best Personal Training
It’s amazing how few amateur golfers properly warm-up before their golf game. Recently, I golfed with 3 business acquaintances who are all much better golfers than I. For sure, I thought, these good golfers will warm-up! Nope. I was wrong. As usual, time was of the essence and, as we approached the first tee, I expressed concern about my lack of warm-up. “Warm-up?” they laughed, “Just hit the ball.” Well, it’s not that simple for me. As a fitness trainer and a TPI Certified Golf Fitness Instructor, I have way too much knowledge to think my game won’t be impacted by a lack of warm-up. This incident got me thinking…. if ALL the pros warm-up, if ALL professional and amateur athletes in other sports warm-up, then why don’t amateur golfers think they will benefit from it as well?
Perhaps it’s the slow pace of the game, or the fact that most people don’t think of golf as a physical sport, but, whatever it is, 90% of the people I know who golf do not warm-up. And yet, the research is clear! Proper warm-ups reduce injuries and prepare the body mentally and physically for the sport- whether the sport is golf, soccer or tennis.
Golfers spend thousands of dollars on new clubs, lessons, practice tools. They read every article and book they can get their hands on about improving their game, and yet, the cheapest and simplest way to improve your game and reduce injuries is a pre- game warm-up.
Do you know what constitutes a good pre-game golf warm-up? It might not be what you think! Research has shown that the best way to warm-up for all sports is a dynamic, movement oriented approach.
- Dynamic flexibility, moving the joints through their full range of motion, is the best way to fire up the neuromuscular system, reduce injury risk and improve coordination.
Static stretching, held stretches where the joint/body part is stationary as you stretch, are best left for after the golf game, not before.
Again, research with golfers has shown that static stretches prior to golf may actually shut muscles down, causing a decrease in club head speed.
So, as the old saying goes “If it’s good for the goose, it’s good for the gander”. If the pros all warm-up, you should too! Check out this GolfGurls.com video for great warm-up ideas, and get to the golf course ½ hour early next time!
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