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I get daily inquiries about what the 'best' stretches to do to properly and effectively 'warm up' before golf to reduce injury...  but also to improve swing speed and overall performance potential during practice and play.

Warming up before you practice and/or play golf is essential!  You definitely can increase your swing speed and ball striking consistency when you get your mind and body ready to play with the proper warm-up.

According to a study produced by the British Journal of Sports Medicine, a dynamic warm up can have a significant impact on your clubhead speed.

In fact, following a study conducted on 20 golfers of matching gender, age and handicap, it appears those who performed dynamic warm up stretches as opposed to those who did nothing before play, clubhead speed was increased by over 24%!

Studies similar to the one just mentioned have shown that the best way to warm up just prior to a round of golf is through the use of 'dynamic' stretches.

Dynamic stretches are those that keep the body in constant motion. They are not stretches which you hold for 10, 20, 30 seconds or even longer. Golf-specific dynamic stretches are functional mobility exercises that are great for pre-activity warm-up as they prepare your golf body to function for the activity you are about to perform... the full motion, full speed, powerful, golf swing. Dynamic stretches, however, don't typically provide long-lasting (beyond the golf practice session or golf round) flexibility/mobility improvements in your body unless they are also paired with 'static' stretches.  

The static version of stretching, where you 'do' sustain the 'light', 'comfortable', stretch position for a longer period of time (could be up to several minutes, as needed, to experience the full soft tissue and joint complex tightness release) should be reserved mostly for your home exercises between your golf practice and play to help you gain more permanent full body, connective tissue,  flexibility  and functional mobility for your golf game.

So, with the dynamic stretches in your pre-golf warm-up, you will only be holding each stretch position for a maximum of 1-to-2 seconds, to help quickly increase your body temperature, connective tissue fluidity, and then keep your body temperature warm with fluid movements.

Take a look at one of my favorite 'on course' stretches below. 
Try it this weekend and see what you think.

To perform this exercise...

Overhead Reach and Bend


1) Straight Over-Head Reach
 
 
2) Overhead Reach with Side-Bend
  Instructions:
  • Reach the golf club over head as far as comfortably possible. 
  • Bend your knees slightly and perform a 'neutral' pelvic tilt.
  • Slowly reach the club to one side and allow your middle spine to bend while maintaining a stable pelvis.
  • Be sure to keep the spacing between your arms and head the same through the entire motion.
  • Feel the gentle stretch in your chest, shoulders, middle spine and ribs... mostly on the opposite side of your body to the direction of stretch.
  • Then, when you reach the comfortable end of your side bend reach, slowly and smoothly reach your arms/club and side bend your upper torso to the other direction.
  • Repeat the slow, continuous stretch from side-to-side for 10-15 times, as as needed, to feel fully mobile and comfortable in both directions. 
Purposes:  
  • Releases tightness in the chest, middle spine, shoulders, and ribs.
  • Promotes improved side bending and middle spine rotation for improved backswing and follow through spine rotation mobility.
  • Reduces injury potential to the spine, ribs, and shoulders.
And, if you're interested, click on the video below to learn the 'full' pre-golf warm-up sequence...
Dr. Paul Callaway's 'Pre-Golf' Warm-Up Sequence
Dr. Paul Callaway's 'Pre-Golf' Warm-Up Sequence

Hope this information helps you play this week... and for the remainder of your season!
To your 'golf-fit' game,


Dr. Paul

P.S. Still searching for  help with your swing?

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It's always great to receive positive feedback from clients I work with about how their custom golf fitness training and total wellness and performance programs are working for them to feel better and play better golf.

Check out what, Walter N., had to say during his recent on-line, remote Skype session this week...

"Dear Dr. Paul,

I wanted to let you know that the last grouping of home exercises you provided have completely released all of my lower back tightness and I was able to play pain-free golf for the first time this week after doing the simple exercises you taught me.  It feel so good to not have to 'flinch' with pain during every swing! I only wish that I would have learned about your program sooner... I probably would have been able to beat this chronic lower back problem months ago! 

Thanks for all of your help!

Walter

 Walter N. (age: 74) from , Kimberly, Wisconsin