A Quick, Effective Golf Warm Up

Doing the Right Thing, Made Easy

We would all love to spend time doing the proper things before we play: working our way through the bag with different shots, seeing our physical therapist, etc.  However, this isn’t reality for the majority of players who are glad to be away from work or out of the house for the short time that they have.  I see it daily – players walking from their car straight to the first tee.  It hurts me just to think about how that feels, not to mention how bad this is on the body.

Don’t worry, I’m not here to give you a hard time.  Instead, I’m here to give you a quick and easy warm up you can do just before teeing it up and swinging that first swing.

The Five Step Plan

Jumping Jacks

Let’s go back in time to middle school gym class.  This is a great exercise to get the total body involved and moving, pumping the blood, and getting you “warmed up”.  Don’t worry, you don’t have to do 100 or even 50.  If you can do 10, that would be great.

The movement involves the shoulders and works the shoulder blades, both which are used in every swing.  You will be working the hip and activating those tricky, pesky glutes.  You are utilizing the stretch-shorten cycle, which you know I LOVE talking about because it is so important for proper sequencing and for power.  It is also a great way to warm up to warm up.  Yes, that is correct, it wasn’t a typo.  You do not want to stretch a “cold” muscle.  The jumping jacks will get everything headed in the right direction so you can get onto the helpful “golf” stuff.

Leg Swings

You can easily do leg swings either holding onto the golf cart or using your driver.  You can hold on for support and do 3-5 swings out to the side and across the front on each leg.  Follow this up with 3-5 more swings forward and backward.

These are great to get the hips ready for the high demand you are about to put on them while you swing.  The side to side motion will work the glute med and the front to back motion will work the hip flexor and glutes.  These muscles are very important in the swing, and we want to get them working as fast as possible.

Toe Touches – Toes Pointed Up

This exercise is going to help you stretch out those tight hamstrings!  We are going to do them with your foot out in front of you, heel on the ground, toe pointed up.  This will help give you an “extra” stretch for the Achilles, up through the calf muscle, and into the hamstring, glute, and lower back.  For such a simple exercise, it sure does work a lot of different areas.

It’s easy to forget how many times you bend over while playing.  Teeing up the ball, moving a leaf away from your ball, marking your ball, picking it up out of the hole…you get the point.  With a tight lower back, -usually from tight hamstrings – this can cause issues throughout the round.  Not to mention a tight back and lack of separation can cause other issues in the swing.  It is best we tackle this before ever teeing it up to help you perform at the highest level possible.  To keep this simple, let’s start by doing 3-5 on each leg.

Wrist Circles

You use your wrist a lot in the swing – pronation, supination, radial deviation, and ulnar deviation all in a short amount of time.  It made me tired just going through them all, so you know it is a great idea to warm them up.

Make a fist and roll your wrist through full range of motion 3-5 each direction.  You just worked every motion listed and activated the muscles.  This can help decrease forearm strain and possibly tennis and golfer elbow.

Helicopter Turns

Since you are about to do a rotational movement it is a good idea to work the thoracic spine.  Put your arms straight out to the side and rotate in a circle, mimicking your golf swing.

I have used this exercise with my tour players for years because it not only works rotation but also the shoulder blades and the hips.  This will allow you to move freely throughout the entire range of motion of the swing.  This is one of the exercises I am going to spend a little more time on: do 10 each way.  Don’t worry, it doesn’t take very long at all and will make you feel great.

No More Excuses

There you have it: five straight forward, simple warm up exercises that you can do on the first tee while your buddy tees it up.  It shouldn’t take you longer than a couple of minutes, so hopefully that eliminates any excuses.

As you start to notice you are feeling better and playing better, you can always increase the number or reps you do on each exercise.  It is very important for every golfer to properly warm up for the high demand and strain they are about to put on their body.  Take the added steps needed to take care of your most important piece of golf equipment, your body!

As always, if you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me through email – TylerParsonsGolf@gmail.com – and ask away.

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Tyler Parsons

Director of Golf Fitness and Head Teaching Professional at Parsons Golf Performance
Tyler started in golf early on, playing in many junior events. He was known for his length and blowing it by his competitors. He contributes a lot of this to always trying to keep up with PGA Tour long hitter and friend, J.B. Holmes, who he grew up playing with on their high school team. Tyler graduated from the University of Kentucky with a B.A. in Kinesiology, exercise science. This is the study of the human body's movements and biomechanics, so it was a perfect fit when Parsons started personal training and started looking to help golfers off the course. Upon completion of the Titleist Performance Institute certified golf fitness program, who are the leading company in golf specific training, he then went on to obtain their highest level of certification (TPI CGFI Level 3 FP). After a few years of training other golfers, he connected with childhood friend, Holmes, and started training him helping protect his body and improve performance. This caught the eye of Matt Killen, swing coach for Holmes. Later the two joined up and Tyler moved to Bowling Green, Ky to work alongside Matt with Killen Golf. Since then Tyler has worked with PGA Tour players, Josh Teater, Kenny Perry, Blake Adams, and current rising star, Justin Thomas. Along the way Tyler put his knowledge of golf and body movements to the test and started designing a program to not only increase speed, but test its limits. Spending time working on his body in the gym and performing specific key "speed" movements in the swing, Tyler jumped his club head speed from an impressive 120 mph to 152 mph. He is now teaching this program to all skill levels of players, helping from their game. His results can be seen each week as Justin Thomas tees up and delivers his blistering speed on tour as one of the pound for pound longest hitters.

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  1. I just did the wrist circles sitting at my desk in my high powered job most of you could only dream about. Sounded like someone eating a bag of crisps! Now I better stop doing it and get back to counting those paper clips.
    Great tip by the way.

  2. Those exercises sound easy to do with minimal effort, I also go to the practice bunker and hit some balls starting with soft swings and building to full swings. It is a great way to warm up and also makes for better bunker play on the course.

  3. Todd Williams

    Alway looking for more warm up ideas. These are pretty good. #SecretGiveawy

  4. I’ve been doing a similar version of these quick exercises on the range before I warm up. The literally take no more than 6 or 7 minutes to complete (I do the wrist rolls while driving to the course) and I have noticed a big difference in how my body feels. I have shown these exercises to my students and have received great feedback. Thanks!

  5. Fontilla Richardson

    Thank you for the tips. I usually do a few side bends and stretch my arms.

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