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
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.
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.
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.
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.