Warming Up in Golf
Warming up prior to practicing or playing a round is extremely important. It has several benefits for your health and your golf game overall. This is a topic that I touched on briefly on our social media pages before this post. However, I wanted to write a blog that focused on how warming up will serve each player well in the short and long term.
Therefore, this blog will go over the importance of warming up and provide each of you, as the audience, with a guideline regarding my top recommendations regarding incorporating a routine warm-up into your golf lifestyle.
Warming Up Has Several Advantages
As mentioned, warming up serves three main benefits to each golfer. Warming-up yields three main advantages: injury prevention, improved performance, and mental preparation.
Warming up, if done correctly, can serve as a way to prevent injuries during your practice or round ahead. In particular, it increases blood flow to the muscles and joints, increasing flexibility and altogether decreasing the likelihood that you will incur strains, sprains, or other types of injuries.
The second benefit that warming-up results in is improved performance. By warming up, you are allowing your body to prepare for the physical demands that the sport requires. More specifically, warming up can increase your range of motion, optimize hand-eye coordination, and ease the mechanics of your golf swing.
It is just as important to prepare your body mentally as it is physically. Golf is a sport that requires a high degree of mental focus in addition to physical demands. Warming up allows you to reduce anxiety and stress prior to playing a round which could result in a lack of a clouded mind. It can also improve your confidence as you head into the match.
Best Ways to Warm Up Before A Round of Golf
Now that I have gone over some of the highly beneficial advantages of warming up, I want to share with you all some of the ways that I warm up before a round. I would say that the best way to warm up, as a general rule of thumb, would be to combine stretching, cardiovascular exercises, and golf-specific drills, which will target the muscles that will later be used during the round.
Begin with Cardiovascular Exercise
I never start a round without doing some sort of cardio-related exercise. Don’t get me wrong– you don’t need to run a marathon or anything like that. I typically do a 5-10 minute light jog if I have the space. If I cannot find a place to do this, I take a rapid 5-10 minute walk. The goal is to get your body moving but not in a way where your heart rate is at its peak. Sometimes, if I know that I am going to a course with limited space, I do this part at home before heading there. This will start slowly increasing your heart rate and, consequently, your blood flow.
The second part of my pre-golf regimen is dynamic stretching. In particular, I always make sure to do arm circles and leg swings. The main goal of dynamic stretching is to increase your flexibility significantly in the areas which will be primarily used during the round. So, I would advise you to incorporate stretches that target the hips, shoulders, and lower back.
The next step that is an integral facet of my warm-up routine is golf-specific drills. I am mainly referencing hitting the driving range. I recommend doing some practice swings if you do not have time or access to the range. This is going to help with your hand-eye coordination and balance. Additionally, it will help you acclimate to hitting the ball before the round.
Take A Step Back and Mentally Prepare
Many people who warm up often glide over this step. As I touched on earlier, it is of great importance to ensure that you are mentally prepared for the game ahead. Now that you have allowed your muscles to get a feel for what is to come and raised your heart rate, you should visualize yourself playing the round well. Lastly, consider focusing on a game plan for what lies ahead. If you have played the course prior, think about some things that you might want to do differently and plant the image of it going well in your head. You might also want to implement one minute of stillness right before the round happens to center yourself before going into the several holes to come.
Warming Up Will Serve You Well
I have been doing the same warm-up regimen for a while now, and I have seen its benefits manifest throughout each and every one of my rounds. Even when I am running low on time, I try to do a variation of this as it is crucial to my performance and well-being throughout the round.
Remember to start slowly while warming up and gradually increase the intensity of the routine. It is pertinent to always listen to your body— if something feels uncomfortable, then halt immediately. A consistent warm-up regimen will ultimately decrease injuries, improve performance, and increase mental preparation.