The weather is warming up and no longer are we waking up to below zero temperatures and warnings of snow fall; therefore it’s time to start thinking about getting back to all the outdoor activities the winter prevents us from doing. A popular sport many people are very anxious to get back to is golf. Although golf is not a sport requiring a great deal of strength or cardiovascular endurance, there is still a high risk of injury for those who play regularly. Due to the repetitive movements involved in golf, avid recreational golfers are at a potentially high risk for overuse injuries involving the low back, shoulder, hips, and elbows. This is why it is important to ensure a proper warm-up is still performed prior to a round of golf and also that specific strength and flexibility exercises are done in the weeks and months leading up to golf season in order to reduce the risk of potential injury and improve performance on the course.
Think of it like this, an athlete who plays soccer of basketball would not just sit before a game, wait for the game to start, and then hop into the game expecting to perform at their best. These athletes perform sport specific warm-up prior to each game or practice in order to properly prepare their body for the loads about to be placed on it. Long gone are days of sitting down and performing long static (still) stretches to “warm-up” before hopping right into a given activity, as athletes now perform dynamic sport-specific movements as part of their warm-up routine. This type of dynamic preparation more specifically replicates the actions athletes will perform in their sport and provide increased range of motion, force output, and performance as well as decrease the risk of injury. Static stretching exercises are still proven effective for increasing joint range of motion and flexibility; however, this form of stretching is normally prescribed to be done on separate days or following exercise. Research suggests static stretching decreases a muscles ability to generate power which could potentially reduce the effectiveness of your golf swing and quite possibly increasing your handicap! Think of yourself as an athlete and use a dynamic warm-up before you hit the course this year to avoid injury and improve your game.
Here are 5 great examples dynamic stretching exercises specific to golf. This warm-up should take no longer than 10-15 minutes, but will definitely pay off in the long run!
2.) Arm Swings
3.) Trunk Rotations
4.) Side Bends
5.) Wrist & Forearm
Email Michelle@CORE-Condition.com for more information about static and dynamic stretching or exercises you can do to improve your golf game.
Michelle Roots BA Kin, CSCS, PES