Healthy Tahoe: Revamp warmup for better golf performance
The goal of warming up for exercise is often misunderstood. A proper warm-up is not only designed to raise your body temperature and blood flow, it should also prepare you for the specific workout or sport you are about to participate in.
Common warm-ups involve spinning on a stationary bike or hopping on the treadmill for 10 minutes to get your legs moving. Those warm-ups are great when the activity you’re preparing for requires movement in the same way. However, many sports and activities such as golf and tennis require side to side movements and twisting or explosive actions. It’s important to prepare your body for these movements with a supportive warm-up.
Golf is a rotational sport — sports involving twisting within the torso — that requires a degree of flexibility that many other sports don’t. Flexibility and strength contribute to proper body positioning and power. To invite this flexibility, it’s important to utilize a warm-up routine that includes both static and dynamic stretching exercises.
While static stretching requires holding a single position for a period of time, dynamic exercises are aimed at stretching and activating the targeted muscles while you move through their full range of motion. Exercises like side lunges and skipping as part of a dynamic warm-up help develop balance and coordination while also firing up the nervous and cardiovascular systems to get the body ready for work. A walking lunge with an overhead reach is a great dynamic warm-up exercise as it engages the hips, legs, and core muscles while stretching the upper body — inviting both flexibility and muscle activation.
“Dynamic stretching is great for improving range of motion and working on body awareness. Increasing flexibility and core strength improves posture, grip, and alignment — all of which contribute to a better golf game,” said Dave Gilpin, a South Lake Tahoe golf coach and member of the Professional Golfers Association. “Dynamic balance over the ball helps you make consistently better contact with the ball.”
In a recent study, Effects of Upper-Body Flexibility Exercise on Golf Performance of Amateur Female Golfer: A Case Report, one woman increased her golf club speed thus increasing her golf ball carry distance from 91 yards to 116 yards in only two weeks by implementing a 20-minute upper body flexibility training routine, three times per week.
A performance coach can work with you on an individualized program to revamp your warm-up, which may improve your body’s efficiency to carry out movements of your specific sport. Consistency in your warm-up routine may result in performance improvements and a better scorecard on the golf course.
Kyler Crouse is a certified strength and conditioning specialist with the Barton Center for Orthopedics & Wellness. He specializes in athletic performance training and offers individualized training and exercise programs to the Lake Tahoe community. To meet with Kyler and get started on an exercise program that fits your needs, visit BartonOrthopedicsandWellness.com or call 530-600-1976.
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