Golf: Dynamic Stretches

A pro golfer typically might warm up 90 minutes to 2 hours before walking out to the tee.  His routine would consist of stretching, putting hitting, practicing short game and then back to any special shots and out to the green.  A typical routine for a recreational golfer would be different.  Get out of the car, find your friend and get whatever you forgot at the pro shop, swing a couple practice shots, and go to the tee.  Typically we don’t warm up until half way through the front nine.  The question is what is a quick time efficient way to warm up before golf with our busy lives.

The answer is dynamic stretches. Dynamic stretches Dynamic stretching is useful before competition and has been shown to reduce muscle tightness. Muscle tightness is one factor associated with an increase occurrence of musculotendinous tears. More recent scientific studies seem to suggest that dynamic stretches before competition are preferably to static stretches. This may be particularly true for strength and power athletes.

All exercises should have 5 second holds and be done 5-10 times.
Standing Cat n Camel/ Pelvic Rotation
Begin in your address position, arms across chest. Tuck the pelvis under then arch the back, creating a rocking of the pelvis into anterior and posterior position and return to a neutral spine.

Trunk Rotation/ Vertical and Horizontal Axis
Standing in your address position, bring the palms together. Inhale as you rotate from the core and bring the both arms back. Mimic backswing then follow through with a stop at the address position.

Try the same exercise at chest to shoulder height twisting trunk and keeping arms in the parallel to the ground.

Standing Hip Stretch
Use a golf club for assistance with balance. Place one ankle on the outside of the opposite knee. Inhale as you bend your stance knee, sitting back as if you are sitting on a chair. Bring the chest toward the shin, rolling the shoulder blades together.  Reverse legs.

Shoulder Rotation Stretch
Place the club or towel in your right hand, palm facing the ceiling. Bring the right arm over your head and the right palm behind your back. Bring your left arm behind your back and clasp the club or towel.  Move the club up and down your back stopping when you feel a stretch and squeezing the club together.

Upper Trapezius Stretch
Bring the right ear toward the right shoulder. Inhale as you press your left arm toward the floor, exhale and relax the left arm.

Standing Shoulder Blade Stretch
Bring the club to shoulder height, bend your knees and tuck your pelvis under. Inhale as you press your arms away from you, tucking your chin into your chest. Exhale, lift the head and squeeze the shoulder blades together.

1) National Strength & Conditioning Association. Essentials of strength training & conditioning. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics. 2000
2) Yamaguchi, T., Ishii, K. Effects of static stretching for 30 seconds and dynamic stretching on leg extension power. J. Strength Cond. Res. Aug;19(3):677-83. 2005
3) Shrier, I. Stretching before exercise does not reduce the risk of local muscle injury: A critical review of the clinical and basic science literature. Clinical J. Sports Med. 9: 221-7. 1999