Golf: A Ryder Cup Warm Up

17th September 2018

Written by: Sabrina Rambohul (Osteopath)

Most, if not all, top golfers pride themselves on conducting a thorough warm-up routine before hitting the course.

Unfortunately, a few practice swings just don’t cut it anymore, especially if you can only get on the course a few times a month and want to be at your best. The best way to prepare the body for golf is with continuous dynamic stretches. Here are some of the best golfing warm up exercises to help you do just that.

Quick walk

Let’s face it, if you’re walking between 18 holes, it’s probably a good idea to give your legs a light workout. Walk briskly for three to five minutes, either around the car park or a quiet area of the course.

Pelvic tilts

Even if it’s not talked about as much as wrist control, pelvic control is key to getting good distance on your swing. Standing pelvic tilts help strengthen your abdominal muscles and stabilise your lower back. Here’s how you perform them...

Fold your arms in front of your chest and exhale, pulling your belly button towards your spine. Slowly tilt your tailbone under your pelvis and hold this position for three seconds. Inhale as you return to the start position (neutral) and repeat for 5 repetitions.

Bodyweight squats

Doing a few pre-game squats will increase your heart rate and increase blood flow to the major muscle groups. Start with your feet shoulder width apart, your arms out in front of you and your back straight, slowly bring your body down to a squatting position. As you squat down, focus on pushing your weight onto your heels and keeping your knees in line with your feet.

Do this exercise for one set of 10 and then repeat three times.

Standing hip stretch

Start by placing your hands on a golf club for balance. Place your right ankle on the outside of your left knee. Bend your left knee, inhale as you do so, leaning back as if you are sitting on a chair.

Bring the chest toward the shin, squeezing the shoulder blades together. Hold this position for three breaths and repeat five times, then switch sides.

Trunk rotations

If you want to maximise your upswing and follow-through, this stretch can help you do just that.

Start by hooking your arms around the golf club lengthwise across your back, then rotate your trunk and head to the left until you feel a stretch. Hold this position for 20 to 30 seconds, before repeating this stretch on the other side.

This can also be performed as a dynamic stretch – instead of holding the position for 30 seconds turn left to right to the count of 2 slow breaths.

Standing Rhomboid / Upper Back / Neck Stretch

Bring the golf 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. Repeat five times.

Wrist extension

To achieve a strong downswing and backswing, your wrists need to be able to extend or bend backward. Any limitations in your wrist extension can limit your control of the golf club and could cause serious injuries.

That’s why wrist extension exercises are ideal for building up your forearm strength, helping you to control the golf club when playing from the rough, improving your consistency, and protecting you from injury.

Hold your arm out straight with your palm facing downwards and, with the opposite hand, gently bend your hand backward and hold the position for 20 seconds. Repeat this exercise two or three times and then switch sides.

Practice your swing!

A lot of factors come into play when you take a shot – namely the weather conditions and the terrain. Taking some practice shots will give you an idea of how far your shots will fly, where the ball will land and how far it will roll.I recommend hitting some short shots starting with a wedge, then building up to full shots with a wedge, then hit some 8 irons, 6 irons, 4 irons and a couple of drives. You can finish off with some long and short putts.

Once you’ve done that, it’s time to play!

Hopefully performing these golfing warm up exercises get you the scores you want. But bear in mind, this is just a guideline. If you don’t feel comfortable doing any of these warm-up exercises, please seek some professional advice for a more tailored warm-up routine. See our Osteopath Sabrina.

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