Are your golf clients determined to lower their handicap? According to researchers from Austin State University, Nacogdoches, Texas, golfers’ fairway performance was best after a dynamic warm-up and no static stretching. The study appeared in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research (2010; 24 , 3326–33) and included nine “young” male golfers. Subjects participated in two supervised pre–physical activity protocols on separate days—an active, dynamic warm-up using golf clubs, and a 20-minute full-body passive stretch in combination with the same active, dynamic warm-up. They then performed three full-swing shots using a driver. Club speed, distance, accuracy and consistent ball contact were measured. The golfers fared better after the dynamic warm-up without the stretch protocol. After passive stretching, club head swing was 5% lower, distance 7% shorter and accuracy more than 60% reduced.
Catherine Logan, MSPT, MD/MBA candidate at Tufts University School of Medicine, advocates dynamic warm-ups. “A rotary sport such as golf necessitates a warm-up that will awaken the nervous system in preparation for the rhythmic and thoughtful movement of the golf swing,” she says. In addition to practice swings, Logan suggests the following dynamic warm-ups to improve golf performance:
- Reverse Chops (15 repetitions/side). Stand upright with feet hip width apart, knees soft, hips flexed, in address position. Keep arms straight with hands gently clasped together. Raise hands up and across body until they are above left shoulder. Lower hands back to address position. Repeat on opposite side.
- Lunge With Torso Rotation (10–12 reps/side). Lunge forward with arms stretching forward at shoulder height, and rotate torso, shoulders and head to right, keeping knees in neutral/nonrotated position. Return to starting position. Repeat on opposite side.
- Shoulder Horizontal Abduction (15 reps/side). Stand upright with feet hip width apart, knees soft, hips flexed, in address position. Keep arms straight with palms facing; draw abdominals toward the spine. Horizontally abduct right shoulder, avoiding elevation of scapula or compensatory movements of neck. Adduct back to starting position. Conduct movement at controlled speed. Repeat on opposite side.