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The Importance Of The Pre Round Warm Up For Maximizing Health And Performance On The Course

What is one of most commonly neglected things among amateur golfers that could result in immediate improvement in performance, distance and feeling better on the golf course? A pre round warm up routine. The vast majority of amateur golfers I see are not doing any type of warm up before playing their round of golf and the few who are doing some type of warm up are unfortunately doing it improperly. If you are consistently trunk slamming it to the first tee, doing the old method of swinging two clubs to get loose or taking the John Daly approach as seen below you are going to benefit from this post. In this post I will cover the ins and outs of how to properly warm up for a round of golf in a way that is quick and easy and leaving your body ready to fire on all cylinders so you aren't waiting 6 holes into your round before you start to warm up. While it may not be the cool thing to do, your game and your body will thank you for it.

Why should you warm up for golf?

Warming up for golf is definitely not the cool thing to do and it is common to see guys getting made fun of on the range going through a stretching or warm up routine. While there is definitely a stigma associated with warming up it is well worth it. While golfers may not want to admit it, golf is a sport and the golf swing is actually one of the faster motions in sport. If you were going to sprint as fast as you can or going to throw a fastball you are going to do some form of a warm up prior to doing those activities as you would rightfully be worried about straining a muscle or throwing your arm out. The golf swing is a similar explosive motion to these other sporting activities. Not preparing the body for this is not only putting you at increased risk of injury, aches and pains, it is also going to significantly limit your performance on the golf course by leaving significant speed and distance on the table. You don't need to wait until the 6th hole until you finally feel loosened up and ready to go. Your lower back and other joints will also thank you for taking the time to do a quick warm up.

How long should a golf warm up take?

Another common reason that golfers don't do any type of warm up is because they don't think they will have the time. The good news is that a good warm up routine can be completed in as little as 5-10 minutes and leave your body primed and ready to fire on all cylinders. Taking the time to warm up will also allow you to get better quality reps with the swings you do make on the range before your round and allow you to save time and condense the number of swings you need to warm up.

What should a golf warm up look like?

If you are going to take the time to warm up, what should you do? As mentioned above the warm up should only take 5-10 minutes at most, so you need to be somewhat selective with what you are doing to make sure you get whole body prepared for golf.

As previously mentioned the golf swing is a quick and explosive movement and the warm up needs to preparing us for that. One of the common mistakes golfers make in their warm up is they do static stretching (long duration holds) right before playing or hitting balls. This actually will reduce your power and speed output which is the last thing you want before playing. If you enjoy the feeling of this type of stretching you would be best off doing this about 30 minutes prior to playing to avoid these temporary decreases in speed and power production. You can then follow this up with the preferred warm up of more dynamic active movements such as squats, lunges, leg swings, trunk rotations, arm circles and even some resisted exercises. These more active motions are going to better warm the body up for athletic activity. Remember the goal is to warm the body up, not a workout where you are bringing fatigue into the equation. A handful of reps of each of these types of movements is more than enough.

While these exercises would be very beneficial and ones that I have used in my routine previously, I actually have a more preferred warm up routine using ROTEX Motion. This routine for me strikes the perfect balance of feeling mobile, but also activated and ready to fire on all cylinders. I think it does a great job of preparing the body's joints to get in the specific positions you want in the golf swing. In addition its amazing how quickly I am able to ramp up to full speed after completing this. This routine can be seen in the video below demonstrated by golf professional and 2x World Long Drive Champion "Fast" Eddie Fernandes. I've witnessed Eddie be able to get up to his max speeds of 150+ mph within 10 swings of completing this routine! If you are pressed for time prior to your round this will actually allow you to minimize how much time you need on the range and also make your time hitting balls much more efficient and effective.

The ROTEX Pre Round Warm Up

Other thoughts about warming up and frequently asked questions:

  1. Is the orange whip a good option for the warm up? I have several clients that like the feel of the orange whip for a warm up and yes I definitely think it has a place in the warm up routine. I think it would be best performed after the Rotex Warm up (or other dynamic warm up) and prior to hitting balls.

  2. Should I use some type of weighted club work in my pre round routine? One of the common ways golfers warm up is to grab a couple of clubs and swing them. For some this extra weight feels good as a way to get some extra range of motion (If you have already done the body warm up you would already have this covered). However, if you like the feel of this you would probably then want to follow this up with something lighter to get the body primed for speed. If you want to incorporate weighted clubs into your warm up routine I would recommend the Stack System Priming program which serves a quick way to prime the body for speed that is quick and not fatiguing.

  3. Should I do this prior to practice as well? Yes, ideally you should do a warm up prior to practicing as well. While it may seem like a hassle to do this, I believe that taking the time to do a quick warm up/body prep will make your practice more effective and you can be much more efficient with your time when practicing. Taking a couple minutes to do this will better prepare your body and joints for the positions you are trying to get into the swing.

  4. The importance of the warm up for speed training sessions: This can include speed training sessions using a system such as the Stack System or SuperSpeed Golf as well as speed sessions hitting a ball. Many times I will see golfers rush into a speed session with the Stack or speed sticks and not take the proper warm up. Not only does this put them at an increased risk or injury, it is also going to limit their speeds during their training, which in turn is going to limit the effectiveness of the speed training. The purpose of the speed training is to train the body to reach speeds higher than it previously was capable. If you are not warmed up effectively often times the first set or two of the speed training actually serves as more of a warm up instead of pushing true speed training. In these cases your last set may be the only true speed work you are getting in and you might not get the gains out the training you are looking for simply because of not taking the time to warm up. If you are doing a speed session hitting balls l you can give yourself a little more time to gradually build up speeds to the point where you are ready to starting pushing speed. However, a proper warm up can significantly reduce the number of swings it takes to ramp up your speeds. For example let's say it normally takes you 75 swings to get to a point where you are ready to start push max speed. On the other hand if your warm up allows you to get there in 25 swings (a third of the time), think of the amount of time this is going to save you as well as how much less stress on the body there is. This cumulative effect will add up over time and lead to much less swing volume on the body, which again means more effective practice, likely less soreness and the ability to better recover quicker from these sessions. Watch the video below as 2x World Long Drive Champion Eddie Fernandes discusses this concept.

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