Written By Michael Sabatino PT, DPT
Director of Physical Therapy | Monmouth Pain & Rehabilitation
With summer winding down, so is the amount of daylight, which means that many golfers are going to feel the need to rush to finish their round before sunset. Nevertheless, even with limited time, a proper warm-up is still warranted to prevent injury. The purpose of this blog is to give you five stretches that should take you no more than 7-8 minutes to perform before teeing off. Short warm-ups are far better than doing nothing, especially when they prevent injuries and future missed outings.
The following are five warm-up stretches that target the large muscle groups involved in your golf swing.
1) Seated Piriformis/Trunk Rotation Stretch.
a. Sit on a chair or bench. Place your right ankle on top of your left thigh. Raise your right knee and grasp it with your left hand
b. Keeping your spine straight, pull your right knee towards your left shoulder. You’ll feel a stretch in your right buttock and through your mid back.
c. Repeat the procedure for the opposite side.
2) Standing Lateral Stretch:
a. Stand with your feet apart, facing the back of a chair/golf cart
b. Grasp the back of the chair with your hands
c. Holding onto the chair, keeping your spine straight, drop your body away from your hands until you feel a stretch near your armpits.
3) Trunk Rotations:
a. Hold your golf club behind your shoulders, maintain this position while rotating your trunk to the right and left
4) Rotator Cuff/Arm Circles:
a. Extend your arms out fully to your side. Begin small clockwise arm circles. Repeat for counter clockwise performing small circles. Continue through a progression of larger and larger circles for 2-3 minutes total.
5) Shoulders/Rotator Cuff Shoulder Dislocators:
a. Grasp your driver as far apart as you can at each end. Rotate your arms over/behind you, This will stretch out the anterior chest wall and external rotators of the shoulder
I understand that many people don’t want to devote another 15-30 minutes of an activity that already takes too long. I understand. But mark my words. Sooner or later, there will come a day when you take a rip at a ball in deep rough or try to blast one out of a bunker and you’re going to hear a pop/rip/insert bad sound here noise. Injury is inevitable if you don’t warm up your muscles before an activity like golf. That’s why I’m asking, once again, for you to consider adding a pre-round warm-up to your game plan.