Golf Exercises: Lift Weights for a Better Warm-Up

By Wesley Nelson
Published on

Sorry Mr. Daly, long gone are the days of the Diet Coke and cigarette warm up. The game of golf has evolved to see to it that golfers are now high-level athletes that need to train as such.
Strength, power, and mobility should be the forefront focus of a player who wants to get the most out of their swing. A current trend in sports performance is the use of heavy loads at low volumes to elicit a priming response before competition in sport.
For example, utilizing a barbell back squat proves to be substantial enough to prime for increasing performance. A higher load (≥ 85% of 1 repetition maximum) or an exercise at a lower load done at high intensity is most effective. Current research on jumping performance has shown improvements up to 48 hours following low-volume resistance exercise and lower levels of performance anxiety have also been reported.
While being primed for a competition is very important, these sessions can also provide a work-hardening effect and keep overuse injuries at bay. The modern game revolves around the ability to generate high levels of speed through rotary and ground reaction forces. It is crucial for every player to be equipped to handle these loads and these sessions in season can help do just that. 
An example of a pre-competition session could look as follows:
A) Back Squat (partial range of motion); 3 sets of 3 reps at 70-85% of max weight
B) Band-Resisted Jump Squat; 3 sets of 3 reps at 30-45% of max weight
C) Hurdle Hops; 3 sets of 3 reps at max effort
D) Bench Press; 3 sets of 3 reps at 70-85 percent of max weight
This protocol, in conjunction with proper warm-up and cool down measures, and using other accessory based movements, should be substantial in eliciting the desired priming response. 
These sessions have been a staple to keep athletes strong and mobile through multiple days of competition. Golfers have reported that they feel a higher rate of readiness, strength, power, lower anxiety, and feeling overall better on the first tee of competition following a priming session in studio. 
So, before your next round instead of starting with just the bottom of your bag working up, grab some weight and move around. I have a hunch that you will feel a little looser and have some solid pop in that club head!

Wesley Nelson is a proud U.S. Army Veteran and has been a National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer (NASM-CPT) since 2013, recently becoming a PGA of America Golf Professional through the PGA Associate program last year. Additionally, he holds numerous fitness (e.g., corrective exercise specialists, performance enhancement specialists, etc.) and golf-specific (i.e., Titleist Performance Institutes TPI Level One and TPI Golf Level Two) certifications. Wesley has worked with young children, professional athletes, elite tactical personnel, and elderly populations.