These Five Golf Warm-Up Exercises Will Help You Beat Summer Heat
By Charlene Bendt, PGA
Summer means longer days and hopefully more time to play golf. Depending on where you live, there may even be enough time after a workday to get a whole round in. While longer days of June-September are great for more golf, typically they also mean higher temperatures.
Even though you may feel warm as soon as you step outside, it's still important to go through a brief dynamic warm up before you play. Not only will these exercises prepare the body to swing, they will also help you acclimate your body to the heat and humidity. Try these five exercises to prepare your body to perform its best:
Even if the range of motion is small, this fundamental movement pattern is fantastic for activating the lower body and core muscles.
Holding on to the golf cart or use a club for support, separate your feet to a driver width stance. Hinge from the hip joints, sending your weight toward your heels as if you were lowering yourself down into a chair behind you.
Repeat 8-10 times.
Awaken your shoulders, open your chest and cue up your upper back for better posture.
Stand with your feet as wide as your shoulders. Hold the club in front of your legs with the arms relaxed and hands palms down and shoulder width apart. Lift the club overhead and then bring it down behind your head to tap the top of your shoulders.
Return to the starting position and repeat 8-10 times.
Lunge with Side Bend
Engage your lower body and stretch your hip flexors. This is especially important if you’ve been sitting at a desk most of the day before you play.
Stand with the feet shoulder distance apart. Step back with the left foot and bend into your right knee, taking a lunge position. Rest your right hand on your right thigh. Let your left arm hang by your side and turn your palm to face away from your body. Lift the arm up towards your left ear as you side bend your body to the right. Return to the starting position and repeat 8 times.
Switch legs and perform 8 reps on the opposite side.
Lunge with Lifts
Stabilize your lower body while turning your upper body.
Begin with your right foot forward in the same lunge position from the exercise above. Bring both hands inside of the right leg, as if you were holding an imaginary beach ball. Keeping the depth in the lunge, twist your torso and lift the beach ball up over your right shoulder.
Perform 8 repetitions. Change sides and repeat with your left leg forward, turning and lifting to your left.
Upper Body Rotation
This exercise is designed to help you feel an effective pivot, while maintaining golf posture.
Take your address position as you would with a seven iron, but hold the club upside down. Place your left hand on the club head and your right hand on the shaft. Twist in to the right 8-10 times, staying in posture.
For the last few, allow the hips to rotate along with the torso. Repeat on the opposite side.
Bonus: Stay Hydrated!
One of the biggest keys to performing well in higher temperatures is to stay hydrated! Research has show that with as little as a 2 percent reduction in hydration, there are negative affects on muscle speed, coordination and decision-making. It is important to replenish the water and electrolytes you are sweating out when playing in the heat.
Begin drinking water before you get to the course (even the night before you play). A general rule of thumb is to drink 50 percent of your weight in ounces of water each day. For instance, if you weigh 200 pounds, you will need approximately 100 oz of water each day. Keep in mind that certain medications and consuming alcohol or caffeine will make you more prone to dehydration.
Try the dynamic warm up above, put on your sunscreen, grab your water bottle and you will be prepared to play great no matter what the conditions bring!