A 5 Part Series on Injury Prevention in the Golf Swing: Part 1- Warming Up Written by: Dr. Branon McMichael

This series is designed to give professional advice to golfers of all skill types. There are too many articles in the golf fitness world with a lot of technical language so this series will focus on common terms we all know while educating you on ones you may not be familiar with. Lets get started.

The warm-up for the average golfer usually consists of walking from the car to the pro-shop then straight to the first tee. They take a few practice swings at full tempo then deliver a topped first drive while scratching their head. Does this sound familiar?

We all have stretched before sometime in our life. The coach or gym teacher told you to hold it for 10 seconds and relax. “Why do we stretch?” you asked, “To prevent injuries,” they would say. Well I have good news for you…. that was a load of crap.

There are a lot of recent studies on the lasting results of stretching vs not stretching vs a dynamic stretch. A dynamic stretch is a stretch while moving, not standing still (static stretching). Take walking or riding a bike for 10 minutes for example.

Dynamic stretching has actually been proven to increase ranges of motion while decreasing the risk of injury compared to static stretching. In one such study a group of pro soccer players compared their instep kick over 3 different days using 3 different warm up routines, static stretching, dynamic stretching and no stretching. It was found that their kick was longer and more powerful with dynamic stretching than with they other methods.

How does this relate to your golf swing? Think of it this way, that 220yd drive you just hit on that par 5 left you with over 200yds to the green. If a simple warm-up consisting of dynamic stretching can increase your flexibility, then that 200yd+ approach shot just may shorten down to a more manageable distance.

Start your warm-up with a brisk walk from the car to the clubhouse. When you’re headed to the range to hit a quick bucket, walk fast but controlled. When you get to the tee box, jog in place for a couple of minutes, do 15 jumping jacks, run your arms in full range of motion with windmills, act like you’re hula hooping for 2 mins. All of these silly actions can be great warm-ups that require no more than your body. Do this and you’ll play better golf.

Dr. B

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In the beginning…

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Dr. B
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