Golf Warmup Exercises and Improving Performance
Golf Swing Research
What effect does performing golf warmup exercises have on your golf swing and performance?
That is exactly what this team of researchers set to find out. This research article, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine in 2004, takes 20 male golfers and subjected half of them to a specific warmup routine to assess the benefits of stretching and "warming up" on the golf swing.
The golfers were aged 23-64 years old, with handicaps ranging from 12 to 27. Each golfer was then matched with another with similar attributes to themselves. Determination of which golfer would be in the control or exercise group was decided randomly.
On week 1, each group of golfers performed 10 full swing shots with a five iron in order to measure swing speed.
At week 2, the control group again performed 10 golf swings with the same parameters. The exercise group performed 5 swings (to compare against week 1) followed by the warmup routine. They then performed 10 swings after warming up. The exercise group was then given a handout outlining the warmup routine, which they were to perform independently for the next five weeks.
The program was divided into three groups: brisk dynamic stretches designed to increase body temperature, static stretches for the main muscle groups involved, and practice golf swings. Each golfer was instructed to perform the exercises 4-5 times per week.
Both groups returned at week 7, with both groups performing the same steps that they performed at week 2.
Over the seven week period, the control group showed very little change in their club head speeds. However, the club head speeds for the each member of the exercise group increased over the course of the seven week period. Also, each member of the exercise group exhibited a significant increase in their club head speed after warming up compared to prior to performing the golf warmup exercises.
The take home message is that warming up prior to your round should be a must! It correlates with increased club head speed, which itself has been correlated with lower handicaps.
To read the full article, please follow this link.
Fradkin AJ, Sherman CA, Finch CF. Improving golf performance with a golf warmup programme. Br J Sports Med 2004; 38: 762-765.