How to Warm-Up for Peak Performance

This is the first in a series of articles addressing the physical side of the game from Berkeley Hall Director of Fitness, Derek Lemire.  Derek trains PGA Tour Phoenix Open winner Kyle Stanley and is also TPI certified. Today Derek addresses how to warm-up in preparation for a round of golf:

This article deals with one of the most common questions I receive, "What are some good stretches before I play golf?"

Good stretches to warm-up before the round incorporate the entire body into the routine.  Take your body through gross movement patterns and prepare for the stressors that it will have to endure during the round.

Be sure to EXCLUDE the following from your warm-up:

  • Bounce in Forward Flexion

This motion puts you in bad flexion posture, reduces the activity of the flexor muscles and can actually stiffen your back.

  • Club Behind Back and Rotate (Sequencing)

This old favorite can add sway to your swing and poor shoulder position in rotation can cause muscular strains.

  • Swing Multiple Clubs

This method of warming up can lead to compensatory movements in arms, altered proprioception (balance), altered weight control, overswinging, a reverse C and increased potential for a reverse pivot.

These are the moves to INCLUDE in your pre-round warm-up:

  • Hip, Trunk and Shoulder Stretch

When you do this get into a lunge position, maintain upright posture, suck in lower abdominals and bend trunk into side of forward leg.  Switch and do the other side.

  • Core Stability and Rotation

Assume an athletic stance, rotate upper body with no motion below.  Keep the elbows at your rib cage while feeling tension between inside thigh and lower abdominals.

  • Cross Over Hip Drill

For this exercise cross the right elbow to the left knee.  Gradually increase speed as you go and do 30 seconds on one side before switching.

This is best illustrated with a video...

Keep in mind that these warm-up exercises are the basics. Time is always a factor and these three exercises shouldn't take you more than five minutes. If you're interested in peak performance it's five minutes very well spent.

Follow Derek on Twitter @DerekLemireTPI

Here's what Rory McIlroy has to say about training for golf.