Before you exercise you need to prepare the body for activity, so why not include a warm-up exercise routine that is specific to a golf fitness program.
As I mentioned in a previous post, the warm-up routine is not my favorite time of the day.
However, warming up is a necessary evil, not only for a golf fitness exercise program but also before you hit the course to play or practice.
If you don’t warm-up you run the risk an injury.
To keep the warm-up exercise routine more interesting, I will provide a few more exercises you can add to ones in Six Warm-up Exercises to Do Before Your Workout.
The more warm-up exercises you rotate into your golf fitness program the less tedious it will seem.
A good warm-up doesn’t have to last 30-minutes. Ten to fifteen minutes should be enough, especially if you follow the TMF golf fitness specific warm-up exercise tip discussed later in this post.
Importance of Warming Up
It shouldn’t be a surprise to you that warming up before a workout reduces the probability of injury, not only in a golf fitness program but before you hit golf balls at the range or on the golf course.
Warming up before working out will increase the rate of blood flow through the body. Providing more oxygen for the muscles.
It also increases muscle and connective tissue elasticity and prepares your central nervous system (CNS) for the exercises or actions that will follow.
Once the body is warm, you will be able to lift more weight and greatly reduce your risk of injury to your shoulders, elbows, and back.
The warm-up exercise routine also has some mental benefits and who doesn’t need those!
Once you start the warm-up you are not only sending a signal to your body to prepare for some physical activity but it will also prepare your CNS for activity.
During the warm-up, you should become mentally aware of each movement and feel the activation of the muscle groups in use.
Having a sensory feeling that a muscle group is firing or activating is very important.
You need this awareness during exercise, if you are working your hamstrings you need to know those muscles are active and being worked.
Awareness of which muscles are working will give you feedback that your form is most likely correct.
Your warm-up exercise routine prepares the body physically and mentally for the upcoming workout.
After your warm-up, your muscles should be warm and the joints should be able to move through a full range of motion without tightness or pain.
If there is pain – Stop!
General Warm-up Exercises
With the exercises in Six Warm-up Exercises to Do Before Your Workout and the ones described below, you will have more than enough exercises to mix it up on alternating days.
The more exercises you have the more interesting it will be and the less likely you will be to skip the warm-up.
At TMF, we also have a specific exercise warm-up procedure. It is described below, but the short of it is that I add an extra set, at 50% the weight at the beginning of each strength exercise.
The reason for this is given in the Specific Warm-up Exercise section below.
Banded Arm/Shoulder Stretches –
- Place a flat band – (not a resistance band – you can purchase them from Bodylastic at One Shop Golf) around your wrists.
- Stand to face the wall, place one foot in front of the other, so you are stable, doesn’t matter which foot.
- Place the palms of your hands on the wall (like you are being frisked by a cop), you should be leaning slightly forward but mostly upright.
- Spread your hands apart laterally at the 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock position so there is some tension on the bands.
- Keep your left hand planted on the wall as an anchor and move your right hand up to a 12:30 position stretching the band as much as you can.
- If arm moves too easily, then go to the next thicker rubber band.
- Continuously move your hand from the 12:30 position to the 3:00 position then to 5:30. Complete 8 reps.
- Then anchor the right hand at 3:00 and move the left to 11:30, 9:00, and 6:30 positions. Do this 8 times.
- Lunges are a good warm-up exercise if done slowly, smoothly, and without weights.
- Focus on getting a good stretch and hold the position at the bottom.
- Don’t force the movement, read this post on lunges Add Lunges to Your Golf Fitness Program.
Twisting Drop Lunges –
- These are similar to lunges except when you lunge with your right leg forward you also try to bring your right elbow inside your right leg and stretch it towards the ground by your left knee.
- Don’t worry about touching the ground but feel the stretch in your back and shoulder.
- Alternate legs for 8 reps each.
High Knees –
- A simple but effective exercise.
- Keep the toes on your plant foot straight, it is easy to point your toes out away from the imaginary center line.
- Your plant foot should be perpendicular to your shoulders.
- Focus on keeping your chest over your feet and lifting your knees as high as possible.
- Alternate each leg for 8 reps each.
- To add more benefit to the exercise, move your arms in an exaggerated sprinter motion.
Butt Kicks –
- No, not that kind of butt kick.
- Butts kicks are like running in place but with an exaggerated leg motion.
- Focus on quick leg movements, getting your foot back as high as you can.
- Try to touch the heel to your butt.
- Start in the pushup position.
- Move your right leg up towards the right hand and place the bottom of your foot flat on the floor.
- Move the leg back to the starting position and do the same with the left leg.
- Try to keep your back as straight as possible.
- If you can’t plant your foot flat on the floor near your hand, get it as close as you can and keep working at it!
Specific Warm-up Exercise
As mentioned previously, it is important to be able to feel the target muscle group activate during the exercise.
The specific warm-up exercise is designed for this purpose. In the TMF golf fitness program, most strength exercises include four sets.
The first set of each exercise is to be completed more deliberate and with less weight than the next three.
The purpose is to put the joints and muscles being used through the full range of motion with less stress, in essence, allowing them to warm-up.
Also, during the first set it is often difficult to feel if the target muscles are active, mostly because you are concentrating on the mechanics of the exercise but not feeling how the muscles are working.
If you are not paying attention, you will have completed half the reps before you realize your core isn’t activated, you’re not even sure the muscles the exercise is designed to strengthen are doing the lion’s share of the work.
The deliberate motion and lighter weight will allow you to recognize that the mechanics are correct and your form is up to par.
Basically, this first set allows the CNS an opportunity to recognize and activate the target muscle group.
When you increase the weight during the next 3 sets you know how it is supposed to feel.
This is the purpose of the specific warm-up exercise.
The importance of warming up muscles and ligaments prior to completing your golf fitness exercises is critical for the following reasons.
It allows the specific muscles used in the exercise to warm-up and for the CNS to recognize the activation of those muscles.
It also reduces the chance for injury and makes for a more efficient exercise routine.
The exercises in this article along with Six Warm-up Exercises to Do Before Your Workout will give you more than enough exercises to make your warm-up routine less tedious.
The Todd Marsh Fitness golf fitness program utilizes a 4 set exercise routine.
The first set is referred to as the specific warm-up exercise, where the exercise is completed in a more deliberate manner with less weight than the following three sets.