10 Minutes To An Improved Swing Speed
Ok let’s take a snapshot of what Saturday morning looks like for us golfers. Tee time is at 8:00 am, we’ve been working all week sitting at our desks. We’ve rushed to the course to meet the crew, we’re stiff, tired and haven’t swung a club all week. Now, we have a few options. Should we just slam a few drivers and get out there? That sounds like…a plan. But what does this usually get us? A choppy front 9 until we’re ‘warmed up’ right?
Studies have shown that consistent warm up over a 5 week period before and after golf sessions can increase swing speed around 24%
What if I told you we only need an additional 10 mins at the course to get our bodies loose and our brain ready to fire those muscles properly? Studies have shown that golfers who spend at least 10 minutes warming up were less likely to report an injury than those who did not (Gosehger et al). When asked, 38% of golfers contribute a lack of warming up to their golf related injury (Azielah et al).
Usually I meet people that would like to warm up before a round, but are at a loss about what exactly to do. This lack of preparation puts us at risk for injury while we’re trying to have fun with our friends out on the links. Getting your mobility and muscles firing before a round puts us at a huge advantage on the course! We’ll swing with better tempo, hit more consistently, and most of all reduce our risk of injury.
The secret to having your best round of golf resides in not wasting energy when you swing. That means, all the energy you put into your backswing gets transferred into the golf ball allowing it to propel longer distances with better accuracy. If your muscles or joints are not properly ready to maintain alignment while swinging, then energy will leak into areas it’s not supposed to be. These leaks often lead to slices, hooks, strains/sprains and sore backs instead of a lower handicap. It has been found that a dynamic warm up resulted in straighter swings compared to no warm ups (Moran et al). Sorbie et al. also found that players were hitting greater distances with dynamic warm ups compared to static stretches. What does this all mean? Having a full body dynamic warm up is effective in reducing your risk of injury and performing better. The advantages to warming up for a short period of time are just too awesome to say no to!
The big players in the golf swing are our mid back, hips, shoulders and our abdominal muscles. We want our hips, shoulders and mid-back loose along with an active core and rotator cuff to rip those drivers down the middle! Being a physical therapist that has treated countless avoidable golf injuries, I am making it my goal to change the way golfers treat their bodies before and after play.
Along with my colleagues, we at Catalyst have compiled our favorite warm up drills that do not require much equipment and can be done before any hitting takes place. Click here to download Catalyst Golf Warm Up Guide that illustrates these drills and explains how to get the most important areas of your body ready for action. This warm-up with suggested reps and sets should take you around 10 minutes to complete. They are simple, and easily done with a bench at the course before you tee off. For entertainment purposes, I highly suggest you do these while watching the group ahead of you look for their ‘breakfast balls’ in the woods. That makes for some rewarding entertainment.
All I ask in return for this free guide is that you provide us with feedback and share the love with anyone you want to remain your golf partner for the long haul. Of course this is just a starting point for most people and true golf success/longevity comes in understanding how your body is different from everyone else. If you would like to gain a better understanding of your weak spots that lead to energy leaks in the golf swing, I’d love to help. Our one hour full-body athlete performance screen (include link) can make all the difference when it comes to individualized corrective exercise prescription and dialed in biomechanics.
Here’s to your longevity on the course, lower handicaps and future fun out playing the best sport ever invented!
ANDREW WILSON DPT, CAFS
Azeielah, A, Ajau D, Mohamed G, Khairil A. Prevalence of golf-related injuries among recreational golfers: a preliminary finding. Healthscope. 2021. Vol 4(1): 60-65
Ehlert A, Wilson P. A systematic review of golf warm-ups: Behaviours, injury and performance
Fradkin A, Sherma C, Finch C Improving golf performance with a warm up conditioning programme. Br J Sports Med, 2004 38, 762-765.
Fradkin AJ, Finch CF, Sherman CA. Warm-up attitudes and behaviours of amateur golfers. J Sci Med Sport 6: 210–215, 2003.
Gosheger G, Liem D, Ludwig K, Greshake O, Winkelmann W. Injuries and overuse syndromes in golf. Am J Sports Med 31: 438–443, 2003.
Moran KA, McGrath T, Marshall BM, Wallace ES. Dynamic stretching and golf swing performance. Int J Sports Med 30: 113–118, 2009.
Sorbie G, Baker J, Gu Y, Ugbolue C. The effect of dynamic and static stretching on golf driving performanceInt J Sports Exerc Med 2016, 2:035