Golfer Warmup

By: Brandon Bates, PT

Before we get started with our warm up, I just wanted to make sure everyone’s staying safe out there with everything that’s going on. We’re doing our best at the clinic to be available to everyone, so if there’s anything that we can help you with at all please reach out! We are answering our phone and will call you back if you leave a message. You can email the clinic as well. We are doing online video sessions and have a free consultation if you want to try the sessions out to make sure they’re right for you. Any one of us would be more than willing to answer a few questions for you over the phone as well.

This video is primarily going to be a warm up video for golfers that can be done on the range, however this can be done for any rotational athlete before any game setting. Ultimate frisbee, baseball, any track and field athlete, tennis, a lot of sports are rotational. So this is a great warmup for anybody. I’m still in a little bit of recovery here so I am going to be showing a lot of these exercises only on one side of my body, however, you do want to do all of these on both sides.

With golf, it’s super important to warm up the neck. This is very crucial and gets overlooked a lot of the time. If you have a stiff neck you can’t rotate, so you’re not going to be able to get very deep in your backswing. You will also have a tough time keeping your head down as you rotate your shoulders through the impact zone. So this is very important. This first exercise is called neck circles or neck CARs (controlled articular rotations). It’s very important that you keep your jaw closed and together throughout this whole exercise. We’re going to do three rotations to each side. You’re going to start by bringing your chin down towards your chest, and then just follow along with me. You might find that the first circle is a little small – you want to try and get a little bit bigger with each circle. If you find three isn’t quite enough, feel free to do five to ten. Then go the other way. Don’t rush the circles, you want to feel the motion. Where you have a little bit of tightness is where you want to spend the most time in that circle.

The next exercise we’re going to do is called a Spider Man lunge with thoracic rotation. This is going to be one of the exercises I only show on the one side. You’re going to keep your back leg totally straight – you should feel a nice stretch through the front of your hip, through your hip flexor. Then you’re going to sink into your lead hip. This will help warm up the hips and get some separation through our upper and lower body. Your back leg is going to try and remain as straight as you can, then you’re going to try and bring your elbow down towards the ground. You should feel a nice stretch through this lead hip around your glute area. Hold here for about two or three seconds, then rotate up toward the sky as far as you can, looking where you’re going. We’re going to do five of these on both sides. Try and get a little bit further with each rotation. This is really going to help us get some lower and upper body separation for hitting the golf ball.

The next exercise we’re going to do involves our club. This is to warm up that T spine, get us a little bit deeper into our backswing and follow through. We’re going to put the club at the top of our shoulders, not up high on your neck, just rest it at the top of your shoulders. You don’t need a ton of tension through the club. You’re going to take your golf posture, then rotate into your backswing as far as you can. You want to make sure you’re not rotating the club, there should be a little bit of an angle. As you rotate you’re going to side bend to the right. Rotate until you feel your end position, then squeeze and try to side bend. I’m side bending to the right. Come back, and then rotate a little bit deeper. You should be able to rotate further each time. Side bend again, come on back, then rotate a little bit further. We’re going to do three on this side. We just went into the backswing for right handed golfers; for left handed golfers that would be going into the follow through. Now we’re going to go the other way, side bend to the left. We’re side bending towards the shoulder that’s highest, coming down, rotating a bit further, side flex, and further. We’re going to do three in each direction. If this feels really stiff do two sets of that one.

This next exercise is called a stork turn after the bird that it looks like. You’re going to be on one leg with your other foot resting on the back of your leg. I’m only going to show you this one on the right side, however, you do want to do these on both sides. You’re going to place your club across your chest, across your shoulders. This is to help give you guys awareness as to what the shoulders are doing. So we’re wanting to create some separation with our lower body from our upper body. Super important in the golf swing. So you’re going to try and rotate on this lead leg, and you’re going to try and get your hips as open – so I’m working on getting my hips as open to the camera as I can while keeping my shoulders square, so I’m not opening up my shoulders as well, ok? We’re going to try and stay in that golf posture as well. So rotating, and this is quite challenging depending on your hip mobility. And we’re going to do five of these each direction. Should feel a nice little stretch through this front side. Ok. If that is challenging, which it is just to hold your balance makes that challenging, got another one for you. Remember we do that both directions.

So, obviously being a right handed golfer, I’m going to start going down to my follow through, however I would want to do this both directions. So you take your setup position, club is on the ground, you’re in a golf posture. You’re going to think about opening up and going through impact as you open this lead leg, and try and keep your shoulders straight towards the target line. So same thing, we’re opening up our hips, shoulders are staying square. This is really good to create some separation, ok? Make sure those shoulders don’t turn, so they’re staying square, it’s just the upper body, we’re trying to get that belly button down to the target line as much as we can. And again, about five of those both directions, ok?

Next what we’re going to do is just a little bit of a dynamic hip movement to get those glutes engaged as well as your core. So we’re going to start with a single leg RDL. We’re going to go into an airplane and internal rotation on that hip, external rotation on that hip, and then we’re going to come up into a march position. Trying to get that hip underneath you, so squeezing the glue, extending through that hip, engaging your core. So this is what it’ll look like. We’re going to do three reps of this on both sides, ok? So we’re going to do our RDL to start off with, ok? Should feel some tension through glue, hamstring. We’re going to go ahead and internally rotate on this hip, ok? Try and stay stabilized. Then we’re going to come into some external rotation on this hip. Should feel the hips really opening up here. Come back down into our RDL, then from here we’re going to come up, squeezing that stance leg glute, ok? Trying to drive through that hip. Core’s engaged within the drive, ok. Back down again, into our RDL, rotation, should really feel that hip working. Rotation, up, and then into the hip drive. Ok. Little modification for that one guys – grab your club, just use it for balance, ok? It’s really hard just to balance on your legs, so if you’re having trouble just with the balance, you put your club on the ground, right, use it as almost a cane to give you a little extra help.

Last but not least, we’re going to just warm up our wrists a little bit as well. Super important, I have a lot of my golfers coming to me with tennis elbow or golfer’s elbow. So obviously the further we hold this golf club from the head, it’s going to be more weight. So this will make this exercise easier, this would make it more difficult. Ok? So pick what feels right to you, we don’t want to create any strains before we get going, this is just to warm up the wrist. Make sure this elbow stays tucked to your side, so I don’t want to see it coming off like that, ok? So it stays nice and tucked. We’re going to do ten both ways. So twenty total. And you want to do that on both sides. Right, make sure that elbow doesn’t leave your side. Nice and controlled, ok?

Good! So that’s your warmup. Do this on the range guys, super easy to do it, you don’t really need any equipment other than a golf club, ok? This not only gets you prepped to hit a golf ball which can give you a lot of performance benefits of getting a little bit deeper in that backswing, being able to hit the ball with a lot more power, it’s also going to reduce the risk of injury. So let me know if you guys enjoy the video, we’ll have a lot more for you coming.