5 Minute Golf Warm-Up You Can Do at the Tee Box

With Summer winding down, there is still time to get some golf in!  Whether hitting the driving range or getting in a solid 18 holes, staying healthy and preventing injuries is essential.

Most golfers know it’s beneficial to warm up, but when they pull up in their car, check in at the pro shop and hurry to the first tee, they barely have time to do a few practice swings.  It usually takes a few holes to get warmed up; unfortunately, their score may already be ruined by then.

Ideally, we would spend about an hour warming up before a round, beginning with 10 to 20 minutes of low-intensity activity such as brisk walking or jogging.  After that, some dynamic stretching, followed by a golf-specific warm-up, such as practicing swings and putts.

However, what can we do if we haven’t left enough time to do all that before tee time?

Here is a warm-up routine that can be done on the course in 5 minutes to get the most bang for your buck in terms of injury prevention and improving your golf game.

Man golfing
Stretching with golf club over his head

#1: Back Rotations

The back is a commonly injured area of the body with golf.

Think about it: we’re taking the spine to full rotation in both directions, then adding speed and load.

Here is one way to warm up for this movement safely:

  • Grab a driver in both hands, and start standing with feet shoulder-width or slightly wider apart.
  • Bend at the knees slightly and slowly rotate through your spine back and forth, keeping your legs and hips pointing forward.
  • If this feels ok, hinge forward at the hips and repeat.
  • Do at least five rotations per direction, take a break, and go through a second set to get a little more movement and add more speed, as long as it feels safe.

#2: The Overhead Squat

Getting the lower body warmed up is vital to be at your best for your golf game.  The squat is an excellent way to do this.

Here is an exercise that you can do using a golf club that will also begin to stretch out and open up your shoulders.  

  • Hold a golf club (palms down, wider than shoulder-width)
  • lift it above your head with straight arms
  • Hold as you squat, keeping your abdominals engaged and your back straight
  • Complete at least ten repetitions

#3: The Lunge Stretch

Once you’re warm, you can begin more dynamic stretching throughout your body.  Here is one exercise that stretches both the trunk and the hamstrings:

  • Lunge forward with the left leg, then lean to the left with arms overhead.
  • Next, step back so that the left leg is now behind
  • Keeping a straight right knee with toes pulled back, bend forward and touch your right foot.
  • Complete five repetitions on each side, and do two sets if you have time.

#4: Key Shoulder Stretches

Shoulder mobility is crucial both for injury prevention as well as for having a solid and efficient swing.  Try this stretch for your deltoids:

  • Relax your shoulders.
  • Reach one arm across your body, using your other arm or wrist to hold it gently by your upper arm.
  • Slowly begin to pull your arm toward your chest, as far as possible, allowing the stretch to reach deep into the back of your shoulder.
  • Pause, breathing deeply into the stretch. Hold for at least 30 seconds.
  • Release and repeat with the other arm.

Check out this video showing a stretch for your triceps and lats:

Hold each for 20-30 seconds.

Once you’ve completed these exercises, you’re ready to do a few practice swings and confidently walk up to the first tee. Your body is ready to perform and less susceptible to injury.

Here’s to a happy and healthy golf season!

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