Do you remember in gym class when you had to spend the first 10 minutes doing those annoying stretches where you bent over and touched your toes for 30 seconds?
Well it turns out that it might have been a complete waste of time, and didn’t do anything to prevent injury or warm you up for that game of dodgeball.
The fitness community has been moving away from static stretching before any kind of physical activity, simply because it’s not an effective warm up, and has ultimately not proven to have any of the benefits that we once thought it had.
In fact, many studies have shown that static stretching before performing a movement like the golf swing might even be harmful to your short-term performance.
In 2011 a review of almost 4500 studies concluded that there was “overwhelming evidence that stretch durations of 30-45 seconds…impaired no significant effect.”
Here is a link to a great article, which summarizes a lot of the research for those who are interested in learning more.
In light of these discoveries, most trainers are moving towards dynamic warm ups because they are a more effective signal to your body that it should “wake up” for a pending physical activity.
I recently had a conversation for an upcoming project on the site with Kai Fusser, one of the top golf fitness instructors. He is a firm believer that if you want to help prevent injury and get your body properly prepared for a round of golf, then you need to be doing dynamic warm ups.
So that begs the question…
What is a dynamic warm up?
Dynamic warm ups can be defined as “a series of movement designed to increase body temperature, activate the nervous system, increase range of motion, and correct limitations.”
Dynamic warm ups get your heart beating faster, and get your body ready for whatever activity is ahead. It could be as simple as walking briskly, doing some jumping jacks, or jumping rope.
The golf swing is a powerful, athletic movement and many golfers suffer injuries because they go out on the course without getting their muscles and joints ready beforehand. If you’re doing a few brief static stretches it’s probably not doing anything to help you get properly prepared.
Here are a few examples of dynamic stretches that can be performed before your round of golf (through the magic of animated gifs). Check this article out for a few more examples.
Tour veteran Miguel Angel Jiminez has become legendary for his pre-round sessions, and you could safely say these are interesting dynamic warm ups!
If you’re not into that…
Some golfers don’t have the time or desire to do these kinds of stretches when they get to the course, which is why a product like the Orange Whip has become so popular amongst recreational golfers and the pros.
If you go to many courses you’ll see people using it before the round. This is an example of an effective dynamic warm up. The Whip’s weight and flexibility is perfect for preparing your body for the golf move that you are going to be performing on the course.
If you’re someone who doesn’t have much time before a round, you can get a good warm up with the Orange Whip in about 5-10 minutes. Many golfers struggle on the earlier holes in a round because they quickly show up to the first tee without having done any kind of physical activity beforehand.
Check out this video from Martin Chuck for some ideas:
I have been using the Orange Whip for over a year now, and it’s an incredibly versatile product that can help with your swing, strength, and a pre-round warm up. It’s not a complete surprise that you routinely see it in the bags of the top players and teachers in the world.