August 20, 2012

Which Method Of Warm Up Is Best For Golf?

Welcome to this weekly edition of Fitness for Golf newsletter.

Imagine….stepping up to that tee box and hitting a powerful explosive shot. Imagine each consecutive shot…played gracefully, consistently, and with elements of style and control. This newsletter is designed with the avid golfer in mind. Any golfer who seeks the truth in improvement and a basic understanding of the role the body plays in the golf swing. Join us each week as we explore the mystery of the swing and how to make it simple by creating strong, lean and powerful physiques guaranteed to change your game.

This week I’ve received lots of mail on which stretching methods are best prior to golf. So, by popular demand, I’m giving you the most current information available on stretching for golf.



Which method of warm up is best for golf?
Activity-Specific Warm-ups Help to Improve Performance

A number of recent studies have reported that static stretching during the warm up may actually decrease performance. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of static stretching on balance, reaction time, movement time and muscle force.

The experimental group performed static stretching following a 5-minute general warm up. The control group performed activities specific to the task following a general warm up. The researchers found that muscle force did not change, however static balance, reaction time and movement time improved in the controls and declined with static stretching in the experimental group.

This is significant since even small decreases in balance, reaction time, and movement speed can lead to serious consequences for older adults and make the difference between winning and losing for athletes. This study would indicate that a general warm up followed by task specific activities rather than static stretching would be more beneficial for improving performance.

So, does this mean we should not perform static stretching? No. It simply means there is a time and place for everything and the time to sit and hold a stretch (static) is not just before a round but rather in the evening or throughout the day when your body is warm. Dynamic stretching keeps the body in a constant state of movement and is the preferred stretching method of golfers used just prior to tee off.

If there is still any confusion here, just visit the website,, and there will be specific directions on how to stretch and when. (sorry, this is available to members only)

Behm, David et al. Effect of Acute Static Stretching on Force, Balance, Reaction
Time and Movement Time. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. 36 (8),
1397-1402, 2004.



Questions and Answers at Fitness for Golf (please send questions to

Question: What do you think about Pilates or Yoga for Golf? Is it a fad or is there something to it?

Answer: I have seen both criticism and praise for both of these methods for golf. Both sides have merit in my opinion. Each of these disciplines use effective methods of core engagement and flexibility enhancement. Any time you can increase the flexibility of a golfer, it is a good thing. However, among well respected sports and conditioning specialists there is a common saying…”train slow, be slow”. So, when a sport calls for any speed, as in golf, many trainers discourage an overabundance of slow movements as in Yoga and Pilates. If we put things in their proper perspective, then understand that Yoga and Pilates, are great assets to your training protocol. However, it is best to have it integrated in to a fully functional golf conditioning program like Fitness for Golf where speed is an important component of our programs. In the future, you will see contributing articles on our site from both of these disciplines.



Fitness for Golf Announcements
Be sure to check out our latest interview for the month of September. This month we are featuring Tracy Reed, a Golf Biomechanic, out of Jacksonville, FL. He does an excellent job of helping golfers understand the mechanics of the golf swing. I’ve heard great things from his followers about his unique ability to communicate and breakdown the swing into its essential elements. Let’s send him, as well as our other friends, family and fellow golfers some good thoughts as hurricane Ivan sweeps through the area. Hang in there, Tracy! I also have a really fun interview in store for next month. All I can say is…he is the best in America in his golf niche and he’s got some amazing stories to tell. Stay tuned for next month’s feature.



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