Re-thinking your warmup routine

By Golf Fitness MagazineOctober 13, 2009, 10:09 pm

By Kai Fusser, M.S. with Karen Palacios-Jansen

What does your warm up routine look like before you make your first swing of the day? Do you get out of their car, drive a cart to the range, do a couple of static stretches and think you are good to go? This type of warm-up has been around for so long, and is ingrained in almost every golfer’s head, as to imply it is the only way to get ready to play. What golfers don’t realize is that the golf swing is a violent movement that is not natural and takes a high degree of coordination. Doing static stretches before you play has no benefit and could even harm you if you stretch “cold” ligaments and tendons.

There is no evidence that stretching will prevent injury or improve performance, but there is evidence that a dynamic warm up, that includes some cardiovascular and resistance exercises, before you play can reduce risk of injury and enhance your performance. As the Director of Fitness at the ANNIKA Academy, I work with numerous tour players including Annika Sorenstam. When she played on tour, many times she would do a full workout in the morning before her round as part of her pre-round routine. She felt that these workouts would help her relax, take of the edge off and get her mind in tune with her body. Keep in mind that she spent years conditioning her body, but the point is you should spend time warming up before a round. Warming up will increase the body’s core temperature loosening up muscles making them elastic, supple and pliable.

Most high-handicap players, because of their low efficiency movements, spend up to 95 percent of their total energy output on a swing with very poor results. A dynamic warm up will not only “wake up” the body’s nervous system, but also prepare it for the high demand movements required to make it more efficient, so you don’t have to work so hard to make a good swing. If you have been accepting the “norm” of static stretching before you play, then it is time to re-think your pre-round routine.

A proper warm up does not need to take a tremendous amount of time. Four to five minutes will do the trick. Try this basic warm up routine; demonstrated by one of my student’s LPGA Tour player Sandra Gal, the next time you play. It will not only loosen your body up to swing more efficiently, but this routine will get you into a good frame of mind to start your round out right.

Rethink your warm up routine Sandra GalJump Rope –
Jumping rope can be done anywhere and is an excellent way to warm up the entire body within a few minutes. It will also stimulate your nervous system that is the connection between your mind, hands and feet. Jump rope for one to three minutes.

Jumping Jacks –
Jumping Jacks are also an efficient way to warm up the body as well. Performing jumping jacks require coordination helping you hone your motor skills. Perform 10 to 15 repetitions. 
Rethink your warm up routine Sandra Gal

Rethink your warm up routine Sandra Gal

Shoulder Rotations –

Simple shoulder rotations will help you warm up your body and help you increase your shoulder turn in the golf swing. Keeping your arms and shoulders relaxed; engage your core muscles as you rotate. Minimize lateral movement by thinking you are rotating inside of a cylinder. Do 12-15 repetitions.

Rethink your warm up routine Sandra Gal
Standing Lunge with Rotation –

Performing a standing lunge with rotation will wake up your gluteus muscles, test your balance and warm up your spine. Again, maintain a relaxed upper body as you engage your core muscles. Maintain your front knee bent at a 90-degree angle. Perform 6-8 rotations on each leg.

Rethink your warm up routine Sandra Gal

Push Ups –

Push ups, although not thought of, as a warm up exercise, is a great exercise to create a solid connection between your hands and feet enabling you create a solid foundation for your swing. Feel that your abdominals pull the body up into position as you push up. Perform 6-10 repetitions.

Kai Fusser, M.S. is Director of Fitness at the ANNIKA Academy in Reunion, Florida. For more information visit Special thanks to our model LPGA Tour Professional Sandra Gal. Gal had her best LPGA finish this year at the Corning Classic finishing T-5

EDITORS NOTE: Golf Fitness Magazine is the only national consumer publication dedicated to golf-specific fitness, mental focus, and improving ability, performance and health among all golfers. Our priority is to maximize your potential, lower your scores, reduce your risk of injury, and extend your golfing years. Each issue has departments dedicated to men, women, seniors, and juniors along with tips, advice and simple exercise routines from GFM’s team of experts. If you want to improve your golf game, and hit the ball farther, click here for special offers on a subscription so you can have all this and more in-depth advice delivered right to you! Get cutting edge fitness & mental tips sent to your inbox each month with our FREE golf performance eNewsletter, Shape Your Game. To contact our Senior Editor, Publisher or Online Editor with questions or comments, please visit our web site for more information.

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Monty grabs lead entering final round in season-opener

By Associated PressJanuary 20, 2018, 4:00 am

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii – Colin Montgomerie shot a second straight 7-under 65 to take a two-shot lead into the final round of the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

The 54-year-old Scot, a six-time winner on the over-50 tour, didn't miss a fairway on Friday and made five birdies on the back nine to reach 14 under at Hualalai.

Montgomerie has made 17 birdies through 36 holes and said he will have to continue cashing in on his opportunities.

''We know that I've got to score something similar to what I've done – 66, 67, something like that, at least,'' Montgomerie said. ''You know the competition out here is so strong that if you do play away from the pins, you'll get run over. It's tough, but hey, it's great.''

Full-field scores from the Mitsubishi Electric Championship

First-round co-leaders Gene Sauers and Jerry Kelly each shot 68 and were 12 under.

''I hit the ball really well. You know, all the putts that dropped yesterday didn't drop today,'' Kelly said. ''I was just short and burning edges. It was good putting again. They just didn't go in.''

David Toms was three shots back after a 66. Woody Austin, Mark Calcavecchia and Doug Garwood each shot 67 and were another shot behind.

Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was six shots back after a 67.

The limited-field tournament on Hawaii's Big Island includes last season's winners, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

''We've enjoyed ourselves thoroughly here,'' Montgomerie said. ''It's just a dramatic spot, isn't it? If you don't like this, well, I'm sorry, take a good look in the mirror, you know?''

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The missing link: Advice from successful tour pros

By Phil BlackmarJanuary 20, 2018, 1:24 am

Today’s topic is significant in that it underscores the direction golf is headed, a direction that has me a little concerned.

Now, more than ever, it has become the norm for PGA Tour players to put together a team to assist in all aspects of their career. These teams can typically include the player’s swing coach, mental coach, manager, workout specialist, dietician, physical therapist, short-game guru, doctor, accountant, nanny and wife. Though it often concerns me the player may be missing out when others are making decisions for them, that is not the topic.

I want to talk about what most players seem to be inexplicably leaving off their teams.

One of the things that separates great players from the rest of the pack – other than talent – is the great player’s ability to routinely stay comfortable and play with focus and clarity in all situations. Though innate to many, this skill is trainable and can be learned. Don’t get too excited, the details of such a plan are too long and more suited for a book than the short confines of this article.

So, if that aspect of the game is so important, where is the representative on the player’s team who has stood on the 18th tee with everything on the line? Where is the representative on the team who has experienced, over and over, what the player will be experiencing? In other words, where is the successful former tour player on the team?

You look to tennis and many players have such a person on their team. These teacher/mentors include the likes of Boris Becker, Ivan Lendl, Jimmy Connors and Brad Gilbert. Why is it not the norm in golf?

Sure, a few players have sought out the advice of Jack Nicklaus, but he’s not part of a team. The teaching ranks also include some former players like Butch Harmon and a few others. But how many teams include a player who has contended in a major, let alone won one or more?

I’m not here to argue the value and knowledge of all the other coaches who make up a player’s team. But how can the value of a successful tour professional be overlooked? If I’m going to ask someone what I should do in various situations on the course, I would prefer to include the experienced knowledge of players who have been there themselves.

This leads me to the second part of today’s message. Is there a need for the professional players to mix with professional teachers to deliver the best and most comprehensive teaching philosophy to average players? I feel there is.

Most lessons are concerned with changing the student’s swing. Often, this is done with little regard for how it feels to the student because the teacher believes the information is correct and more important than the “feels” of the student. “Stick with it until it’s comfortable” is often the message. This directive methodology was put on Twitter for public consumption a short time back:

On the other hand, the professional player is an expert at making a score and understands the intangible side of the game. The intangible side says: “Mechanics cannot stand alone in making a good player.” The intangible side understands “people feel things differently”; ask Jim Furyk to swing like Dustin Johnson, or vice versa. This means something that looks good to us may not feel right to someone else.

The intangible side lets us know that mechanics and feels must walk together in order for the player to succeed. From Ben Hogan’s book:

“What I have learned I have learned by laborious trial and error, watching a good player do something that looked right to me, stumbling across something that felt right to me, experimenting with that something to see if it helped or hindered, adopting it if it helped, refining it sometimes, discarding it if it didn’t help, sometimes discarding it later if it proved undependable in competition, experimenting continually with new ideas and old ideas and all manner of variations until I arrived at a set of fundamentals that appeared to me to be right because they accomplished a very definite purpose, a set of fundamentals which proved to me they were right because they stood up and produced under all kinds of pressure.”

Hogan beautifully described the learning process that could develop the swings of great players like DJ, Furyk, Lee Trevino, Jordan Spieth, Nicklaus, etc.

Bob Toski is still teaching. Steve Elkington is helping to bring us the insight of Jackie Burke. Hal Sutton has a beautiful teaching facility outside of Houston. And so on. Just like mechanics and feels, it’s not either-or – the best message comes from both teachers and players.

Lately, it seems the scale has swung more to one side; let us not forget the value of insights brought to us by the players who have best mastered the game.

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Woods, Rahm, Rickie, J-Day headline Torrey field

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 20, 2018, 12:47 am

Tiger Woods is set to make his 2018 debut.

Woods is still part of the final field list for next week’s Farmers Insurance Open, the headliner of a tournament that includes defending champion Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama, Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, Phil Mickelson and Jason Day.

In all, 12 of the top 26 players in the world are teeing it up at Torrey Pines.

Though Woods has won eight times at Torrey Pines, he hasn’t broken 71 in his past seven rounds there and hasn’t played all four rounds since 2013, when he won. Last year he missed the cut after rounds of 76-72, then lasted just one round in Dubai before he withdrew with back spasms.

After a fourth back surgery, Woods didn’t return to competition until last month’s Hero World Challenge, where he tied for ninth. 

Woods has committed to play both the Farmers Insurance Open and next month's Genesis Open at Riviera, which benefits his foundation. 

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Even on 'off' day, Rahm shoots 67 at CareerBuilder

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 20, 2018, 12:36 am

Jon Rahm didn’t strike the ball as purely Friday as he did during his opening round at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

He still managed a 5-under 67 that put him just one shot off the lead heading into the weekend.

“I expected myself to go to the range (this morning) and keep flushing everything like I did yesterday,” said Rahm, who shot a career-low 62 at La Quinta on Thursday. “Everything was just a little bit off. It was just one of those days.”

Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

After going bogey-free on Thursday, Rahm mixed four birdies and two bogeys over his opening six holes. He managed to settle down around the turn, then made two birdies on his final three holes to move within one shot of Andrew Landry (65).

Rahm has missed only five greens through two rounds and sits at 15-under 129. 

The 23-year-old Spaniard won in Dubai to end the year and opened 2018 with a runner-up finish at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. He needs a top-6 finish or better this week to supplant Jordan Spieth as the No. 2 player in the world.