In previous issues, we have talked about the importance of warming up and preparing the body before playing. As for the warm-up – which I like to call “body preparation” – I divide it into two parts: mobility and activation.
The first covers mobility exercises to prepare the muscular and joint structures, emphasising weak links (each player’s limitations and/or restrictions). These exercises allow us to increase the range of our mobility and in turn prevent injuries. This part could best be defined as "preparation of the body to move”.
The second part is activation. After mobility exercises (which we select individually), we move on to activation exercises, because to play golf we need our nervous and muscular systems to act quickly and dynamically. Let's not forget that, in completing a swing, more than 120 muscles are mobilised in approximately one second, so they have to act in a highly coordinated manner. That is why prior activation is vitally important. I would define this part as “preparation of the body to act and react”.
Many players use the first few holes to activate, and this is a mistake. You only need a golf club, as you can see here, or some elastic bands that you can keep in your bag to achieve complete physical and mental activation. If you have never tried this, I encourage you to give it a go: you will see how your physical and mental predisposition changes from the first hole.
Here are some exercises with a club. There are many more, but remember that these will depend on each player. Adapting them to your specific characteristics is the key to a successful pre-golf activation.
“Squat Heels Stability”: In a standing position, with your feet separated more than the width of your hips, and the heels elevated (stability), extend your arms while holding the club above your head. From that position, lower your arms in an energetic way (advanced level – jumping) and finish in a squat position plus rotation of the torso, maintaining your gaze and pelvis facing forward. Do this on both sides.
“Lateral Squat Heels Stability”: In a standing position, with your feet closer together than in the previous exercise, extend the club above your head. From there, perform a lateral step and lateral squat (emphasis on the adductors), plus a rotation of the torso, maintaining your gaze and pelvis facing forward. From there, return to the starting position and repeat – both sides.
“Split Jump Stability”: From the lunge position (split), holding the club in front of you at chest height, perform a leg change (advanced medium level – jumping) and in turn rotate the torso while holding the club firmly, keeping your head forward and your body as stable as possible. Repetitions according to each player.
“Lateral Jumps Swing”: Hold the club with both hands and perform lateral jumps on one leg (beginners – Paris laterals), while performing a rotation of the torso and lifting the club as in a backswing. Keep your head forward and your body as stable as possible when landing on the ground.