Charles Schwab Challenge

Colonial Country Club


Here's a pre-round warm-up you'll actually do


Prasit photo

The two biggest issues golfers have with doing any kind of pre-round warm-up are (1) Some stretches look ridiculous or are impractical; (2) It takes away valuable time from hitting balls or some other pre-round prep.

We get it. So does Darin Hovis, one of Golf Digest's 50 Best Fitness Trainers in America. Hovis says a pre-round routine to get ready for 18 holes doesn't haven't to be complicated or elaborate. In fact, you can prime your body in a very short amount of time, without looking silly while doing it.

"Muscle activation, improvement in range of motion, waking the body up from the car ride over to the course, those are just some of the benefits," says Hovis, a Golf Digest Certified Fitness Trainer. Hovis, who trains in Naples, Fla. at Par4Fitness, says if you can spend a minute or two on these four moves, you're going to be a lot better off than if you don't.


(1) Separation lunge (above): "Start with the left palm facing up and the right palm facing down. Perform a reverse lunge with the right leg moving back. Rotate to the left as you lunge, and use the club to create as much shoulder motion as possible. This creates maximal separation between the upper and lower body. Repeat in the opposite direction," Hovis says.


(2) Shoulder rotations (above): "In your golf stance, move one arm overhead as if you’re scratching your back. The other arm will move behind you as if you are tucking in your shirt. The goal of this warm-up exercise is to create as big of an arc as possible as the shoulders move through maximal external and internal rotation."


(3) Hip/torso transitions (above): Begin with the golf club high across your shoulders. Move into your backswing. Once at the top, try to keep your upper body completely still as your lower body rotates in the opposite direction. You are only looking for a few degrees of separation, but this is a great exercise to reinforce your transition. Repeat in the opposite direction for a challenge."


(4) Palms-up club raises (above): "The goal of this last warm-up exercise is to maintain your golf stance spine angle as your arms move overhead. Both palms are facing up with the golf club in hand. This position allows for more overhead motion without the risk of impinging the shoulder. Now you’re ready for practice or play!"

To see the entire routine in motion, watch Hovis in the video below.