The Loop

Fitness Friday: New Year's Resolution-Warm Up Before You Play

January 03, 2013

__ I'll admit it. There are times when I walk straight out to the first tee, peg a ball, and swing away without even thinking of warming up my body. I tell myself that it's no big deal since I work out five to seven times a week and my body can handle the rigors of one round without prepping my muscles. That's actually true. For one round; or maybe 10; or even an entire season of golf, you can get away without warming up before you play.

But mark my words. Sooner or later, there will come a day when you take a rip at a ball in deep rough or try to blast one out of a bunker and you're going to hear a pop/rip/insert bad sound here noise. Injury is inevitable if you don't warm up your muscles before an activity like golf. That's why I'm asking, once again, for you to consider adding a pre-round warm-up to your game plan.

I realize many of you don't want to devote another 15-30 minutes to an activity that already takes too long. I understand. There are movement-prep exercises such as the "World's Greatest Stretch" (click here for a video demonstration) that can help you prime your body for golf in as little as a few minutes.

Short warm-ups are far better than doing nothing. Earlier this week, I spoke with one of the most flexible players on the PGA Tour--Kyle Stanley--about his pre-round stretching routine. Stanley agrees that most people, including himself, aren't going to spend a whole lot of time warming up before a round. That's why he likes priming his muscles with exercises that hit several parts of the body at once.

Click on the video below to see Stanley demonstrate his favorite multi-purpose stretch. This movement primes the hamstrings, mid-back, hips and shoulders. Do this when you play and you'll at least fulfill one resolution this year.

Ron Kaspriske is the fitness editor for Golf Digest