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The Importance of Warming Up Prior To Playing Golf

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Failure to warm up prior to a game of golf not only sets the golfer up for the possibility of physical injuries that might occur but could also affect one's’ game strategy. The mind, focus and concentration must all be on the game of golf. Visualization is a major part of this game and this skill is keener when ones’ confidence level is high. During a warm up one has the time to see how the game should and will be played on that day as well as ones’ expected performance for said game. It would seem that the designated time for warm up is also a practical time to visualize while warming the body up physically since in the game of golf everything should be established in the mind first before it occurs in the physical realm. It is important to be able to focus so as not to swing haphazardly causing injury. Dr Kevin Plancher (World Golf News, 2006) a New York City Orthopaedist discusses the demands golf places on the shoulders muscles, particularly the rotator cuff. His recommendation for the avid golfer is to partake in a weight training and exercise programme specifically to strengthen the shoulders muscles thus preventing injury. He recommends light weights, as this area is delicate and prone to injury. The recommended exercises to focus on to strengthen the shoulder area are the lateral fly and forward dumbbell raises. He also recommends walking, jogging or biking prior to golfing. On the other hand, Dr Plancher advises against the military press because of its awkward position and suggests substituting an incline press in its place. The key here again is to avoid injury.
The approach to a warm up varies depending on the golfer. There are a couple of things to consider. One, a golfer doesn’t want to warm up in excess but only enough to get the body flexible and prepared to stretch muscles without injury. This progressive movement gradually prepares the body for the physicality that will take place on the green throughout the game.
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