Golf may not seem like an overly strenuous sport, but spending 4+ hours twisting, turning, and swinging a club can certainly take its toll on your body. That’s why having an effective dynamic stretching and warmup routine before you play is critical for staying injury-free and improving flexibility and distance. Here are some of the best stretches and warmups every golfer should incorporate.

Shoulder Stretches

Since the shoulder initiates the golf swing and experiences a lot of stress from repetitive swinging, focusing on opening up and loosening the shoulders is key. Here are two great stretches:

  • Behind the Back Stretch – Grab one arm behind your back and gently pull to stretch the shoulder. Hold for 30 seconds then switch arms and repeat.
  • Across Body Shoulder Stretch – Take your right arm across your chest and hold it in place with your left hand, stretching the back right shoulder. Hold for 30 seconds then switch sides.

Wrist and Forearm Stretches

A tight grip and snapping the club through impact puts substantial pressure on the wrists and forearms. Make sure to stretch these areas out before hitting the course:

  • Wrist Flexor Stretch – Extend one arm straight out with palm up. Grab the fingers of the extended hand and gently pull back, stretching the wrist flexors. Repeat on both sides for 30 seconds.
  • Forearm Stretch – Straighten one arm directly in front of you. Grab the fingers with your other hand and bend the wrist back slowly until you feel tension, taking care not to overextend. Hold for 30 seconds then switch arms.

Back Twists

Rotating the torso properly against the hips is critical for generating club head speed and protecting the lower back. Do 8-10 slow, controlled twists to each side to open up the spine and improve mobility:

  • Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, extend arms straight out to sides. Twist upper body slowly to the right without rotating hips or legs, feeling the stretch up your left side. Come back to center and twist to your left.

Hip Flexor and Glutes Stretch

Tight hip flexors and glutes not only restrict your ability to achieve a full shoulder turn in the backswing but also reduce the separation between upper and lower body in the downswing. Make sure to open up these areas:

  • Low Lunge With Back Knee Down Stretch – From low lunge position, shift weight onto your front leg. Lower back knee all the way down to stretch hip flexors. Hold 30 seconds each side.
  • Figure Four Glutes Stretch – Cross one leg over the other above the knee into a figure four shape. Sit back into your hips to increase the stretch. Hold for 30 seconds then switch legs in the figure four.

Full Body Dynamic Warmups

After stretching for 5-10 minutes, complete a few full body dynamic movements to get the blood flowing and further prep your body for golf:

  • Walking Knee Hugs – Take 10-15 steps while pulling each knee up to your chest, getting a good shoulder turn.
  • Walking Lunges With Twist – Step forward into 10 lunges on each leg, getting a good hip and core twist towards each front leg on every lunge.
  • Arm Circles – Do 10 big forward and 10 big backward arm circles to open up the shoulders.

Properly stretching and warming up takes less than 15 minutes but goes a long way towards improving flexibility, mobility and injury prevention so you can play better, pain-free golf. Use this routine before your next round and swing freer than ever!