Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Try practice swings, not stretching
In a study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research (Dec 2010), stretching exercises while standing still and practice swings were compared.
Nine young male competitive golfers tried the methods.
The active warm up was a series of practice swings. The passive static warm up was 20 mins of 12 stretches exercising every part of the body.
After each, the golfers hit three full-swing shots with their driver. Distance, clubhead speed, accuracy, and ball contact were measured.
On all four, performance was significantly better after the active warm up alone, without the stretching.
Clubhead speed was 5% lower with the passive stretching. Distance was 7% shorter—and accuracy was 60% worse.
Stretching and flexibility training are now staples of conditioning in golf—maybe this needs another look.
Maybe the next time you head for the links?