A good conditioning program is essential for all golfers, but especially if your joints need extra protection. Proper conditioning can help maintain as much range of motion as possible in the joints and help reduce your chances for injury.
And warming up before you workout – including prior to tee times – is a must to properly help protect and prepare muscles and joints.
To warm up, begin by walking for a few minutes. Spend five to 10 minutes stretching – especially your hamstrings (rear thighs) and back.
Simple range-of-motion exercises before you tee off are also recommended and can help prevent injury and improve the overall performance of your game. Here are a few to help you get started.
Arm Circles. Lift arms straight out to your sides at shoulder height. Move arms in a circular motion, gradually increasing the size of the circles. Reverse direction after 30 seconds.
Trunk twists. With arms at your sides and elbows bent at 90 degrees, twist your torso and head to the left as if you’re looking over your shoulder and hold for 5 seconds. Be sure to twist from the waist. Return to starting position. Then twist to the right.
Side Bends. Place feet shoulder width apart. Using two hands, hold a club at opposite ends and raise it above your head. Lean torso to one side to feel the stretch on the opposite side. Repeat 10 times on each side leaning torso a little farther each time.
Slow Swings. Take 10 to 15 slow three-quarter swings on the practice range before the first tee. Start out by hitting higher lofted clubs, like a pitching wedge, and begin by swinging 50 percent to 75 percent.