GOLFERS ONLY NEED A TEMPERATURE ELEVATING WARM-UP ACTIVITY TO IMPROVE PERFORMANCE
Fradkin, A. (2013). Which warm-up components are essential to improve golf performance? Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 45(5), Supplement abstract number 887.
This study examined the acute effects of the different warm-up components both individually and in conjunction with each other on golf performance. Highly proficient male golfers (N = 26) used their own 5-iron club as a baseline and after each of the seven different warm-up combinations; aerobic exercise only; stretching only; specific activity only; aerobic exercise and stretching; aerobic exercise and specific activity; stretching and specific activity; and all three components, in random order on non-consecutive days. Club and ball flight characteristics were measured.
Both aerobic exercise and aerobic exercise plus stretching showed significant increases in carry distance, ball speed, and club head speed, but and non-significant increases in launch angle and backspin. Specific-activity alone showed significant increases in club head speed, carry distance, and ball speed, and non-significant increases in launch angle and backspin. Aerobic exercise and stretching and all three component conditions showed significant increases for carry distance, ball speed, and club head speed, and non-significant decreases in launch angle and backspin. Stretching and specific activity showed a significant increase in carry distance and club head speed, non-significant increases in ball speed and backspin, and a non-significant decrease in launch angle. Finally, stretching-only showed significant decreases in carry distance, ball speed, and club head speed, and non-significant increases in launch angle and backspin.
Implication. Most warm-up benefits are related to temperature-dependent physiological processes. The aerobic exercise component of the warm-up routine incorporated dynamic stretches, and the specific activity comprised air swings. Performing either or both activities may have increased temperature. Those two activities also involved some stretching which may explain why all three warm-up components were not needed for optimal performance improvement. A warm-up that effectively warms the body seems advantageous in golf whereas activities such as stretching do not enhance performance or replace warming-activities.
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