-- Robert Preidt
WEDNESDAY, Dec. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Stretching before taking
warm-up swings may hurt your golf game, a new study suggests.
Doing a passive, static stretching routine before taking
practice swings results in "significant decreases in clubhead
speed, distance, accuracy and consistent ball contact," according
to Jeffrey C. Gergely, of Stephen F. Austin State University in
He compared two different warm-up routines in a group of nine
young male competitive golfers. On one day, the golfers did an
active warm-up consisting of a series of practice swings. On
another day, they did a 20-minute passive, static stretching
warm-up before doing the practice swings. The stretching warm-up
included 12 stretches, starting with the neck and proceeding to the
After each warm-up routine, the golfers hit three full-swing
shots with their driver and were assessed on four measures:
distance, clubhead speed, accuracy and ball contact. On all four
measures, the golfers performed worse after doing the passive
warm-up routine -- clubhead speed was 5 percent slower, distance
was 7 percent shorter, and accuracy was reduced by more than 60
Most of those differences were still evident when the golfers
were assessed again an hour after doing the warm-up routines.
Stretching may cause tendons to become slack, thus reducing
their ability to transmit force, Gergley suggested.
The study appears in the December issue of the
Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.
Gergley said golfers should "get warm, stretch briefly and then
start swinging clubs, ultimately reaching the tempo [and] speed you
will use when you play."
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons offers tips to
prevent golf injuries.
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