By Coach E

7 Exercise Golf Warmup

A comprehensive, full body golf warmup to improve your golf game

Use this 7 exercise warmup for golf to mobilize the joints that will give you a full, smooth swing and activate the muscles that will make the ball explode off your club.

You might notice that these movements are slower and more meticulous than other dynamic warm-ups you can find online. There’s an important reason for that.

If you use these 7 exercises correctly, you’ll activate your muscles throughout their full range, building CONTROL over every joint’s full range of movement.

This should translate into not only a better performance at the tee, but a reduced likelihood of injury, too.

Because I know you’d rather be golfing than reading, let’s dive right in to the techniques and why they’ve been chosen for this warmup.

exercise golf warmup seniors

Golf Warmup Exercise #1:

6-Way Neck Movement

This first exercise will help mobilize your cervical spine – making it easier to keep your head on the ball as you rotate your torso back to swing.

Throughout this movement, you’ll want to slightly tuck your chin – like you’re making a double chin. This will help lengthen your cervical spine. Move slowly, and move with your breath.

Make sure the movement is coming from your neck – your shoulders should remain pointed forward.

6-Way Neck Movement - golf warmup routine
  • Stand up tall and tuck your chin
  • Exhale as you slowly bring your chin to your chest for neck flexion
  • Inhale as you look up for neck extension
  • Repeat 2-3 rounds of flexion and extension
  • Exhale as you look over your right shoulder
  • Inhale to return to center, then look to the left with your next exhale
  • Repeat 2-3 rounds of rotation
  • Inhale in neutral, and exhale as you take your right ear to your right shoulder
  • Inhale to return to neutral, and exhale to side bend to the left
  • Repeat 2-3 rounds of side-bending

Golf Warmup Exercise #2:

DISSOCIATION: Neck/Torso Rotation

Dissociation techniques help break down commonly associated movements that can lead to faulty patterns. With this exercise, we’ll focus on dissociating rotation of your head and rotation of your torso. 

golf warmup exercise routine

Your body will automatically pair these movements, but this exercise will help break them down to further aid in keeping your eye on the ball during your backswing and your follow through.

Plus, there’s evidence that improving trunk flexibility can help reduce low back pain in golfers [1].

Neck_Torso Rotation - golf warmup routine 2
  • Stand in your typical golf stance
  • Reach your arms in front of you, palms together and shoulder blades protracted – or moving forward instead of pinching together on your back
  • Slowly and with control, start to rotate your head to look over your right shoulder as your arms and torso rotate toward the left
  • Stop when you get to your end range, but stay active – continuing to fire the muscles as you hold for one deep breath
  • With control, release and return to the starting position
  • Repeat in the opposite direction – head looking over your left shoulder, arms and torso rotating toward the right
  • Complete 2-3 reps in each direction

Golf Warmup Exercise #3:

Extended Shoulder Circle to Crossover

This next golf warmup move may look easy, but you’ll find it’s harder than it looks. This technique will warm up your shoulders and train controlled horizontal shoulder flexion – the type that’s required in a backswing.

And as a bonus, you’ll improve your posture by opening up the muscles of your chest.

Make sure you perform this movement in a SLOW and CONTROLLED manner to get the most out of it. 

Extended Shoulder Circle to Crossover - golf warmup routine
  • Stand and extend your shoulders as much as possible by reaching your arms behind you with elbows straight and palms facing down
  • Take your shoulders through a big circle by starting to lift your arms up, but continuing to reach back as far as possible throughout the movement
  • Maintain straight elbows as your arms reach overhead
  • As you move your arms in front of you, cross one over the other and continue to reach out as far as you can
  • Return to the starting position and repeat 3 times

Golf Warmup Exercise #4:

Behind the Back Scap Circles

This exercise will get your scapulae, or shoulder blades, working through a full range of motion – something that will come in handy as you move through a powerful backswing and big follow-through.

Once again, it’s important to move slowly and with intention. Don’t rush it, and focus on controlling every millimeter of scap movement.

Behind the Back Scap Circles - golf warmup exercise 4
  • Start standing with your hands behind your back, palms facing away from you
  • Protract your scaps, bringing them forward and away from each other
  • Next, elevate your scaps, lifting them up toward your ears, keeping them protracted.
  • At the top, start to retract your scaps, pulling them toward each other on your back
  • Depress your scaps, lowering them back down as you maintain retraction
  • Repeat the cycle in the opposite direction
  • Complete 3-5 reps in either direction

Golf Warmup Exercise #5:

Wrist CARs (Fist)

This move may look like a simple wrist mobility circle you’ve done before. But the precise movement and focused control makes these wrist controlled articular rotations (CARs) a whole other animal.

Try to make as big of a circle as possible, maybe even expanding your range each time you complete a rep.

Wrist CARs (Fist) - golf warmup exercise
  • Stand with your arms reaching out in front of you, hands in fists
  • Start by going into radial deviation, moving your thumbs toward each other
  • Next, move into wrist extension, point your fingers up toward the ceiling
  • Move into ulnar deviation, moving your wrists away from each other and out to the side
  • Move into wrist flexion, aiming your fingers down toward the floor
  • Switch directions and repeat, completing 3 reps in either direction

Golf Warmup Exercise #6:

¼ Squat Hip IR/ER

Having good hip rotation range and stability is also crucial in your golf game. This move will help you fire up the internal and external rotators of your hip, all while increasing their range of motion AND training your balance via the activation of metatarsal pressure.

 squat Hip IR/ER - golf warmup routine
  • Bring your right leg into a mini squat and step your left foot back behind you
  • Lift your left foot off the ground (or put your toes down if you need help with balance)
  • Put your weight into the ball of your right foot as you start to rotate toward the right, coming into hip internal rotation
  • At the end of your range, pause for 5 seconds and continue to fire your muscles
  • With control, use your hip muscles to rotate to the left, coming into hip external rotation
  • Pause for 5 seconds and continue to stay active, moving into a new range
  • Complete 3 reps in each direction, then switch legs

Golf Warmup Exercise #7:

Split Stance CC Ankle Circles

The last exercise will help make a basic move – ankle circles – way more functional (and effective) for golfers. You’ll improve your ankle mobility in a closed kinetic chain – mirroring the environment your ankles function in during your golf game.

Split Stance CC Ankle Circles - golf warmup exercise
  • Come into a split stance with your right foot forward, putting as much weight in your right foot as you’re able to
  • Shift into inversion, pressing the lateral edge of your foot down (the midline of your foot might even lift off the ground as you do this)
  • Move into plantar flexion, pushing your toes into the ground and lifting your heel up
  • Next move into eversion, pushing the midline of your foot down and lifting up the lateral edge
  • Come into plantar flexion, pushing your heel down as your toes lift
  • Change directions
  • Complete 3 reps in each direction, then switch legs

Golf Warmup Follow-Along Video [FREE Download]

Get this warmup in an 8 minute follow-along version that you can plug and play where I’ll guide you through every rep of every exercise. 

About the Author

Eric Wong (aka Coach E) holds an Honours Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from the University of Waterloo. He’s been a trainer since 2004 and spent many years training professional combat athletes including 3 UFC fighters, so he’s had much experience dealing with injuries. He’s the founder of Precision Movement and has dedicated himself to helping active people eliminate pain, heal & prevent injuries and improve mobility so they can get back to and keep doing the things they love.

About the Author

Eric Wong (aka Coach E) is the founder of Precision Movement and has a degree in Kinesiology from the University of Waterloo. He's been a coach since 2005 and spent his early career training combat athletes including multiple UFC fighters and professional boxers. He now dedicates himself to helping active people eliminate pain and improve mobility. He lives in Toronto (Go Leafs Go!) with his wife and two kids and drinks black coffee at work and IPAs at play. Click here to learn more about Eric.