The Inchworm Exercise is a great way to stretch your hamstrings while working your shoulders and core as part of your warm up before you play golf, hit the practice range, or undertake other physical exercise.
The Inchworm Exercise forms part of the Golf Movement Preparation series of innovative and dynamic exercises that will increase your core temperature, prepare your nervous system for performing the golf swing, and strengthen your body.
The Inchworm Exercise is a component of the Golf Loopy Perfect Warm Up, an exercise routine that has been scientifically designed to prepare your mind and body for playing golf to the best of your ability in just 7 minutes.
Figure 1. Inchworm Exercise Video.
- Start by standing tall, in perfect posture, with your feet slightly apart, engage your abdominal muscles to stabilise your spine.
- Gently exhale and bend forwards from your hips. Try to keep your knees straight but not locked. Slowly lower your torso towards the floor until you can place your fingers, or the palms of your hands, on the floor in front of your feet. If your hamstrings are tight, you may need to bend your knees slightly. Try to keep your spine flat.
- Slowly begin to walk your hands forwards, away from your feet. Your heels will begin to rise off the floor. Continue walking your hands forwards beyond a push-up position. Keep your shoulder blades pushed forwards, your belly button pulled into your spine, and your legs straight – a straight body bridge position.
- Keeping your knees straight (but not locked), push your hips up and walk your toes towards your hands using your ankles. Maintain a flat spine throughout and continue walking until your feet are close to your hands.
- Walk your hands back out to repeat.
Use small “ankle steps” to walk back up with your feet – don’t use your knees, hips, or quadriceps.
To maximise the benefits of this exercise, and reduce the potential for injury, it is important to monitor the position of your spine throughout. Focus on keeping your spine flat and avoid any rounding of your lower back. Taking smaller steps will help you to maintain the correct body position. Keep your knees straight and your abdominal muscles engaged. Keep your chin tucked towards your chest so that your head is in line with your spine.
You should feel a stretch through your hamstrings, shoulders and torso.
Perform this exercise for 60 seconds as part of the Golf Loopy Perfect Warm Up routine.
You will feel like you’re having a mini-workout, raising your body temperature and breaking into a light sweat. If you’re not familiar with a dynamic warm up before you play golf, this may feel a little strenuous at first. Stick with it, your body will quickly condition itself to these exercises, and the benefits to your play will be significant. When you’re done, you will feel warmed up, rather than worn down. You’ll be better prepared to perform at your best, whether on the course or on the practice range.
You can make this exercise more challenging by walking your hands further out beyond your shoulders. Reaching too far forwards with your arms will put unnecessary stress on your shoulders.
The Inchworm (Backwards) Exercise is a variation of the Inchworm (Backwards) Exercise.
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