Could jumping rope be a quick upgrade to your pre-round warmup?

It might be time to tweak your warm-up routine.

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Welcome to Play Smart, a game-improvement column that drops every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from Game Improvement Editor Luke Kerr-Dineen to help raise your golf IQ and play smarter, better golf.

I’ve always found the process of warming up a little tedious. Despite my slight breakthrough last year, I’d still rather just show up on the first tee and get going, rather than think too much about the dance that happens before it.

The problem that needs to be solved, though, is the literal act of warming up. Getting your body loose and activated before your round is a genuine necessity, and to do it properly you need to do more than hitting a few balls aimlessly into the distance. It takes time and involves some exercise.

Which is why, the other day, I had a thought: What if golfers started jumping rope?

The logic of it makes sense, after all. You use lots of golf specific-muscles, like the ones in your wrists, forearms, shoulders and back, along with a host of jumping muscles in your legs. It gets the heart pumping too — which is why people design entire workouts around them — and better yet, you can do it all in about five minutes.

Plus, it looks cool. Like a boxer getting ready to go spar. Perhaps I could start a trend.

I invested $9 in a jump rope and tried it a few times before a couple of range sessions. It seemed to do the job, so I put the question to Mike Carroll, the man behind the Fit For Golf app.

“Anything that gets your blood flowing and pumping through your veins and your muscles will be better than going from eight hours in the office chair to the range,” he said.

That got me excited, which was, it turns out, short-lived.

“But to be honest, some of the movements are very different,” he said. “There’s no rotation, there’s no separation, there’s no arm lift.”

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While jumping rope is an upgrade over nothing, Carroll went on to say, he suggests pairing it with other exercises like squats and lunges, and a couple of minutes of arm circles, followed by something explosive.

“Your warmup should probably look relatively similar to what happens in the sport,” he says. “The golf swing is about one second in duration. So we should start with getting the joints that are used in things like our hips, our spine, our shoulders, our neck, nice and warm, then gradually ramp up speed.”

As for my masterplan of hoping jumping rope could be one-size-fits-all warmup solution — that doesn’t seem to be the case. But if it’s an upgrade over nothing, at least that’s progress in its own, small way.

Luke Kerr-Dineen Contributor

Luke Kerr-Dineen is the Director of Service Journalism at GOLF Magazine and In his role he oversees the brand’s game improvement content spanning instruction, equipment, health and fitness, across all of GOLF’s multimedia platforms.

An alumni of the International Junior Golf Academy and the University of South Carolina–Beaufort golf team, where he helped them to No. 1 in the national NAIA rankings, Luke moved to New York in 2012 to pursue his Masters degree in Journalism from Columbia University and in 2017 was named News Media Alliance’s “Rising Star.” His work has also appeared in USA Today, Golf Digest, Newsweek and The Daily Beast.

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