Phil Mickelson’s stretching routine will have you golf-ready in minutes

Phil Mickelson stretches on the 11th hole on the North Course during the first round of the Farmers Insurance Open golf tournament at Torrey Pines Municipal Golf Course on January 28, 2021

Phil Mickelson stretches before — and during — his rounds.

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For professional golfers, warming up is an essential piece of tournament prep — especially as you get older. Just ask 53-year-old Phil Mickelson, who admitted that his pre-round routine has become only more important as he’s aged.

“Usually, before tournaments, before I play, I’m in the gym doing some kind of stretching, physical therapy,” Mickelson told GOLF’s Dylan Dethier on the latest episode of Warming Up (check out the full episode below). “But a lot of times, at home, I’ll just go out and play early rounds, and so I leave these [bands] on my cart or in my golf bag.”

For Mickelson, getting some reps in with resistance bands is an easy way to prepare his body for the rigors of tournament play.

“There’s basic exercises that I have to do to get my body kind of activated before I go play,” he said. “So, I have these bands and I’ll just latch them onto the edge of the cart.”

Check out Mickelson’s favorite pre-round moves with resistance bands below.

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Phil Mickelson’s pre-round stretch routine


Mickelson’s first move involves looping the band through an anchor point like a golf cart, standing with your back to the cart and pulling the band straight up to shoulder level.

“I can’t go without like, just basic shoulder movement,” Mickelson said. “The shoulder, back and knees are an important part. So I’ll just do 10, like if I’m in the gym, I’ll do a few reps more, but I’ll just get kind of activated like that.”

Next, Mickelson turned 90-degrees to pull the band straight across his body for 10 reps on each arm.

“I’m just trying to get the shoulder activated a little bit,” he said. “I’ve just got to get moving.”

phil mickelson hits balls on the range prior to a LIV golf event
Steal Phil Mickelson’s 10-ball routine to dial-in your range session
By: Zephyr Melton

Mickelson mentioned that one of his power moves involves pulling with his lead side through impact, so he also likes to practice that move with the band.

“I always like to do a single-arm kind of movement,” he said. “And so sometimes I’ll do it slow and try to work the muscle, and then sometimes I’ll try to do it a little bit faster and try to be a little bit more explosive and engaged. So I’ll do both of those. And you always want to do it both sides, to keep body balance.”


Next up: the core.

“In golf, we use a lot of anti-rotation, meaning, you want to have rotational speed, but you also want to have stability. So anti-rotation is a big part of it,” Mickelson said. “So, one of the basic exercises that I always — I won’t play until I do — is called, we just call them circles.”

Doing “circles” involves pulling the resistance band out so there’s no slack, and then making small circles in front of your torso.

“Just hold your arms out and just do circles, so you’re engaging this to not rotate,” Mickelson said.

For each band exercise, Mickelson recommends doing 10-15 reps.

phil mickelson hits balls on the range prior to a LIV golf event
Steal Phil Mickelson’s 10-ball routine to dial-in your range session
By: Zephyr Melton


Finally, Mickelson preps his legs. These exercises don’t require the use of a resistance band. Instead, Mickelson just gets into a wide, split-style stance, placing his hands on the ground and moving to stretch each side.

“I feel stupid that this is my warm up, but I’ve got to get my hamstrings and low back stretched out,” he said. “So I’ll spread my legs, which relieves the pressure on my back and I’ll just kind of like stretch it out.

“Then, I always wanna do one of the low-back stretches and relieve pressure off my organs,” Mickelson continued, hunching down into a deep squat and pushing his knees to the side with his elbows.

“I try to keep my toes pointed straight, do a deep squat and just push out on my legs,” he said. “I let my sacrum kind of sit low, it’ll stretch those little muscles around the low back, which is helpful. I always do squats just to get my legs activated. So whether I start in a deep squat, and go up or just kind of go down, I’ll do slow and then explosive.”

Once Mickelson has prepped his body with these stretches and exercises, he’s ready to move on to hitting. To view his routine in its entirety, check out the full episode of Warming Up below. Editor

As a four-year member of Columbia’s inaugural class of female varsity golfers, Jessica can out-birdie everyone on the masthead. She can out-hustle them in the office, too, where she’s primarily responsible for producing both print and online features, and overseeing major special projects, such as GOLF’s inaugural Style Is­sue, which debuted in February 2018. Her origi­nal interview series, “A Round With,” debuted in November of 2015, and appeared in both in the magazine and in video form on