Improving your game on a golf course isn’t just about practicing to hit a ball. It is also about training so that your body is capable of doing what you expect it to once you reach the course, and this means getting in the right exercise. The right exercises that you need to do to improve your game might seem somewhat misleading. For instance, when training for more power, it isn’t all about strength training. In fact, by overdoing it, a person could end up hindering themselves from performing optimally, instead of improving their game.
For this reason, as well as many others, it is important to understand what you need to do to improve your game and this includes knowing how much training you need to undergo to get results.
Creating a Balance
Obtaining a balance between strength, flexibility and mobility is extremely important for anyone who is looking to improve their overall golf game. Without these three facets, a player simply cannot reach their full potential. Exercising to improve your game is something that you should do at least 3 to 5 days every week so that you can begin to increase your capabilities in these three facets.
The Side Split Squat
The side spilt squat is done by standing with your legs as wide as you can, without hurting yourself. You will then lift both your arms in front of your body, shift your body weight onto one of your legs and start moving backwards. As you move, focus on moving your hips to the back, rather than your knees to the front.
Once you are done on one side, start moving over the opposite site. It is usually best to move between the legs, slowly. As you speed up the pace of this exercise, be sure that you are not limiting your motions. You will want to make sure that you complete at least 20 reps before you complete this exercise.
This particular exercise is able to stretch out the inner thighs, but it also works on the glutes which go a long way in improving the power of a person’s swing.
The Front Leg, Side Leg Swing
In order to complete this exercise, you will want to stand with your feet about two feet apart. This is about the same width as your shoulders. You will then want to take a golf club to balance yourself, starting off with the right hand. Place your left leg as far in front of you as it will go, then swing it backwards as far as it will go. As your movements become more smooth, start increasing the pace with which you complete this movement.
Complete at least 8 reps with each leg before switching over to the other. This exercise is great for improving a person’s mobility within their hips and this, in turn, can go a long way in increasing a person’s distance when they are playing.
The Speed Drill
Speed drills are completed with an arm that is extended out at about shoulder height. You will then want to open and close your hands very quickly for about 30 seconds. Once you have completed one rep, rest for about 60 seconds for starting again. Do this three times before switching over to your other hand.
Individuals can benefit from this exercise because it helps them in improving their mobility within their hands, forearms and their wrists. This, in turn, can help them improve their game when it comes to downswings and the power of their impact.
Core crunches are completed with the help of a medicine ball. To do these crunches, individuals simply need to lie with their knees bent, placing the ball between their knees. They will then need to place their hands behind their head to support their neck. After taking a deep breath, a person will then need to lift their shoulder blades from the floor. It is important to continue doing this until the muscles become tired.
This sort of exercise actually works on the rectus abdominus muscles, which are more commonly known as the 6-pack muscles, and it is perfect for improving the stabilization of a person’s body while they swing. This is something that can improve everything from the strength with which the swing is made, to the accuracy of the swing.
By completing these exercises as a part of a rigorous training schedule, individuals can go a long way in improving their overall abilities on the golf course.
(One other quick tip: I always like carrying a golfing notepad with me for my workouts too)
Talk to any professional golfer and they will tell you that their practice happens on the golf course as well as in the gym. Exercises tailored for golfers are a catalyst to breaking through the rut in your golf game and seeing the improvements you have been missing. Developing your muscle strength is an excellent step not only in improving the ball’s distance but also every other component of the game. These golf exercises will target the major muscle groups utilized during your golf game. From balancing exercises to weight training, and even golf swing simulating drills, you will walk away from this workout and onto the golf course stronger than ever.
You may be surprised by some of the movements in the following exercises, and consequently sore from the hard work during your exercise. Remember if you are sore after targeting the specific muscle groups utilized during the golf exercises, you have much to improve on in strengthen your overall golf game. How is your body expected to perform a smooth golf swing over the course of your golfing day, if you are not continually supporting the muscles that are expected to twist, rotate, and swiftly propel forward? Instead of heading to the golf course and swinging away, choose from the exercises below that are tailored to support all parts of the golf swing. Do these exercises consistently to see improved accuracy, longer distance, and more endurance during your game. These gym exercises for golf can be done anywhere.
A golf swing with poor balance not only looks horrible, it also could be the contributing factor to your inconsistent golf game. Developing your overall balance will benefit your golf rounds by helping develop a consistent, reliable, and smooth golf swing. Having better balance will also encourage a better foundation for your swing and prevent muscle strain in the process. Do the following exercises to build your balance and strengthen those micro-muscles that can keep your swing consistently and effortlessly solid. Repeat each movement for the stated amount of repetitions on each side of your body, then repeat the sequence three times for this complete balancing golf workout.
Start with a golf club, towel, or stick in your hand. Shift your weight to one side of your body and lift the other leg. You should feel this in your thighs and quads of the lifted leg. While keeping your leg straight, and your back flat, lower your hands slowly to reach down and touch your toes. Slowly and controlled lift from your waist to raise back up into an upright position on one foot. Reach for your toes ten total times on one side then do the exercise again on the other side.
There are several variations of the plank and all of them target the abs and lower back muscles which are key muscle groups used in a golf swing. If you want to work on your balance while also developing strength, try a side plank! To do a side plank you can start on your forearm or elbow, or you can get more of a shoulder workout by starting on your hand (as shown above). By pressing the side of your foot into the ground, lift-up your hips and tighten your ab muscles. Hold here for 30 seconds, then repeat to the other side and watch your golf muscles get stronger.
The single leg squat is no match to supporting the golf game when compared to the single leg squat with a twist! This special squat is a leg strengthener while also incorporating in the much needed torso rotation for golf games. The twist will work the core, as well as engage micro muscles in your legs as you balance. To do this exercise, hold out a golf club, towel, or stick in front of you. Then stand on one leg and squat down as far as you can. When you are at the bottom of your squat, rotate your torso towards the leg you are standing on. Slowly untwist your upper body back to center and gradually raise back up, while still standing on one foot. Repeat this squat with a twist for ten times on each leg.
The side step- up exercise is helpful to the overall golf game because it activates and strengthens the glute muscles. The glutes are a foundation for the golf stance and are needed to release powerful shots from the tee. In addition, the side step-ups stretch and develop the hip muscles which work alongside the glutes during the golf swing. To complete this exercise simply find a chair, bench, or other area with a step about two feet high. Then take a side step on top of the higher surface and then step back down. Repeat this simple exercise for ten step-ups per side.
The golf swing uses a lot of energy, which requires quite a bit of muscle power from all parts of the body. Large muscles such as your abs, thighs, glutes, and back are the force behind a powerful swing and increased distance. If you work on developing those core muscles that are used in the golf game, you will be able to see more power and distance during shots. Do each of the following exercises ten times on each side. Repeat each sequence three times to get the full effect of the muscle strengthening golf workout. These are some of the most underrated exercises for golfers, but net huge results.
For this golf exercise, all you need to do is hold out a dumbbell, and pretend you are writing the word “GOLF.” In the process you will be developing your ab and back strength which will support your golf posture as well as distance. In addition, your shoulders will rotate and be strengthened. You are welcome to spell out any word you want, as long as there is some shoulder rotation involved! This is one of the best exercise for golfers.
Sword pulls are just as fun as they sound, and if you like feeling the burn in your biceps, you are in for a real treat! Start with your right hand (weight in hand or not) in front of your left hip. Then move that hand away from your body and above that same right shoulder. Do ten reps on the right side, then switch to your left. This movement is great to work on the rotation in your shoulders and assist in keeping your club swing consistent and on plane. Adjust the weight as needed to complete your three sets of 10 repetitions for each arm, and feel free to do sword pulls without any weight. It is important to not overdo yourself on any of these golf exercises. You still want to make sure you are able to hit the range or a surprise tee time next day without missing a beat.
The Lawn Mower Pull movement is exactly as it sounds. The movement of starting a lawn mower is actually beneficial to the golf swing as well, and while you may not have any grass to cut, you can shape some muscle with this exercise. Start in your golf stance, while being conscious you have a straight back. Then using a free weight, elastic band, cable tower (at the gym), or weight sack, lift away from the ground toward your opposite shoulder. The LawnMower Pulls exercise require some torso and shoulder rotation and are most beneficial if the exercise is performed with explosive power and speed while completing your ten repetitions per side.
The standing wood chop golf exercise is very similar to the sword pulls and lawn mowers, however, the key difference is in the muscles being strengthened. The purpose of the standing wood chops is to support your lower back. The game of golf requires a lot of bending down, as well as twisting of the back. It is important to build those lower back muscles so they can handle difficult movements while on the course. Begin in your golf stance but bend over slightly more than usual. Be careful to keep your back flat for the duration of this exercise. Place a resistance band under your left foot. Then, use your right arm to pull the band up and toward the right side of your body. Feel your back muscles turn while you are pulling. If this exercise hurts your back, switch to a looser resistance band and do not pull back as far.
Windshield Wipers are just as supportive to your golf game as the Russian Twist, but the Windshield Wipers also aid with opening up the hips and developing more range in your hip rotations. While developing those hips that propel your swing forward, the Windshield Wiper exercise also strengthens your ab and back muscles which are again very needed for the overall golf game. To perform the Windshield Wiper exercise, lay on your back with your legs in the air and knees bent to 90 degrees. Very slowly rotate your knees so that they just barely touch the ground to one side of your body. Then use your abdomen muscles to lift your legs off the ground to rotate to the other side of your body. If you want more of a challenge, place your hands between your knees in the shape of fists while going through this exercise. Each repetition should be at least ten ground touches per side.
Deadbugs require relatively simple movements and may be considered an easy exercise overall. While being a mild exercise, you will still be activating your core and linking your upper and lower body through those abdominal and lower back muscles. While laying on your back, you are passively stretching out your back muscles to support an overall healthier spine. To perform a Deadbug, lay on your back with your neck also resting on ground. Simultaneously raise your right arm and left knee. Alternate your opposite arm and legs in the air for at least ten repetitions on each side. Best of all, you can use this exercise when you need a minute to recover in between your golf exercise sequence.
Adding extra distance to your golf shots takes practice and some muscle development. For the following exercises, you will be taking many of the same movements that you would in a golf swing. The difference is we will be adding some weight to them and intentionally thinking about the muscles we want to strengthen. Each exercise below should be done at least 10 times on each side, then repeated 3 times. Do each exercise consistently and you will be on your way to feeling invincible on the course. These golf strength exercises are essential for lengthening your drives.
Incorporating a medicine ball into your golf exercises is not only beneficial, it also makes working out more fun! This explosive exercise takes the simple movement of throwing a ball on the ground and catching it. Make sure to stand in your normal golf stance then lift the medicine ball over your head and throw it to the ground with as much force as you can. Catch the ball when it bounces up to you and repeat that movement to the other side. In the process of strengthening your ab muscles, shoulders, back, and grip while doing this exercise you will also be practicing keeping your balance and shifting your weight from one leg to the other. If you happen to feel a release of frustration and anger while pounding the ball into the ground, that is just an extra benefit of the medicine ball throw exercise.
Once again, the medicine ball adds some fun into your golf workout. More than just fun, this exercise will strengthen your golf swing by mimicking some of the movements that you would perform while on the golf course, only with added weight. Start about 6 feet away from a solid wall. Your feet should be in your normal golf stance and hold the medicine ball in front of you. When you are ready, take the medicine ball back as if you were starting your golf swing. Shift your weight to your back foot, then start to increase in speed toward the wall, shift your weight toward the wall, and throw the medicine ball at the wall. When the ball bounces catch it and repeat this process 10 times before rotating to the other side.
The lunge with the twist may just be the “Tiger Woods” of golf exercises. This exercise is perfect to build strength, flexibility, and balance, all of which are key elements of a successful golf swing. To do this golf supporting exercise, simply step into a lunge, then twist your upper body in the direction of your leading leg. Choose to do this exercise with a weight or medicine ball to add more of a workout to your upper body. Might as well get the most bang for your buck!
The Russian Twist is also one of the most popular exercises for golf, and for good reason. This exercise uses all the twisting movements your body experiences during the golf swing. However, while doing the Russian Twist, you are able to slow down and target your abdominal muscles during the twist. In the process your back and thigh muscles are also working hard and becoming stronger. Stronger abs and back muscles not only allow for more distance while playing golf, they also prevent back injuries during the golf game. To execute the Russian Twist, sit on the ground and lift your legs about 4 inches off the ground. Use a medicine ball or weight to rotate around your body. Start on the right side of the body, then bring the weight above your abs to tap the ground on the left side of your body. Repeat this for ten ground touches on each side. Remember to go slow, and do not use the momentum to rotate. If it is too hard, ditch the weight and simply touch the ground with your hand.
The last thing on the golf course you want to feel is tired! Whether you are walking the golf course or driving the golf cart, endurance is important to keeping your game in peak shape. Stamina can be developed through a mixture of cardio exercises and leg strength. These exercises we have for you target both cardio and strength, while also utilizing the movements your body experiences on the golf course. Practice these regularly and soon enough you will be the one in always asking “who’s up for 36 today?”
Do 30 repetitions as quickly as you can of each of these moves. Repeat each set 3 times. These workouts for golfers will help you make it through the back 9 during some of those sweltering summer afternoons.
Start in a lunge position, as fast as you can, jump in the air and switch legs so your opposite leg is leading. Land and lower into a lunge position on the other side and repeat the jump to switch leading legs again. Ensure that your leading leg does not bend the knee past your toes.
Those good, old fashioned jumping jacks are still a great way to get your heart racing. If you have forgotten how, all you do is start with your arms and legs together, then jump and open them up. Once both arms and legs are open, jump again and push them back together. Repeat this motion as fast as you can for at least 30 jumps.
Start in a plank position. Bring your right knee to your left elbow, then your right elbow to your left knee. Do these as swiftly as you can. Your abs will feel the burn, but the movement of bringing one knee across your body adds a little extra twist to your torso. Such twists and cross body rotations are beneficial to the overall golf game.
Unfortunately, we cannot spend every day on the golf course. However, just because you aren’t on the greens it does not mean that you can’t practice skills that will help your golf game? Training for your golf game can happen anywhere with these following exercises. Some require a few small tools, but overall, they are simple exercises that bring impactful results. The best part of these exercises is that they are generally inconspicuous. Each exercise can be executed while watching TV at home, in your office at work, while in your yard or the park, and even at your in-laws. After routinely doing these golf exercises wherever you want, you will be that much more prepared for your next tee time and hopefully enjoy the day even more!
Now do not get any ideas when you see a grip strengthener. A golf grip does not need to be very tight, and you should certainly not strangle the club. Instead, hold the club in a firm, but confident way. How to hold the golf club is the first lesson many golf instructors introduce to new golfers, and there are good reasons why. The golf grip is extremely important to the overall golf swing, but it can be overlooked after several years of playing golf. If you are not intentionally supporting your grip strength with workouts, your grip could be weaker than you think. To find that confident and tension-free golf grip, do 10 reps of these on each hand and repeat 3 times when you find a time when one of your hands are free.
Arm strength is helpful in golf, but the movements of the arms that the golf swing really relies upon are primarily in the shoulder and the forearms. The forearms rotate slightly with the swing and are important for keeping the clubhead square with the ball. Support your forearms with this curling exercise. Start with a dumbbell of your choice in your hand. Relax your wrist so the dumbbell and your hand are limp. Then, slowly lift your wrist to count as 1 curl. Do 10 curls on one side, then switch arms. Repeat this golf exercise. If your ball ever ends up in a horrible lie or a thick rough, your forearms will be there to hold the club steady through the thick of it!
Side lunges are as simple as they look. This golf exercise is perfect to do in most positions where you are asked to stand. You could do these lateral lunges as a golf workout while waiting in line, watching a sporting event, at work, or at the store. There are limitless places to get a few of these lunges in, especially if you are discrete about it. In the process of sneaking in these lunges, you will be supporting your hip flexibility, stretching out your straitened leg, and strengthening your bended leg. In the end, lateral lunges, are a win-win-win-win.
Knee pulls are another exercise that can be done practically anywhere and are simple to do. However, the benefits of this golf exercise are hard to look over. Knee pulls develop balancing strength while also activating ab and back muscles to keep you upright. Simply hold your knee close to your chest. You can use a towel to help you secure the knee if you need it. If you would like a deeper stretch rotate your knee counterclockwise, then clockwise. When you lift the knee, you also end up stretching out both legs. This exercise is a great warm up exercise before a golf round or cool-down stretch after completing your golf workout.
Having a workout routine that supports your golf game is where you will see your score drop and muscles grow! Use the exercise routines above at least twice a week in addition to your normal golf practice to reach that next level of your golf game. Trust me, your golf buddies will notice!
Golf has always been a relational sport for author, Mariah Swigart. Mariah started her competitive golf journey in sixth grade with help from her dad in Indiana. From there, she continued to play competitively through high school, coached at golf camps in Ireland, and accepted a scholarship to play for a university in Arizona. Now she still enjoys the wonderful sport with her family and friends at the gorgeous golf courses of the Grand Canyon State.
Is golf good exercise? Really depends on how much walking you do. If you’re riding a cart to your ball and not carrying your clubs, then you probably won’t see much exercise benefit from it.