Golfers primarily use the core muscles (abs, hips, back) to provide the explosive power necessary to drive the ball with distance and accuracy. Strength training exercises that target the specific muscles used in golf will add more power to your swing, provide you with a better posture and protect you from injuries that can result from repetitive movements.
The following workout program should be executed 2 to 3 times per week, allowing for a day of rest in between. Some form of cardio exercise should also be incorporated regularly to increase heart health. You will need resistance bands and dumbbells of various weights, a barbell, a weight bench and a chair.
Warm Up and Exercise Execution
Before jumping into your golf strength training program, be sure to take approximately 10 minutes to warm up beforehand by performing some type of light cardio. This will warm up and loosen the muscles prior to beginning strenuous movements which can cause damage if done while the muscles are “cold” and taut.
Begin each golf training exercise by completing 3 sets of 10 reps each. Allow yourself one minute of rest between sets. You should use enough weight or resistance so that the last rep is difficult to complete. As you grow accustomed to the starting weight, increase it to an amount that challenges you.
Exercises That Strengthen the Core and Legs
#1 – Seated Rows
Provides back muscle strength. Anchor two resistance bands to a sturdy object and sit on a weight bench or chair facing the object. Holding your arms straight forward with palms facing, pull the arms towards you in a rowing motion until your elbows arrive at your torso. Return to the initial position and repeat.
#2 – Barbell Deadlift
Strength exercise for your hamstrings, glutes and lower back which are essential for a powerful, stable golf swing Hold a weighted barbell in front of you at thigh level. With your knees bent slightly, shoulders held back and abs tucked in, lower the dumbbell down until you feel the hamstrings stretch. Squeeze the glutes together and raise the weight back to the starting position and repeat.
#3 – Dumbbell Squat
Strengthens the foundational muscles of the hips, glutes and thighs While you are in a standing position with feet slightly apart and holding a dumbbell in each hand over the shoulders, squat down while keeping the abs, torso and lower leg as straight as possible. Push yourself back up slowly and repeat.
#4 – Side Lunge Slide
Strengthens the inner thigh which adds power and stability to the hips when you swing You will need a smooth floor for this strength training exercise. Place a paper plate under your right foot and hold a dumbbell in your right hand. Hold your right arm straight down and slide the right leg out to your side and away from the body while bending and allowing the weight to lower until it touches the floor. Push yourself upward while sliding the right foot back to you. Repeat until your set is complete and then switch sides for another full set. Caution: Move slowly and maintain complete control of the outward slide movement to avoid groin injury.
#5 – Chest Fly with Dumbbells
Targets the outer portions of the chest, but provides strengthening overall While laying face up on a weight bench, hold weights over your chest with your palms facing inward. Lower the arms and weights outward away from your body until they are at chest level. Squeeze your pecks together and lift the weights back up until they are directly over the chest again.
#6 – Chest Press
Builds overall chest muscle strength which provides power when you swing through your drive While laying face up on a weight bench, hold weights over your chest. Lower the dumbbells down until they reach shoulder level. Slowly press them back up to the starting position and repeat.
Exercises That Strengthen the Shoulders and Arms
#7 – Shoulder Rotations
Improves your golf swing by strengthening rotator muscles While you are grasping a resistance band, hold your arms to your sides with the forearms out in front of you forming a 90° angle. Move your forearms away from your trunk several inches while pulling the band until you feel the muscles in your shoulders working. Slowly allow the tension in the resistance band to pull your arms back to the starting position and repeat.
#8 – Reverse Fly
Creates strength in your follow-through by building the shoulder and rhomboid muscles (located over your shoulder blades) From a sitting position, hold dumbbells down below your knees. Keeping your back straight and elbows bent slightly, raise the weights out to the sides while pulling your abs taut and your shoulder blades together as you lift. Slowly lower and repeat.
#9 – Reverse Curls for Biceps
Adds strength to the biceps and forearms for driving power while also helping to protect the wrist and elbow from injury While you’re in a standing position, hold dumbbells and allow your arms to hang straight down in front of your body with your palms facing inward towards your thighs. Curl both weights upwards until you reach the shoulders with the palms facing them. Slowly lower back down and repeat.
#10 – Triceps Dips
Provides strength to your triceps which helps to maintain a straight arm on your follow-through While you’re sitting on a weight bench or chair, grasp the edge next to your hips with both hands. Lift yourself upwards, move slightly forward while keeping your hips near the bench/chair and then lower yourself down until your arms form a 90° angle. Slowly lift yourself back up and repeat.
Faithfully performing this strength training program along with a combined cardiovascular workout will add greater strength and power to your golf game as well as improve fitness.