How Golf Strength Training Can Improve Your Game

Jun 21, 2023
golf strength training

It took a while for golf to claim its “sporting” status. There’s still many today who think of golf as just a leisurely game for the retired and unathletic. This is simply not true. Golfers are incredible athletes who possess a tremendous blend of power, finesse, and skill. Today we’re going to show you how to improve those traits through a golf strength training program.

Why Strength Train for Golf? 

Proper strength training for golf has been shown to lower handicaps while at the same time increasing drive distance, swing speed, and ball speed. Outcomes that many would pay thousands for through private coaching and fancy seminars with players on tour, could potentially be achieved by doing regular home workouts that take 30 minutes or less.

Benefits of Golf Strength Training

There are several benefits to beginning a strength training program that apply directly to the game of golf, and more broadly to other areas of your life. Some of these include:

Stronger Muscles

Muscles are what the body uses to protect and move the skeleton. If your muscles are just barely strong enough to do the thing you’re asking them to, the chances of them getting injured and performing the movement ineffectively are quite high. A good golfer will have strong muscles that support their joints, move efficiently, and produce loads of power.

Better Endurance

While people don’t typically think of golf as an endurance sport, it is actually very unique in its duration, often spanning 4-5+ hours. That’s a lot of time swinging clubs and standing/walking on your feet for someone who’s not used to it. Strength training makes light work feel easy by teaching your muscles to handle heavy loads way beyond the requirements of golf.

Enhanced Core Stability

The trunk has to produce tremendous amounts of rotational power and total body stability throughout an explosive golf swing. It’s rare that someone comes to golf with an already well-functioning mid-section. These are generally skills that have to be developed off course through dedicated training before integrating them into complex movements.

Injury Prevention

Strength training helps prevent injury in golfers by addressing imbalances (golf is an asymmetrical sport; you only swing in one direction), building up weaknesses, and toughening tissues to make them more resilient. A well-balanced strength program is key to preparing the body for any sport, and preventing injury from occurring in the first place.

(Image credit: Adobe Stock)

Strength Training Workout for Golfers

Below you’ll find a full-body workout you can do right at home with little to no equipment. This is a routine borrowed from the extensive programming we offer here at Dynamic Golfers. Our goal is for you to play pain-free, improve your scores, and enjoy life out on the course! Join our community and give us a try by signing up for our 7-day free trial.

The below workout will be performed as a circuit:

  • Do each exercise for 45 seconds, followed by a 15 second rest
  • Immediately go into the next exercise
  • After all exercises are complete, rest for 60 seconds
  • That is 1 set
  • Complete 3-5 sets depending on your current fitness level

Speed Skater Lunges

Instructions:

    1. Start by reaching one leg behind the other on your mat and dropping into the “skater lunge” position (picture 1)
    2. Then, push off your front leg, making a small jump over to the other side of your mat
    3. Land on your other leg, reaching the jumping leg behind, dropping into another lunge
    4. Repeat back and forth for 45 seconds
    5. Modification: If you’re a beginner or have any sort of lower body joint problem, eliminate the jump in between and simply step and lower into each position (only go as low as your strength allows)

Walk-Outs

Instructions:

  1. Stand with your feet hip width apart at one end of your mat
  2. Crouch forward, bending the knees, placing your hands on the ground
  3. Walk yourself out with your hands until your body is stretched into a full plank position (picture 2)
  4. Squeeze the glutes and tighten the core as you get into the plank position
  5. Hold for a split second, and then walk your hands back up to your feet, reversing the movement
  6. Come back to standing, and then repeat
  7. Continue for 45 seconds

Cobra Swims

Instructions:

  1. Lying face down on the mat, place your hands behind your ears
  2. From here, lift your chest up off the ground (picture 1)
  3. Then, while keeping your chest lifted, extend the arms and reach them back behind you
  4. Squeeze everything in your back as well as your glutes
  5. Reverse the movement, bringing your hands back behind your ears, then lowering the chest to the ground
  6. Repeat for 45 seconds

Dynamic Star

Instructions:

  1. Stand in the center of your mat with a wide stance, arms held up parallel to the ground (picture 1)
  2. Create a soft, subtle bend in the knees
  3. Reach down with one arm to the opposite toe by hinging at the hips and twisting the torso
  4. Reverse the movement, coming back to standing
  5. Repeat on the other side
  6. Alternate back and forth for 45 seconds

Dead Bug

Instructions:

    1. Start by lying on your back with your legs bent to 90° and arms pointing straight up
    2. From this position, rotate the pelvis backward to flatten your lower back against the ground, you should feel your core muscles engage
    3. Hold this lower back position throughout the exercise
    4. Now, stretch one leg out straight in front of you and the opposite arm straight overhead
    5. Pause briefly at the end range before bringing both back to the starting position
    6. Repeat with the opposite arm and leg
    7. Alternate back and forth for 45 seconds
    8. Modification: You can use a mini-band around your feet to make this exercise more challenging (as shown in the picture); adjust how far you stretch each limb to make this exercise easier or harder, and always emphasize keeping your lower back flat on the ground

Written by Eric Lister – Certified Personal Trainer & Corrective Exercise Specialist

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