Do you feel you’ve plateaued at a certain level of performance without any signs of breaking through? At this point, you may be in need of upping your game in terms of body fitness, or rather golf fitness.
Luckily, there are golf specific workouts that will enhance the muscles you need for longer strokes and better overall performance. Some are also tailored to making your muscles more balanced. You see, golf is quite a one-sided game—you either swing on the left or the right—and that side is where muscles get the most exercise. Not to mention, golfers are prone to a lot of injuries.
This makes it not just an added privilege to improve performance for players to do golf workout routines. But rather, an essential part of maintaining a healthy, well-balanced body.
We’ve handpicked a few golf specific workouts here that will help you achieve just that.
- Single-Leg Romanian Deadlift
- Russian Twist
- Seated Rotations
- Dumbbell bench press – one arm
- Hand walks
- Lateral pillar bridge
- Physioball pushup
- Standing Ys
Leg Golf Specific Workouts
Aside from having to stand and possibly walk a lot during golf, your legs are the driving force of your swing. Longer drives need stronger legs that can explode on the swing.
Fitness coaches and bodybuilders swear by this exercise, and it also works for the golfers out there. Deadlifts work on the glutes, which helps you maintain an ideal swing posture and give you the boost to fire a powerful shot.
- Grip a bar in the athletic stance with the bar touching your shins.
- Lock your back and keep your shoulders up while flexing your abs and chest for a deadlift position.
- Extend your hips and knees to explode into a standing position while keeping your back flat and chest up.
- Steadily reverse the motion by lowering the bar to the floor.
Sets/Reps: 4 x 8.
Links to further golf instruction posts:
Single-Leg Romanian Deadlift
A variation of the deadlift is the single-leg, sometimes called the Romanian deadlift. It works on improving lower leg strength in addition to your glutes and hamstrings. The motion, as described below, is quite similar to the golf swing.
- Hold weights on your sides.
- Balance on one leg with the other extended to your back.
- Keep your back flat, and your legs slightly bent.
- Pivot your body forward at your waist until the weights are almost at floor level.
You can focus on one side more than the other in an attempt to balance your muscles.
Sets/Reps: 4 x 8.
You could very well go for squats instead of lunges, and they’ll achieve similar results. The thing is, lunges work on a leg-by-leg basis instead of simultaneous stimulation. This allows you to target one side more than the other.
- Put one leg forward and slightly inwards towards the midline of your body.
- Steadily put your body into the lunge position.
- Go low until your back knee is almost at ground level (about 2 inches away).
- Push back with your front heel to return to start position.
Sets/Reps: 4 x 8 per leg.
Core Golf Specific Workouts
Your core is a vital part of your swing. Holding the correct posture isn’t easy, but swinging with it intact is much more difficult. Improve your golf fitness by strengthening your core muscles. This will help you be in better control of your swing, and will also reduce that soreness after long golf sessions.
Fix that strain around your stomach you might feel after a long day of golf swings with these exercises. It works on your internal and external obliques, allowing you to make stronger golf swings by strengthening those muscles on the side of your stomach.
- Sit on the ground with your legs in front of you.
- Keep your knees bent and heels just off the floor.
- Hold a med ball or similar object at chest level.
- Rotate to each side until the ball touches the ground.
Sets/Reps: 2 x 10 each side.
Another way to work on your rotation is this seated exercise. It works on improving your obliques as well but doesn’t require any balls or extra equipment.
- Sit down and hold a towel with your knees. A pad or something similar works too.
- Using the crooks of your elbows, hold a club behind your back.
- Rotate your torso and hold for two seconds on each side without moving your hips.
Sets/Reps: 2 x 10 for each side.
Arm Golf Specific Workouts
While your core and legs may be doing a lot of the work, your arms are still what’s holding the golf club. Enhance strength in long drives and precision in short putts by working on your arm strength. This makes arm exercises essential for optimum golf fitness.
Dumbbell Bench Press—One Arm
This basic dumbbell exercise will improve the strength of your arm for a firmer grip on your golf clubs. It also helps improve shoulder stability for more control on swings, and stronger drives.
- Lie down on a bench, resting only one side of your body on the bench.
- To exercise your right arm, your left glute and left shoulder should rest on the bench with your right glute and shoulder blade off the bench.
- Hold the bench with your left hand above your head.
- Grip a dumbbell with your right hand and hold it high by stretching your arm upwards.
- Steadily lower your right arm till you form a parallel line with the ground, and your elbow is level with your shoulder.
- Raise your hand again to return to the starting position.
The one-armed variation of this exercise helps you target one side more than the other if needed to balance muscle strength.
Sets/Reps: 2 x 10 for each side.
As a golfer, you’ve undoubtedly heard of the ever-feared, golfer’s elbow. Although on a different part of the arm, many golfers are also susceptible to tennis elbow. It may not be the most severe condition, but it can be quite painful. Hand walking helps prevent the condition by exercising your arms appropriately.
- Bend forward at your waist and stand on all fours.
- Move your hands forward slowly to reach the pushup position.
- With your toes, walk up to your hands while keeping your knees straight.
- Maintain that position until you feel a stretch, then move your hands forward again.
Sets/Reps: 2 x 10.
Back and Shoulder Golf Specific Workouts
Bending over to pick up your ball, put a tee in the ground and swinging countless times will inevitably take its toll on your back and shoulders. Avoid that horrible soreness by improving your muscle strength and flexibility. This makes back and shoulder exercises an essential part of your golf workout routine.
Lateral Pillar Bridge
While the lateral pillar bridge exercises primarily work on stretching the hips, the main purpose is to reduce back strain, which is why it’s categorized here.
- Lie on one side and keep your body in a straight line.
- Put your elbow under your shoulder and stack your feet.
- Lift with your hips to make a line between your ankle and shoulder.
- Hold for three seconds, then repeat.
Focus on your head’s orientation. Keep it in line with your spine for a proper workout.
Sets/Reps: 2 x 10 on each side.
This golf specific workout can do your back and shoulders a world of good. All you need is a physioball and basic exercise skills.
- With your hands on the physio ball and feet on the floor, assume the pushup position.
- Move in the downward motion of the push up until your chest just touches the ball.
- Push up and away from the ball, keeping it as far from your chest as you can.
Sets/Reps: 2 x 10.
Golfers put a lot of strain on their shoulders with that swinging all day. It will help them feel more comfortable, as well as in more control of their swing if they strengthen their shoulders. Standing Ys improve shoulder mobility, and they’re a simple exercise.
- Stand bent over at the waist.
- Keep your chest up and back flat (deadlift or golf swing stance).
- Hold a golf club with your palms facing down.
- Pull the golf club upwards above your head and back using your shoulder blades, forming a Y shape.
- Go back to the starting position.
Make sure you maintain your posture throughout the exercise, and only lift using your shoulder blades not your arms.
Sets/Reps: 2 x 6.
Golf Specific Training Doesn’t Have To Replace Your Existing Workout
These exercises may not necessarily replace whatever workout you’re doing for your general fitness. They solely focus on strengthening specific muscles or improving muscle balance that might be distorted from golfing all day. It also helps reduce the pain you might feel after long golf sessions.
Remember to stretch appropriately after each exercise as this targets lean, not bulky muscles, and improves your range of motion. This part of your golf specific workout is ideal for golfers who need flexibility and stamina more than overall strength.
Our final note is that these sets and reps are a suggestion for the average level. You can increase or decrease the number of sets or reps, depending on how you feel. Just remember not to push yourself too much.
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