You want to play better golf, right? We all do. There is a hack that doesn’t involve new clubs, more lessons, and extra on the fairway. It has the added bonus of making you healthier and fitter. It sounds like a win-win situation and it is!
A tailored set of exercises will improve your swing, overall game and reduce the likelihood of injury. Golf is more physical than just “a long walk spoiled” so follow these golf workouts and exercises and see your game improve.
Why Exercise for Golf?
- Greater flexibility
- More control
- Fewer injuries
- More confidence in your game
The Importance of Workouts and Exercises for Golfers
I can’t overstress the importance of approaching the physical aspects of your game just as much as you approach the technical side of it. Here are a few key reasons why workouts and exercises matter:
There’s a Correlation Between Technical and Physical Performance
All the pros know that good physical shape is key to optimal performance. They all have a workout schedule, so if they don’t neglect it, why should you? For men and women, this is the key to success.
Flexibility equals a good swing and controlled power. You want the extra yards and this will help. The more flexible you are, the better and more controlled the follow-through. Warm-ups and exercises are your go-to hee.
This needs little or no introduction. But we all need a reminder every now and again. The better shape you’re in, the better your overall game. As an added bonus, you’ll suffer none of the niggles, aches, and pains that interrupt the flow of your game.
Improve Your Mental Strength (Mental Discipline)
The discipline involved in following a dedicated golf workout routine has other benefits. The focus needed and the clarity that comes with it can really help on the tee.
What You Should Know Before Starting
There are three main areas I am going to look at, here is a brief whistle-stop tour. As with any exercise, make sure you are comfortable with any equipment you are using. Ensure you warm up before exercising and warm down. It defeats the object of the program if you injure yourself while working out.
Anyone can start out with these golf workout plans. There is no bar or lower level of personal fitness here. Start slowly with what you’re physically comfortable doing and build your routine’s intensity gradually.
Three Golf Workout Regimes
- Circuit Training: Short, high intensity aerobic (cardio) workouts with small rest intervals. This is designed to build endurance.
- Strength Training: A smaller set of repetitions (reps) with weights closer to your maximum limit.
- Cardio-Weightlifting Combination: A complementary mix of both, typified by High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).
Start With These Golf Stretches for More Agility
Stretching is a low impact and high result game. Look to include some or all these in a daily routine if you can. They will be super helpful before you step on the green too.
The ‘quad’ stretch. Stand on the left leg, lift your right foot up and behind you, grab the ankle and pull it up and back towards your glutes (backside).
Lie flat on your back, knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Lift only your lower back in a mini bridge and then press back down flat.
Sit on the floor, both legs out straight. Bend forward at the waist and grab your legs as close to your ankles as you can.
Perform while seated. Keep your back straight and lift your knee up and towards your chest.
Hips and back
While lying flat on your back bring your right knee up and over your left leg, twisting at the hips.
Front hip muscles
Kneel with your left knee on the floor and your right foot on the floor with a 90-degree angle at the knee. Lunge gently forward.
Extend your arm and hand, palm downwards. Bend at the wrist and point your fingers to the floor. With your other hand, gently bend your hand and wrist slightly further, feeling a little tension (only) in your forearm.
When sitting or standing, take your left arm above the elbow and pull it across your chest with your right arm.
Stand and fully raise your left arm. Lean as far over to the right as is comfortable.
You should only stretch until you feel mild tension, holding for as long as is comfortable and then release. You will get the best value if you do some repetitions. Start low, at five or so, then build as you get more comfortable with the routines.
Remember to stretch on both sides. For example, in the core stretch, raise both left and right arms in turn. For the best value, you should hold each position for a count of ten seconds, perhaps longer as you get used to the routines.
This selection of stretches shouldn’t be viewed as an exhaustive list and you might find other exercises that suit your golfing muscles.
This golf workout is ideal to build core, arm, and leg strength. All important parts of the body for golfers.
Half-Kneeling Med-Ball Side Chest Pass
Put your knee at right angles, a meter or so from a wall. One leg up, one leg down (as in the Front Hip Muscle Stretch) and hold a Med-Ball out in front of you with both hands. Bounce the Med-Ball from the wall and catch. You should aim for a quick pass and catch for the exercise to be effective.
Single-Leg Straight-Leg Deadlift
Hold a barbell at waist height. Keeping the standing leg as straight as possible, bend at the waist. Lower the barbell to the floor while extending the other leg directly behind you.
Arm Bar with Screwdriver
You’ll need a kettlebell for this one. Lie on your right side, right arm extended past your head, legs splayed for balance. Hold the kettlebell up in your left arm at 90 degrees from the floor. Rotate your left wrist back and forth.
Dumbbell Row to Kickback
Support yourself with your left arm on a bench or similar, with your body at around 45 degrees to the floor. With the dumbbell in your right hand, extend your right arm down and up, then reach back parallel with your body.
Half-Kneeling Cable Chop
Kneel one leg up, one leg down with your right leg bent. With a cable bar (on your right-hand side) grip with your right hand. Pull down and across the body. When at full extension, push out and away from you with your right hand.
Lying Kettlebell Pullover
Lie on your back, knees bent to 90 degrees, feet flat on the floor. Hold the kettlebell over your chest, arms extended. Reach as far as you can over your head without your back raising off the floor and then back to over your chest.
Lower Trunk Rotation
Lie on your back, knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Keep your back and shoulders on the floor. Spread your arms at right angles to help maintain balance. Tighten your abdominal muscles and rotate your knees to the left and then to the right.
Most people are familiar with a pull-up bar. Hang from the bar, taking the weight on your arms. Do a series of mini pull-ups, only a few inches each to work the muscles.
I love Workout B for the full-body exercise it provides. When I feel my game getting a bit sloppy, this is the golf workout I follow.
Kneeling Overhead Med-Ball Throw
Kneel on the floor with the med-ball held up above the head and in both hands. Throw the ball (at approximately a 45-degree angle) up and away from you.
Breathing Goblet Squat
Hold a dumbbell or another weight comfortably in both hands. Keep the weight close to your chest. Ensure that both your feet are slightly wider than your shoulders. Keeping your body straight, lower yourself down at the knees until your hips are below the knee level then straighten up.
Pushup to Single-Arm Support
This is a variation on the push-up. When both arms are fully extended, cross one arm across to the other shoulder and hold there for a count of two or three. A tip here is to have your feet spread a little wider than you would normally do.
Half-Kneeling Cable Press
Using a cable press knee one up, one down as before. If the cable is under your right arm, ensure that it’s your right knee on the floor. Holding the cable, extend your right arm fully ahead of you. Be careful not to let your hand pass back behind your body as the cable recoils.
Tempo Split Squat
Kneel, one up, one down as before. Raise yourself up slowly and in a controlled manner until you are in a lunge position. You should aim to take three seconds to rise and three seconds to assume the position again. A tip here is to extend both arms out in front of you for extra balance.
Kettlebell Half Getup with Neck Rotation
Lie on your side, knees bent and kettlebell by your stomach. Roll on to your back and move the kettlebell to your stomach. Lift up the kettlebell so the right arm is perpendicular to the floor.
Roll over onto the elbow, then on to the other hand. Lift your hips up off the ground, move the right leg under the body. Take your other leg and sweep it under the body. Keep looking up at the raised kettlebell. Stand up in one fluid movement, now looking ahead.
To descend simply repeat the moves in reverse until you are again lying on the floor, knees drawn up, kettlebell by your stomach.
Diagonal Band PNF
While lying on your back, hold a resistance band in both hands. Your hands should be at 11 o’clock and 5 o’clock. Keeping your back flat on the ground, extend both arms away from each other, drawing the band tight across your chest. Hold then relax.
As I mentioned before, hang from the bar, taking the weight on your arms. Do a series of mini pull-ups, only a few inches each to work the muscles.
Remember, when performing any exercise, always seek the help of a professional if the exercise calls for machinery you are unfamiliar with.
When following the exercise routines please listen to your body. The weights used and the number of reps should be within your comfort zone at first. As time progresses and you become more confident, feel free to add more reps or increase the weights or resistance you’re using.
Reducing one’s handicap is every golfer’s goal. There are a number of ways to go about this. But the smart way is to look at conditioning and flexibility as well as technique. After all, good technique can only take you so far if you are not limber or in good enough shape to take advantage of it.
These golf stretches, workouts, and exercises are an excellent step to further yards on the green. The fitter, healthier lifestyle is just an added bonus.