Workouts for Golf

Golf Workouts: How to Get Golf Fit

If you’re like most golfers, you’re always looking for ways to hit the ball further and shoot lower scores. For most golfers, that means trying to increase swing speed and upgrading to the latest and greatest equipment. 

While those two methods can help, it’s time to start incorporating certain golf workouts as well. 

Tiger Woods changed the game nearly 20 years ago when he openly discussed his intense physical workout routine. This was in a time when most golfers weren’t considered athletes and it was assumed that getting bigger would negatively impact your swing. As we know now, this isn’t true (as long as you’re still flexible) and instead, can make a huge impact on your game. 

Fast-forward twenty years and more golfers on the PGA Tour are working out than not, thanks to Tiger Woods. The trend only continues with guys like Bryson DeChambeau. In a matter of months, he has become the hulk and regularly hit 350+ yard drives and is dominating golf courses unlike anything we’ve ever seen. 

While you don’t need to get as big as Bryson, you can get tons of positive results as well. It’s time to start changing your physique so that you can get healthy and improve your golf game. In this post, we’ll break down everything you need to know about golf workouts

Golf Workout Programs 101

You might be thinking, what is the best golf exercise for golf anyway?  

It’s a great question as not all exercises and movements are created equal. In general, you want to focus on bigger muscles like the legs, back, chest, and shoulders. These all play a significant role in your swing and will help you burn fat with fewer exercises.

Don’t forget, power comes from the ground up. Your leg muscles make up more than 50% of your entire body mass so it’s important to train them more frequently. Unfortunately, most guys skip out on leg day and are likely losing out on tons of distance in the process.

You also want to work on strengthening your core muscles and not forgetting flexibility in the quest for adding muscle. A strong and flexible core will help you make a full shoulder turn, avoid injury, and add distance to your game.

Golf Exercises at Home

Here are some of the best exercises without weights that you can do from the comfort of your own home. All you need is some space, an exercise ball and an exercise mat to get started. 

Additional equipment that could help your at home routines even more include:

Here are some of our favorite exercises to help you strengthen the muscles that matter and start getting results.

Bodyweight Squats

Skill Level: Easy 

Area Targeted: Legs and core  

Bodyweight squats are a great overall workout to get you loose, activate your quads, and a lot more. 

Directions

  • Start with your legs hip-width apart. 
  • Squat down, making sure your butt is back and your knees don’t move past your toes.
  • Go back up and squeeze your glutes at the top. 
  • Repeat 8-15 reps.

To make these more challenging, you can add in a jump at the top of the squat or use dumbbells as well. 

Single Leg Bodyweight Lunges

Skill Level: Medium 

Area Targeted: Legs and core 

Another great leg workout is bodyweight, one leg lunges. These single leg lunges are great for your quads but also for burning fat and getting a quick cardio workout as well.

Directions

  • Engage your core and take a step forward (the wider your step, the easier it is to maintain your balance). 
  • Pause at the bottom and keep your arms by your side for the duration of the exercise.
  • When stepping forward, make sure you maintain an upright position and don’t have your knee move past your toes. 
  • Repeat 8-15 reps on each leg.

To increase the difficulty, you can do jumping bodyweight lunges and add dumbbells. 

Best Golf Workout

Push-ups

Skill Level: Easy to Medium 

Area Targeted: Chest, shoulders, and core 

Push-ups are one of the most popular bodyweight exercises and are extremely popular in the fitness world. But, not all push-ups are created equal so make sure to follow the instructions to maximize each rep so you can strengthen your upper body. 

Directions

  • Get into a push-up position with your shoulders directly over your hands (which should be shoulder width apart). 
  • Keep your back straight, tighten your core and glutes and release your body down to the ground. 
  • Keep your elbows close to your body, exhale, and push back up to your original starting position. 
  • Repeat 8-15 reps.

To make these more challenging, put your hands closer together or have them form a diamond. These will target more triceps and shoulder than chest. 

Glute Bridges

Skill Level: Easy 

Area Targeted: Legs and core

Glute brides are a great warm up and can help activate your legs pre-round.

Directions

  • Lay with your back flat on the floor and arms to your side. Your knees should be bent and toes slightly off the ground.
  • Squeeze your glutes and thrust your hips in an upward motion. Keep thrusting until your body forms a straight line from knees to shoulders.
  • Repeat 8-15 reps.

Swiss Ball Russian Twists

Skill Level: Medium 

Area Targeted: Core 

Grab an exercise ball and use the Swiss Ball Russian Twist to start training your core and likely improve your golf swing. 

Directions

  • Sit on an exercise ball and roll out until your upper back and neck are resting on the ball.
  • Squeeze your glutes, keep your feet shoulder width apart, and raise your hands over your chest with interlocked fingers.
  • Rotate to the side with your torso while keeping your glutes activated. 
  • Repeat 8-15 reps on each side.

Click here to watch the full video to get the proper form. 

Planks 

Skill Level: Medium 

Area Targeted: Core

One of the best exercises that you can do for your core is a good old-fashioned plank. This is a full-body golf workout that will help strengthen your core and doesn’t require any extra equipment.

Directions

  • Put your forearms on the ground and arms straight out in front of your shoulders.
  • Fully extend your legs, squeeze your core and glutes, your body should be in a straight line. Don’t let your hips sag or allow your butt to go up in the air.
  • Stay as straight as you can for as long as you can. 
  • Hold for one minute or more (the more advanced you get, the longer you will be able to maintain the position). 

Best Exercises for Golfers in the Gym 

While you can do all the exercises and get reps in the gym as well, let’s cover some gym specific workouts. 

Medicine Ball Throws

Skill Level: Medium 

Area Targeted: Core, shoulders, and arms 

Medicine ball throws are a great way to activate your fast twitch muscles and help increase your swing speed. 

Directions

  • Grab a medicine ball (around 10 pounds) and stand a few feet from a wall in your normal golf posture.
  • Holding the medicine ball with both hands, rotate your core and legs toward the wall.
  • Throw the ball at the wall and catch it (this is one rep).
  • Repeat 8-12 reps on each side.

To make this more challenging, increase your reps, distance from the wall and/or the weight of the medicine ball. 

How do you train for strength in golf?

Cable Core Exercises

If you’re looking to activate your hips and strengthen your core, you will love using the cables. 

Directions

  • On a cable station, move the handle all the way toward the top of the station.
  • Get into your normal golf posture standing next to the station with your knees bent. 
  • Extend your arms and grab the handle with both hands. Rotate your torso and move it down towards your opposite hip in quick motion (this will kind of look like your golf swing).
  • Do this 8-10 reps on each side. Switch sides and repeat. 

To mix up this golf workout, you can also adjust the handle for two different positions to target different parts of your torso and obliques.

Click here to watch the video. 

Bench Press

Skill Level: Medium 

Area Targeted: Chest, shoulders, triceps, and core 

Did you know that before his US Open victory in 2018, Brooks Koepka said he did a normal workout, including 250+ pound bench presses before his final round? For most golfers on the PGA Tour, this is almost unthinkable but since Brooks is in such great shape, we’re not that surprised.

That being said, we don’t suggest doing a heavy bench right before your tee time. But on days when you aren’t golfing, this is a great workout to help strengthen your chest, shoulders, triceps, and core.

Directions

  • Lie flat on the bench with your eyes under the bar, with your knees bent. 
  • Grab the bar with an overhand grip slightly wider than shoulder width.
  • Inhale, and unrack the bar by strengthening your arms.
  • Lower the bar until it hits your mid chest while tucking your elbows to your side.
  • Exhale and push the bar until your arms are fully extended. 
  • Repeat 8-15 reps, depending on total weight.

To target different areas of your chest, try out incline and decline press benches. Additionally, you can also do this golf workout with dumbbells for more core activation.

High Plank Dumbbell Rows 

Skill Level: Medium 

Area Targeted: Back and arms

This is a great exercise to strengthen your shoulders, back, core, and arms. 

Directions

  • Grab a pair of light dumbbells and get into a standard plank position. Instead of your hands on the floor, have them on the dumbbells.
  • Row up one arm at a time and try to squeeze your shoulder blades together. 
  • Keep your glutes tight, maintain your body position and rotate your arm for each rep. 
  • Repeat 8-15 reps, depending on total weight.
Best Golf Workout

Dumbbell Lunges 

Skill Level: Medium 

Area Targeted: Legs and core 

While bodyweight lunges are great for your lower body, adding dumbbells can make them even more effective and help you add tons of muscle. Use the same directions as bodyweight lunges, hold the dumbbells in each hand as you shift weight to one leg.

For an even greater challenge, use a barbell on your back instead of dumbbells. This will force you to activate your core even more throughout the workout. If you do barbell lunges, start with a lighter weight so you can maintain proper form.

Shoot for 10+ reps on each side.

Workouts for Golf

Barbell Deadlifts 

Skill Level: Advanced  

Area Targeted: Legs, core and back

Arguably one of the most effective exercises ever is a traditional barbell deadlift. This is not for beginners and is a complex move that targets almost every area of your lower body and parts of your upper in one single workout. 

Directions

  • Start with an empty barbell or add some light weights to each side.
  • Begin with a hip-width stance and hands just outside your hips. Your shoulders should be slightly in front of the bar.
  • Bend your knees and pick up the barbell off the floor and pull the bar up to your hips by squeezing your glutes.
  • Maintain your lumbar curve throughout the exercise and don’t round your shoulders.
  • Start slow and work your way up as you master the form of this complex but highly effective exercise.  
  • Repeat 8-15 reps depending on weight.

Click here to watch the video directions and understand the proper deadlift form. 

To make this easier, you can also use dumbbells using the same directions.  Or, to make this more difficult do one leg dumbbell deadlifts to work on your balance.

Golf Workout Program

Best Golf Stretches 

Now that you know some of the best exercises for your golf game, let’s not forget about stretching either. Here are some of our favorite stretches that can loosen your back and increase flexibility before or after your workouts.  

Lower Back Rotation

This is a great exercise for golfers on the range who want to warm up quickly.

Directions

  • Grab a golf club or alignment stick and stand with your feet hip distance apart.
  • Grip the club or alignment stick on both ends and put it in front of your chest.
  • Rotate around your body so you can loosen up your lower back before making a golf swing.

Side Lying Quad Stretch

This will help loosen the biggest muscles in your legs and help you create power on the downswing.

Directions

  • Lie on one side of your body with your bottom arm fully extended.
  • Grab your opposite leg by your ankle and pull it back toward your glute. 
  • Hold this position for 30 seconds on each side.  Rotate to the other side and repeat. 

Prayer Stretch (Child’s Pose)

This is a great yoga stretch to help you loosen your lower back and release tension in your upper body.

Directions

  • Sit on your heels and lower your torso toward the floor with your hands together.  
  • Try to get your glutes toward your heel (go as far as you can). You should feel the stretch in your middle to upper back.
  • For more of a lat stretch, instead of putting your arms straight out, move them so it’s more diagonal from each shoulder.

Click here to watch the video. 

Lower Trunk Rotation

If you ever have a tight back when you hit the driving range before your tee time, you will love this simple stretch. 

Directions

  • On an exercise mat, lie down face up and arms at your side. Bend your knees with your heels being flat on the floor. 
  • Rotate your lower body to one side so that your knees touch the floor (or go as far as you comfortably can). 
  • Squeeze your core and keep the rest of your body in the same position. 
  • Do this on both sides of your body to loosen up your lower back.

Click here to watch the video.

FAQs About Workouts for Golf

Do you have more questions about getting in golf shape to help you shoot lower scores? If so, we got answers. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions. 

Should I workout before my round?

This is a great question! I would suggest creating several workouts; one for before your round and one for during the week when you’re strengthening your muscles. 

Before your round, you want all exercises and movements to focus on getting your body loose for the upcoming day of golf. You don’t want a grueling 45-60 minute workout that depletes your energy before the round. Instead, focus on activating your big muscles and core, paired with stretching. 

Usually, a 15-20 minute workout at home can help you show up ready to go. This way, you’re not trying to do your stretches on the range and can instead focus on warming up.

What muscles should you workout for golf?

For golf, focus on the big muscles in your body and movements that activate your core. Since you’re bending and twisting in awkward positions throughout a normal golf round, you want your core to be as strong as possible. 

This doesn’t mean to just do sit ups or crunches either. Instead, it’s about doing full-body movements that support your hips, torso, glutes, and more.  

How do I get in shape for golf?

Getting in shape for golf isn’t that different from looking to improve your health and get in shape in general. It’s all about eating healthy and working out on a consistent basis. 

If you’re looking to lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you consume on a daily basis. If you’re looking to gain weight and add muscle like Bryson and other guys on the PGA Tour, you need to work out and eat more than you burn. 

How do I strengthen my golf muscles? 

By working them on a regular basis!

The only way to gain strength is to break down the muscles and build them back up with consistent exercise. Plus, you want to maintain a healthy diet and likely add some extra protein as well. 

Focus a lot of your strength training on lower body and core to improve your posture, golf swing, and overall fitness levels.

Is hitting golf balls good exercise?

Hitting golf balls is good for your swing and will burn some calories but overall, it’s not going to create the best golf workout. To do this, you’ll need to hit the gym or create your own golfer workout plan.

To burn more calories, focus on full body circuit style training and cardiovascular exercise like running, swimming, and biking. 

What exercises increase golf swing speed?

Speed will come from a combination of strengthening your core muscles, adding muscle, and actively swinging faster. When it comes to increasing your total speed, we always suggest the one and only, SuperSpeed golf sticks (check out our full review here).  

Final Thoughts on Workouts for Golfers

As you can tell, there are tons of great exercises to help your golf game and improve your overall health. 

When it comes to improving your golf fitness, get clear about your outcome in advance. For example, is your goal to add muscle? Lose weight? Increase flexibility? Or, a combination of several goals?

Once you are clear on the outcome, start slow so that you can avoid injury. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day and your new golf body won’t happen overnight, so have patience and trust the process. 

Remember, it’s always better to do fewer reps with the correct form instead of more reps with improper form that could potentially cause an injury. Always choose for quality over quantity of reps.

Finally, make sure to test out different movements and not get complacent. As you start doing these routines on a more regular basis, it’s easy to plateau and stop seeing results. Instead of settling for this, keep testing out new routines, mix up workouts, hire a trainer, or maybe join a group fitness class as well. 

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