Five great exercises for golfers

Some excellent exercises for improving your flexibility and strength

Golfer stretching
Golfer stretching
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Flexibility and strength are important attributes for any golfer, from the top pros down to club amateurs. Here are five exercises to help you gain distance and consistency.

To be successful at the game of golf, it isn't essential to be a perfect physical specimen – a glance at the body shapes of some of the best players in history provides proof of that. But, being supple and strong is unquestionably a benefit to the golfer. By improving your core strength, you’ll gain increased stability through the swing, and so greater control. You'll almost certainly add a few extra yards to your drives and maybe prevent yourself sustaining an injury. Here are five exercises that could help you improve your golf game.

Slow sit ups

Lie flat on your back with your arms pointing straight behind you, biceps on ears, legs flat to the floor. Begin to raise yourself slowly to a sitting position, try to keep your legs still.

Engage the core to lift yourself slowly and steadily with your arms slowly moving over until your hands reach to your toes. Then slowly lower yourself back down to the starting position, keeping a straight back and a tight core. Repeat this 10 times, or whatever you are comfortable with at the early stages.

Full body stretch

Stand with your back straight and arms to your sides. Step forward into a lunge with your left foot, keeping your right leg straight behind you, with your right toe on the floor. Place both palms on the ground to the right side of your left foot and hold the stretch for five seconds. Now rotate your left arm and chest, pointing your left hand to the sky. Stretch as far as you can and hold for five seconds. Take your hand back down and repeat with your right arm, rotating in the other direction. Repeat the process with the right foot forward, left foot back.

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Hip Crossovers

Lie on your back with your arms to your sides, your knees bent and your feet a little wider than shoulder-width apart, heels on the ground. Now twist your bent legs to the left until they reach the ground, then twist them to the right. Alternate sides while keeping your shoulders on the ground and your core (abdominal muscles) tight. This exercise will strengthen your hips and lower back.

Simple squats

Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and legs straight. Slowly bend the knees keeping your back and neck straight, push your bum back and down until your quads are parallel to the ground. Hold that position for five seconds before slowly returning to standing position. Repeat this 10 times. This will strengthen your quads, glutes and core.

Front/side plank

This will help you to activate core muscles, promoting stability and strength in the torso. Lying face down, place your palms flat on the floor to the sides of your shoulders. Push away from the floor until your arms are straight. Keep your back flat and engage your abdominal muscles. Hold for 20 to 60 seconds and release back down onto the floor. Repeat three to five times.

For side plank, start by lying on your side with your legs stacked one on the other. Rest your body on your forearm with your shoulder directly over your elbow. Lift your hips so that your body is in a straight line. Hold for 20 to 60 seconds and lower yourself back down. Repeat three to five times on each side.

If you take half an hour every day to run through each of these exercises, you’ll increase your strength and flexibility. Not only will they make you feel great, but it could also knock shots off your score – it’s surely worth trying.

Fergus Bisset
Contributing Editor

Fergus is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and his passion for the sport was bolstered during his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin (also of Golf Monthly)... Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?