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In the videos below, golf strength and conditioning coach, Jamie Greaves, demonstrates how 10 exercises can give your golf game a huge boost. Combine any four to six exercises (along with some simple golf stretch exercises) to make either full body, lower body or upper body workouts.
Don't worry if you have little or no experience when it comes to working out. As you will see, these exercises can be scaled according to your fitness levels and experience. What's more, many of the best golf workouts came be performed in the comfort of your own home, and without lots of equipment. Are you ready to boost your golf fitness? Let's get started...
Every golfer that I train does some form of squat – they’re superb for increasing lower body mass, strength and power which, of course, will help boost clubhead speed. In fact, golf squat exercises are one of the most effective exercises out there for increasing swing speed. In addition, they’re really good for mobility through the ankles, knees and hips, as well as core control and trunk control, which are also really useful attributes for golfers.
2 The Hinge
When we get into our posture, we actually have to push our hips back – so we get into a bit of a hip hinge in the set up anyway. By reinforcing this pattern, it can only be good for the swing. As with squatting, these lower back exercises for golf developing mass, strength and power in the lower body, but here there’s more emphasis on the muscles of the backside – so the hamstrings, glutes and lower back. If we can build a more robust body, particularly through this area, it’s going to be really helpful in lowering injury risk, too. The other major benefit is improved grip strength – it’s working the wrists, elbows and forearms, which can translate to more clubhead speed.
3 Horizontal Push
I think there’s a big opportunity for female golfers and juniors in particular to increase clubhead speed by developing more upper body strength and power. For many, it’s easier to develop lower body strength, so I see this type of exercise as a crucial part of any speed training for golf. Push strength and power is linked to clubhead speed potential, plus it helps develop core and trunk control, as well as shoulder stability.
4 Vertical Push
Performing a vertical push pattern is a fantastic way to improve not only shoulder stability, but the mobility of the shoulders as well, which is something a lot of people struggle with. These exercises will also help increase upper body muscle mass, strength and power.
5 Horizontal Pull
This is another great pattern for golfers to develop and get strong in, as it will increase upper body muscle mass, strength power and stability. As one of our golf mobility exercises, this is of particular importance for female golfers and junior golfers, who tend it find it a little bit more difficult to develop upper body mass.
6 Vertical Pull
Vertical pulls are superb for developing the lats – the large V-shaped muscles that connect your arms to your vertebral column. These are great golf core exercises and the lats are a huge contributor when it comes to clubhead speed so this is a good exercise for any golf speed training. Your lead lat stretches on the way back and rapidly contracts in the downswing, so if you can enhance mobility and strength through here, you should be able to generate a bit more power. In addition, vertical pulling movements are excellent for shoulder mobility and shoulder health, so they can be effective in helping to alleviate nagging aches and pains.
7 Lower Body Explosive
It’s not enough for golfers to be strong – they need to be fast, explosive and athletic. During the golf swing, we don’t actually get huge amounts of time to generate our force – you’re talking 0.5 to 0.7 seconds. So, I recommend building in some kind of faster paced moves as well. The ability to break fast is something that’s key for golfers. If you can slow down fast, it gives you more time to use your acceleration.
8 Med Ball Explosive
Rory McIlroy's gym routine involves a good amount of med ball work. This is a move that ticks so many boxes: trunk rotation, acceleration, plus it helps you to appreciate how power comes from the ground up. Whilst it doesn’t look exactly like the golf swing, golfers like this because they can see that it replicates a similar motion. I have had people say that it helps them with the feeling of the golf swing, although this isn’t really the goal. The aim is to help generate power.
9 Single Leg
Single leg exercises can be a great complement to our two-footed exercises as part of any leg workout for golf. They allow us to work on imbalances and create some more stability, as well as improving lower body muscle mass, strength and power.
10 Carries & Holds
These exercises really works the obliques – the muscles that run down the side of your core – which are a big power source in the golf swing. It’s going to improve your grip strength, too, which is a major advantage if you’re someone who struggles to escape thick or juicy rough. More grip strength will also help you to deadlift more, therefore helping you to boost clubhead speed. Finally, wrist injuries are very common in golf and we put a lot of stress through this area of the body. If we can strengthen the wrists, forearms, elbows and shoulders, we can reduce the risk of injury.
Hopefully these exercises will help you build one of the best golf workouts to improve not only the quality of your swing but your ability to fend off injury.
Jamie Greaves is a strength and conditioning coach and an avid golfer. He played college golf in America, where he reached a handicap of +2. Whilst playing in the States, Jamie discovered a love for fitness and how proper training can positively influence your golf game. Now TPI Fitness Level 3 Certified, Jamie has his own studio at Northampton Golf Club. He trains players of all ages and abilities both in person and through his JG Golf Fitness App. He also works with a number of Tour professionals, including Charley Hull, Lauren Taylor and Meghan MacLaren.
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