Best Golf Exercises: 10 Moves For Every Golfer To Try

Below, we look at the best golf exercises as demonstrated by golf strength and conditioning coach Jamie Greaves

Best Golf Exercises
The best golf exercises to keep you playing at the top of your game
(Image credit: Tom Miles)

All of the best golf exercises support players to stay fit, strong and healthy - which in turn can lead to improved and sustained performance. Most golfers will take part in some form of exercise or physical activity away from the course, but are you making the most of your workouts to maximise your golf performance?

Don't worry if you have little or no experience when it comes to working out. As you will see, these golf exercises can be differentiated to suit your needs. What's more, many of the best golf workouts can be performed in the comfort of your own home, and without lots of equipment. 

Ready to get started? Strength and conditioning coach Jamie Greaves shares his 10 best golf exercises...

Best Golf Exercises: 1) Squats 

Every golfer that I train does some form of squat. They're superb for increasing lower body mass, strength and power, all of which will help boost club head speed. In fact, golf squat exercises are one of the most effective exercises for increasing swing speed.

In addition, squats are great for mobility through the ankles, knees and hips, as well as core and trunk control, which are also really useful attributes for all golfers.

2) The Hinge

When we get into the correct posture, we actually have to push our hips back and get into a hip hinge in the set-up. By reinforcing this pattern, it creates further benefits for our swing. As with squatting, these lower back exercises for golf develop mass, strength and power in the lower body. With these movements, 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 reduce the risk of injury. The other major benefit is it supports improved grip strength – it’s working the wrists, elbows and forearms, which in turn can translate to more club head speed.

3) Horizontal Push 

I think there’s a big opportunity for female and junior golfers in particular to increase club head 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 club head 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 great way to improve not only shoulder stability, but the mobility of the joint also, which is something a lot of golfers struggle with. This type of exercise will also help increase upper body muscle mass, strength and power - which can help you to add extra yards to your game.

5) Horizontal Pull

This is another great pattern for golfers to develop and perfect, as it will increase upper body muscle mass, strength, power and stability. As one of our golf mobility exercises, this is particularly important for female and junior golfers, who tend to 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 club head 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 extra power. In addition, vertical pulling movements are excellent for shoulder mobility, and general 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 get a lot of time to generate force. Generally, you have around 0.5 to 0.7 seconds, which is why 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 medicine ball work. This is a move that ticks so many boxes, including trunk rotation, acceleration, and generating power from the ground up. Whilst it doesn’t look exactly like the golf swing, golfers like this because it replicates a similar motion. 

When discussing this type of exercise, I have had people say that it helps them with the feeling of the golf swing, which is an added bonus, because the aim is to help generate power.

9) Single Leg

Single leg exercises area a great addition to any leg workout for golf. They allow us to work on imbalances , creating more stability, as well as improving lower body muscle mass, strength and power. When you consider the impact your lower body has on your golf swing, it emphasises the importance of not skipping leg day!

10) Carries & Holds 

This type of exercise works well for the obliques – the muscles that run down the side of your core – which are a big power source in the golf swing. This activity is going to improve your grip strength too, which is an advantage if you’re someone who struggles to escape thick or juicy rough.

With wrist injuries being very common in golf, due to the fact we put a lot of stress through this area of the body, these exercises can strengthen the joints throughout your arms and pro-actively lower the risk of injury.

Jamie Greaves
Strength And Conditioning Coach

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.