We get a lot of questions about golf exercises to improve fitness. From improving your clubhead speed to reducing the risk of injury, golfers are more interested in fitness than ever before. As weâ€™ve been working to improve our golf game, weâ€™ve focused on improving our fitness, and it has made a big difference. Weâ€™re excited to share what weâ€™ve learned.
If you are looking at different golf exercises, it is helpful to take some time to pin down your specific priorities. Exercise effectiveness is not a one-size-fits-all question. Youâ€™ll be much more likely to get the results you are looking for if you are clear on what those results are. A few potential priorities are:
- Injury prevention
- Increased swing speed
- Greater mobility
- Improved stamina
Of course, before starting any exercise program, you should check with your doctor to make sure it is safe for you. Also, if you have the money and time, working with a personal trainer to develop and stick to a plan can help improve results. Personal trainers arenâ€™t for everyone (we donâ€™t use one), but they can be an excellent resource for some people.
In working to improve our golf fitness, we spent time both researching and trying different golf exercises. Weâ€™ve used this to put together a simple guide of practical golf exercises for the most common fitness goals and golfer profiles. We based this list on our personal experience and feedback that we have gathered from other golfers working on their fitness.
Exercise guides often require different equipment that you might not have. We have tried to break down every section to include exercises for those using gym equipment, those with at-home equipment, and those who have no equipment at all. We also focused on different priorities, but these exercises can help golfers of any age and skill level.
Here is how the guide is broken down:
Muscles Used for Golf
Golf uses a wide range of muscles in both the upper and lower body. You will primarily use your chest, shoulders, biceps, triceps, core, and quads to swing a golf club. Our exercises will focus on these groups to help with your specific golf exercise goal
Golf Exercises For Seniors
At the Gym
- Dumbbell Twist – This is a great exercise for strengthening your core. It will help you build up endurance for the motion of swinging a golf club. This will help you feel less fatigue and maintain your strength throughout a round of golf.
- Hold a single lightweight dumbbell with both hands directly in front of you with your arms straight. Twist 90 degrees to your right and then wing 180 degrees to your left keeping your feet planted. This is 1 rep. Repeat the process 10 times.
- Side Lunge With Dumbbells – This exercise will increase your golf flexibility and leg strength. Getting your legs more involved in your golf swing will help you hit the ball further and reduce the wear on the rest of your body.
- Stand with your feet together holding a dumbbell in your left hand at your waist. Take a lateral step with your right foot. Keeping your left leg straight, bend your right knee until you can touch the dumbbell (in your left hand) to your right ankle. Step back to the starting position and repeat 10 times. Follow the same process switching your hand and legs. Make sure that you donâ€™t overexert your muscles, only go as low as your body allows.
- Hip Abduction Machine – This is a great exercise to strengthen your hips for golf.
- Hips are the top pain point for most senior golfers. Making sure your hips are strong enough before you go to the course will help limit a lot of potential issues.
- Two-arm band pull – This is a great way to help your chest and shoulder muscles.
- Hold a resistance band in front of you with both hands. Stretch the band straight out with both arms keeping the band parallel to the ground. Hold closer in on the band to create more resistance. Perform 3 sets of 10.
- Golf Club Lunge – An awesome way to help your flexibility and get loosened up for a round of golf. This will also help your back while playing golf
- Take a forward lunge holding a club with your arms at chin level. Twist to both sides before taking your next step. Take 20 total steps (10 each leg)
- Golf Club Lunge
- Practice swing – This will help get you loose before playing golf and help stretch your core.
- Grab a golf club, stick, or training aide and do continuous practice swings for 30 seconds (without resting). Donâ€™t worry about your swing or any mechanics, just focus on continuous movement. Repeat 3 times.
- Other Back Exercises
- Check out this guide for some great ideas for ways to strengthen your back https://www.freedomcareny.com/posts/back-strengthening-exercises-for-seniors
Golf Exercises to increase golf swing speed
At the Gym
- Battle Ropes – one of the best core exercises to improve your overall strength. This exercise helps practice your core contraction which will translate to a faster swing.
- Stand in a crouched position and grab the end of two battle ropes in either hand. Alternate swinging the rope to chin level.
- Rotational Medicine Ball Throws – another great core exercise that will improve the overall energy transfer of your swing.
- Stand perpendicular to a wall or gym partner. Hold the medicine ball on your right hip with both hands. Throw the ball at a point that is chest high (either your partner or a wall). Have your partner throw the ball back or catch the ball off the wall. Do 3 sets of 10 on your left and right hips.
- Deadlift – Your back and legs are a huge part of a fast swing. This will help both parts and will also hit some smaller core muscles that will translate to higher swing speeds.
- [Insert Deadlift Image]
- Pull-ups – Your back and shoulder strength will give you speed when initiating your downswing.
- Make sure that you use a bar that will support your weight, always test beforehand. One of the keys to pull-ups is making sure that your technique is sound. You will slowly be able to do more and more but make sure you donâ€™t sacrifice quality for quantity.
- Door Band Pull-Down – This exercise is meant to target the specific muscles of your golf swing.
- Place an exercise band over the corner of a door and close the door. Stand with your right shoulder (left if you are a left-handed golfer) against the door and pull the band from shoulder height to your opposite hip (like putting on a seatbelt). Use the strongest band that you can comfortably pull and do 3 sets of 10 pulls.
- Active Planks – This will strengthen your core and shoulders
- Get in a plank position with your elbows on the ground. Move your leg (without touching the ground) so that your knee touches your elbow on the same side. Alternate sides repeatedly for 45 seconds. Repeat 3 times.
- Russian Twists – Another great core exercise that will help your club-head speed.
- Sitting down with your legs extended, lift your feet from the floor with your knees bent. Straighten your back at a 45-degree angle creating an angle with your torso and thighs. Reach your arms out in front of you, clasping your hands together (or holding a weight). Twist your hands until they touch the floor by your right hip then to your left. Repeat this process 20 times (touching each side 20 times)
Golf Flexibility Exercises
At the Gym
- Low Pulley Row – This is a good way to stretch your back and shoulders. Having flexibility in your back and shoulders is key to having a great round of golf!
- Make sure to use a light weight — this is for flexibility, not strength training. Sit on the bench and grab the pulley with both hands. Extend back and pull the pulley to your chest. The key is to slowly release and extend your arms. This is what will give you better flexibility!
- Rear Dumbbell Lateral Raise – This exercise will help with your chest and core flexibility.
- Sit on the edge of a workout bench with your feet on the floor. Grab two dumbbells (again, careful with weight) and place them by your feet. Grabbing the dumbbells, extend your arms out keeping them straight. Perform 3 sets of 10 reps.
- Dumbbell Toe Touch – Fairly self-explanatory, this exercise will help your hamstrings and overall lower body flexibility.
- Grab two lightweight dumbbells. Keeping your legs straight, bend over and touch the dumbbells to your toes. Hold the position for 15 seconds. Repeat 5 times.
- Anterior Delt Stretch (front shoulder) – This will help your arms feel less fatigue while golfing. Arm and shoulder flexibility is one of the most important aspects of golf.
- Grab a door or wall with one hand. Walk forward until your hand is behind you and you feel a stretch in your front shoulder.
- Hang From Pull Up Bar – This will help with your core flexibility!
- Grab a pull-up bar and hang for 15 seconds. Try to take deep breaths and feel your body stretch.
- Cross Back Side Stretch – For tricep and core flexibility.
- Stand straight up and place one foot behind the other. Reach up and rest both hands on your head, interlocking your fingers. Lean to the side of the foot that is in front until you feel a stretch. Hold for 10 seconds. Repeat on the other side.
- Cross back side stretch
- Posterior Deltoid Stretch – For tricep and arm flexibility.
- Place one arm behind your head so that your hand is pointing to the floor and your elbow is behind your head. Using your other hand, apply pressure to your elbow until you feel a stretch. Hold for 20 seconds and repeat on the other side.
- Chest Stretch – For chest and core flexibility
- Grab either side of a doorway and walk forward to create a stretch in your chest. Hold a comfortable stretch for 20 seconds
- Arm Circles – For shoulder and arm flexibility
- Hold your arms straight out on either side like wings. Move your arms in small circles gradually making them larger over the course of 20 seconds.
Golf Exercises – The Key to Better Golf
Regardless of your age or how good a player you are, improving your fitness is the key to better and safer golf. Adding a few golf exercises to your regular schedule is an easy place to start.
If you are already regularly working out, just add a few golf-specific exercises to your routine. It doesnâ€™t need to mean you need to spend a bunch more time at the gym. If youâ€™re already putting in the time, donâ€™t neglect the muscles and movements that will elevate your game.
If you donâ€™t regularly exercise, now is the time to start. A few minutes a day, a few times a week, will improve both your golf game and overall well-being.
Looking for another simple way to improve your golf game? Check out our post on the proper golf grip.