11 Most Effective Golf Exercises

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golf exercises

Don’t you want to look better and play better golf at the same time? As golf fanatics, we’re constantly obsessed with a better-looking golf swing and lowering our golf handicap. One good way to improve on both of these is by incorporating some golf exercises into our practices.

To help you get started, we’ve come up with our best 11 golf exercises inspired by some of the fittest golfers on Tour like Tiger Woods, Rory Mcllroy, Dustin Johnson, and Bryson DeChambeau. Rest assured, these exercises will make you healthier, hit farther, and swing better if you put the time into them.

Disclaimer: If you’re suffering from any back pain or injury, it’s best to consult a doctor before starting any of these golf exercises.

Why Golf Exercises Matter?

To be fair, you don’t need to workout to be a good golfer. In fact, working out too much and getting too muscular can sometimes hinder your golf swing. However, golfers who do workout with the right golf exercises perform far better than those who do not. Here are some of the benefits to becoming golf fit:

  1. Game Improvement:
    • Golf exercises improve your flexibility and core strength which translates to more clubhead speed and swing mobility. For many golfers, this means an increased golf club distances by roughly 15 to 30 yards.
    • Another advantage to golf exercises, besides a six-pack, is becoming more confident in your playing ability. Having a good mental fortitude will prevent you from hesitating during your golf swings and ensure you stay focused when times get tough at the golf course. 
  2. Injury Prevention:
    • Golf is actually a very physically demanding sport especially when you’re hitting with the driver. Injuring your back, ACL, and groin is common amongst golfers and Tour players. By becoming more physically fit to play, you’ll be less prone to these injuries.
  3. Health Benefits:
    • We don’t need to remind you that working out, in general, is good for your health. Besides improving your golf game, we also encourage you to use these golf exercises to improve your daily lifestyle!

Remember To Warm-Up

Before any golf workout, a proper warm-up is important. Make sure to stretch your calf muscles, wrists, shoulders, neck, back, and groin for 10-seconds each. With that said, here are the 11 golf exercises. 

Exercise#1 Russian Kettlebell Swing

Equipment Needed: 5 Pound Kettlebell

Difficulty: Hard

Works On: Your endurance, stability, core, lower-back strength, and reduces the risk of back injuries.

The Move: Start with a 5-pound kettlebell (15-pounds at max). Stand hip-width apart with the kettlebell sitting on the ground between your feet. From there, push your hips backward and bend your knees. Fold your hips to where you’re able to grab the kettlebell while ensuring your back remains straight. 

Following this momentum, grab the kettlebell and let it swing backward between your legs. While maintaining a straight back, engage your core and drive the kettlebell upwards by aggressively opening your hips and squeezing your legs and butt while you stand. Keep your arms straight during the swing and guide the kettlebell until it reaches eye level. When the kettlebell descends back between your legs, use its momentum to thrust it back up to eye level to continue the workout.

Disclaimer: Make sure to keep your back straight to prevent injuring yourself. To prevent arching or bending your back during the swing, focus on how you drive the weight forward with your hips and glutes while engaging your core. You should not be swinging the kettlebell with just the strength from your arms. 

Do This For: 10 reps of 3 sets.

If This Is Too Hard: Reduce the number of reps to 5.

Exercise#2 Forward Wall Squats

Equipment: None

Difficulty: Medium

Works On: Your core, quads, spine positioning, and stability.

The Move: Stand with your toes roughly 6 inches from the wall. If pointing your toes to the wall is considered 90 degrees, point your toes outwards by roughly 45 to 90 degrees. Now, do a squat without any part of your body or your face touching the wall. If this is too easy for you, try standing closer to the wall.

Do This For: 10 reps of 2 to 3 sets

If This Is Too Hard: Practice squatting away from the wall. Focus on your form and stability.

Exercise#3 Rotational Medicine Ball Throw

Equipment: Medicine Ball

Difficulty: Easy

Works On: Your weight distribution during your golf swing, core, and swing speed.

The Move: Stand 6 feet away from the wall while facing perpendicular to it. Get in your golf set-up and stand shoulder-width apart. With a lighter medicine ball (2 to 6 pounds), position it where you would normally grip your golf club

From there, bring the medicine ball to hip height away from the wall while distributing your body weight to your back foot. Then, throw the medicine ball towards the wall using the power from your hips. Catch the ball on the rebound and repeat the move. 

Remember to throw the ball from the power of your hip rotation and not from your arms.

Do This For: 10 reps of 2 sets on each side.

Exercise#4 Dumbbell Lateral Raises

Equipment Needed: x2 Dumbbells

Difficulty: Easy

Works On: Your shoulders, especially the lateral and anterior heads of the deltoid.

The Move: Stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart. Hold dumbbells starting at 10 or 15 pounds on each hand with your palms facing the body. Push your shoulders back and keep your chest high. Then lift your hands horizontally with your elbows straight until your arms are the same height as your shoulders and do not bend your wrist. Hold for one to two seconds and slowly lower your arms back to where you started.

Do This For: 10 reps of 3 sets.

Exercise#5 Box Jumps

Equipment Needed: A jump box 

Difficulty: Easy

Works On: Your cardio, leg strength, and power generated from your feet during your swing.

The Move: Stand with your feet hip-width apart and attempt to jump up the jump box. Use your arms to help you with the jump by swaying them backward and propelling them forward when you jump. Upon landing on the box, let your knees bend naturally when you land to absorb the impact from the landing then stand back straight right after. Carefully jump back down and make sure to bend your knees when landing to once again absorb the impact to prevent any spine injuries.

Do This For: 7 reps of 3 sets with the highest height you can reach.

Exercise#6 Plank Leg Raises

Equipment Needed: None

Difficulty: Medium

Works On: Your core, glutes, hamstrings, quads, and shoulder strength.

The Move: Start by getting into a normal plank position. Now with the support of your two arms and left foot, lift your right foot upwards toward the ceiling by about 2 feet. Slowly lower your foot afterward.

Do this for: 10 reps for each leg of 3 sets each.

If This Is Too Hard: Feel free to reduce the reps to 5 for each set.

Exercise#7 Glute Bridges

Equipment Needed: None

Difficulty: Easy

Works On: Your hips and lower back flexibility, mobility, and strength.

The Move: Lie faceup on the floor with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground. Place your arms beside you with your palms facing down. Lift your hips off the ground until your knees, hips, and shoulders form a straight line. Make sure your back is not overarched by squeezing your glutes and tightening your abs. Hold this position for 5 seconds and slowly drop back down.

Do This For: 10 reps of 2 to 3 sets.

Exercise#8 Judo Push-Ups

Equipment Needed: Exercise mat

Difficulty: Hard

Works On: Your core, chest, shoulders, triceps, and back.

The Move: Use an exercise mat for this golf exercise. Get in a normal push-up position but instead stand your feet shoulder-width apart. Move both your feet slightly upwards to where you’re knees were and keep your knees straight along the way, this will be the starting position for the judo push-up. 

From there, move your chest followed by the rest of your torso downwards until your chin almost touches the ground. Next, lower your hips until they almost touch the floor and push your head and shoulder up towards the ceiling. In the end, your hips should be close to the floor, your face facing the ceiling, your elbows straight, and your back fully overarched. Finally, repeat the steps in a reversed order to get back to the starting position. This is considered one rep. 

Disclaimer: If you’re falling forward as you move towards your chest, your feet may be positioned too upward in your starting position. 

Do This For: 5 to 7 reps of 3 sets.

If This Is Too Hard: Do pushups with the same reps and sets and finish off with a 1-minute plank.

Exercise#9 Bodyweight Lunges

Equipment Needed: None

Difficulty: Easy

Works On: Your stability, glutes, leg strength, and aligns core and spinal position.

The Move: Stand straight and take a step forward with 1 leg until you make a 90-degree angle. Hold for a second or two and lift your lunging leg back to your standing position. Make sure your upper body remains straight throughout the whole exercise.

Do This For: 8 to 10 rep for 3 sets on each leg.

If This Is Too Easy: Hold dumbbells at the side of your hands while doing these lunges. 

Exercise#10 Hanging Leg Raises

Equipment Needed: Pull-up bar

Difficulty: Hard

Works On: Your core, grip strength, shoulder mobility and stability, and back strength.

The Move: Start by hanging onto a pull-up bar while keeping your legs straight and feet together. Maintain this position and start by lifting your legs until your body forms a right angle/ L shape. Make sure to tighten your core as you do this and your arms and legs should remain straight the whole time. Finally, slowly lower your legs back to the starting position.

Do This For: 10 reps of 3 sets.

If This Is Too Hard: Bend your knees and lift your knees towards your chest instead.

Exercise#11 Walk The Course

Equipment Needed: None

Difficulty: Easy

Works On: Endurances and learning the golf course.

The Move: Walking the entire golf course equates to roughly 4 miles or 7000 yards! This is a good reason why walking the course is a great way to improve your endurance and fitness while playing golf. 

The next time you play at a golf course, rent a push cart and walk all 18-holes! If you’re a beginner, this golf exercise is also a great way for you to learn about the golf course in more detail. 

Disclaimer: Not every golf course allows its players to walk instead of renting a golf cart, so make sure to check with your golf course beforehand.

Final Thoughts And What’s Next?

People don’t really think of golf as a physically demanding sport. For most of them, it’s just a game for the rich and old. Though that may be somewhat true back in the day, it’s not so much today.

Today, the younger population for the sport is growing, and competition has never been fiercer. Golfers are clocking swing speeds faster than ever before and much of this is due to their physical fitness.

The 11 golf exercises above will help you to swing faster and play better golf. However, even with your physicality in check, you’ll still need to have a good understanding of the game to play well.

On that note, check out our guide to playing golf to get a full idea of how the game of golf works. If you’re struggling with your golf swing, our swing plane guide and golf slice article may be what you need to read next!

If you have any questions, feel free to ask us. We’re happy to help!

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Mark has been an avid golfer for more than 15 years and has reviewed golf clubs since 2015. He is also the founder of the Golf Leap Blog site.

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