While golf may not seem like a sport you need to train for, working out can help you improve your golf game. The most important part of your body is your core when you swing, but having a solid upper and lower body can give you more power and help you hit further.
Here’s the best workout routine for golfers:
- Russian twists
- Palloff press
- Dumbbell rows
There are four core workouts, two upper body workouts, and two lower body. You can do a body area each day for three total golf workouts. Let’s look at these workouts and how they can help you improve your golf game.
The first core exercise for golfers is the plank. As with a lot of these exercises, there are different variations of planking, but usually, you place your palms or forearms on the ground and lift your knees, so you’re only touching the floor with your forearms or palms and toes.
You can also do one-arm planks. To do one of these, you place one palm or forearm on the ground, then put your other arm straight up in the air.
To do a plank, choose the variation you want, get in position, then hold the plank for a certain period, usually thirty seconds to one minute. Then, rest for fifteen to thirty seconds and repeat the plank two more times.
If you’re doing one-arm planks, switch sides and hold each side for the same amount of time. Doing both sides is one plank, then you can rest before repeating.
Bridges are another great exercise that works your core and glutes, essential for providing power when you swing a golf club.
To do a bridge, lay flat on your back and bring your feet to your butt. Your knees should be bent in the air.
Keep your feet shoulder-width apart and arms to your sides on the grounds. Then, lift your butt and hips into the air. Hold it for a second, then lower. You’ve completed one rep. Do at least ten reps, then rest and repeat two more times.
If you want to make your bridges harder, you can add some weight. Grab a dumbbell of a weight that’s comfortable for you. Then, place the dumbbell on your lower torso and do bridges with the extra weight. If necessary, you can hold the weight in place instead of having your arms on the ground.
Here is a Youtube video from Well+Good that shows you how to do a proper bridge:
3. Russian Twists
Another excellent core workout is the Russian twist. It’s one of the hardest if you don’t have some core muscles built up already, but it also helps you build a strong core quickly.
Lift your feet and bring your knees to your chest, lifting your torso as if holding a crunch. When you are in position, the only part of your body touching the ground is your butt. Then, twist your torso to one side, come back to the center, turn to the other side, then back to the center to complete one rep.
If you want to make the Russian twists harder, you can hold a weighted ball, a dumbbell, or a plate in your hands while you twist.
You can either count your twists and do a certain number of them or set a timer and do as many as you can before the timer goes off.
For a quick demonstration of how to do a Russian Twist, check out this Youtube video from LivestrongWoman:
4. Pallof Press and Twist
The final core workout on this list, the Pallof press and twist, is excellent for golfers since it mimics the twisting motions that your body does when you swing.
You need a resistance band or a cable to do this exercise, but the benefits are worth it. Grab your band or cable and attach it to something like a bar, post, or exercise machine at shoulder height.
Then grab the cable in both hands at chest level and extend your arms as you twist ninety degrees away from where you attached the band. Hold for a second, then turn back to the starting position with your hands at your chest.
Do eight to ten reps, then repeat on the other side. Even though you only twist one way when you swing a golf club, you want to do both sides with this exercise to keep your core strength even.
Rest then repeat two more times. If you find it too easy or difficult, use a different strength band or adjust the cable resistance.
You can also do the press without twisting. You just push the band out from your chest and back. Pallof Presses are still a great core exercise, but the twisting variation is better for golfers.
For a visual explanation of how to do Pallof twists, check out this short Youtube video from Seriously Strong Training:
As you can see, the twist looks like a golf swing, so you’re working the same muscles that you use when you are golfing.
5. Dumbbell Rows
Now, let’s get into upper body workouts with dumbbell rows. There are so many variations of this workout, but all you need is a dumbbell.
Hold a dumbbell of your weight choice in one hand away from your body. You can bend over, lean over a bench or rack, or stand straight. Then, lift the dumbbell in a rowing motion so the dumbbell is next to your body, and your elbow is behind you.
Return the dumbbell to the starting position and repeat for eight to ten reps. Rest and repeat two more times.
Dumbbell rows strengthen your arms for a more powerful swing and help your back. Having a strong back is essential for having good posture during your golf swing.
This Youtube video from Colossus Fitness shows you how to do a dumbbell row, how to avoid common mistakes that make them less effective, and a few variations of the exercise you can do.
The second exercise you’d use to strengthen your upper body for golf is pull-ups. Even though many people cannot do a pull-up, some variations will still help you build your strength until you can do a pull-up.
All you need is a bar, whether at your gym or home. Grab the bar and pull yourself up. If you can do pull-ups, set a number of reps for yourself to do and repeat three times. If you want to make the pull-ups harder, add some weights.
If you can’t do too many pull-ups, do as many as possible. Track how many you do each time and see how you improve.
Even if you can’t do a pull-up, you can try hanging on the bar as long as possible. Holding the bar while you hold yourself up will help you improve your grip. Then, continue to do dumbbell rows and the other exercises on this list until you can start pulling yourself up and doing a full pull-up.
Finally, some workouts will help you build lower body strength which will give you more power when you swing, and it will help you maintain a strong posture.
Traditional Olympic deadlifts and simplified versions still help you build the same muscles. You can do deadlifts with dumbbells and use one leg, two legs, and one arm or two arms.
It’s essential to keep your posture and not use your back to lift when you deadlift. Otherwise, you can hurt your back, and you will have to take a break from your workouts and golfing.
Since the deadlift needs to be done in a particular way to avoid injury, you might want to watch a video to learn how to do it instead of reading instructions (since written instruction can only help so much with complex physical processes).
This Youtube video from SweatNET shows you how to do a proper dumbbell deadlift:
Check out this Youtube video from Hunter Chilton if you want to learn ten different variations for deadlifting:
Our final workout is lunges. Lunges help you build strength in your lower body, and they can also help your knees stay healthy. Your knees are an essential part of your golf game, especially if you walk during your rounds.
Stand up with your feet together to do a lunge, then step one foot ahead of you. Then, bring your torso towards the ground so both knees are bent at a ninety-degree angle. Then, return to the standing position with your knees straight.
That is one rep. Repeat eight to ten reps, rest, then do two more sets.
If you’re working outside or have a track available, you can do walking lunges. Otherwise, standing lunges are great since you can do them anywhere. You can also hold weights while you do lunges for an added challenge.