Getting Back Into the Swing of Things: Exercises to Improve Your Golf Game
Are you just getting back on the course but hate playing subpar? It might take a game or two to get back into the swing of things but a solid golf game doesn't just come from practice on the course alone. If you truly want your game to improve you will need to train the appropriate muscles on and off the course. If you are an avid golfer you most likely won't be hitting the gym to increase muscle size, but rather to focus on the kinetics and execution of your movements.
It all starts with understanding which muscles are involved during your swing. Let's take a look at how each of these play a role in your swing and what specific exercises you can do to help improve your game.
Pectoralis Major (Chest)
Helps in flexing the shoulder and extension of the arm during your backswing. If you are looking for a smoother, more effective golf swing this is a great area to strengthen.
Rep range: 4 sets of 10-15 reps
Weight: 5 - 20lb dumbbells each hand
Hold a dumbbell in each hand. Sit on an incline bench with feet shoulder width apart. Keep your elbows slightly bent and raise both arms until the dumbbells meet in the middle. Release and bring your arms back down.
PRO TIP: Turn the wrists slightly outward or inward to activate the chest and shoulder muscles simultaneously.
Wide Stance Push-Ups
Rep range: 4 sets of 10 reps
These are a little different from traditional push ups because you will want to specifically target the pectoral muscles. Do this by placing your hands out further than shoulder width, stacking the hands right under the elbows. Lower yourself down and push back up.
PRO TIP: Feeling up to a challenge? Walk your hands out further to create more demand on the pectoral muscle.
Forearms & Wrists
Your swing ain’t a thing without a proper grip. And we aren’t just talking about PURE Grips, but your actual grip strength on the club. A proper grip is an important factor to driving your ball in the right direction. Keep hitting a right hook into the trees? Sounds like it’s time to strengthen the wrists and forearms.
Rep range: 4 sets of 8-10 reps
Weight: 2 - 10lbs each hand
Hold a dumbbell upright in each hand. Rotate your hands 90 degrees to the left, then back to the upright position. Repeat the exercise in both directions.
PRO TIP: Warm up with a set of these prior to your golf game to increase wrist mobility help prevent injury.
Gluteus Maximus (Buttocks)
Golfers need glutes too. Known as the “King of the Swing”, a strong gluteus maximus allows you to control your thigh rotation, generate more power, and provides lower body support for a consistent swing. Tightening the gluteus maximus muscle will also lay a stable foundation for the duration of your swing.
Rep range: 4 sets of 12-15 reps
Weight: 15 - 35lb kettlebell or dumbbell
A goblet squat is similar to a regular squat, only done with by holding a kettlebell or dumbbell in front of you. Stand shoulder width apart and cup both hands on a kettlebell or dumbbell in front of your chest and under your chin. Engage your core and lower yourself into a squatting position, then push back up through the heels.
PRO TIP: When squatting down, your knees should never go over your toes. If you experience this, try putting a small weight plate under your toes to shift your weight back onto your heels.
Rep range: 4 sets of 20 reps
Lay on your back with your arms to your sides. Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the floor, shoulder width apart. Engage your core so you can flatten your back to the floor. Press your heels into the floor and lift your hips up, keeping your core engaged. Keep lifting until the shoulders, hips, and knees are aligned. Slowly lower the hips back down and repeat.
PRO TIP: Add a resistance band right above the knees to add extra tension and activate your abductors and gluteus maximus simultaneously.
These muscles are very important when it comes to rotating the torso. Your obliques play a key role in powering up your backswing and separating your pelvis and shoulders during the downswing.
Rep range: 4 sets of 20 reps
Weight: 5-15lb medicine ball
This movement is much like the rotation of a golf swing.
Sit on your upper buttocks and engage your core. Lift your feet and keep your upper back off the ground. Hold the medicine ball with both hands. Move your arms side to side, touching the ball to the ground on each side.
PRO TIP: The further you lean back and extend your legs (without touching the ground!) the more challenging this exercise will get.
Start incorporating these exercises into your golf training regimen and watch your golf game improve!
What exercises have you found to improve your golf game? Feel free to comment and share with our readers!