Improve Your Swing With 5 Strength Exercises
Golfers are always looking for ways to lower their score. Whether it be taking lessons to improve their swing, or simply just playing, there are many ways to improve. There is something that you can do off the course as well, and it is golf focused exercises. While it is always helpful to maintain fitness in whatever sport you play, fitness and golf have not always gone hand in hand. Times have changed; many of the best pro golfers including Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, and Rickie Fowler train constantly. While there are a large amount of exercises that can improve your swing, we have five for you. Enjoy these five combinations of swing specific exercises that every golfer should add to their workout routine to drive the ball a little further and prevent injury.
1. Squat & Leg Press
While we use a lot of our upper body for our golf swing, having a strong foundation is just as important. We use our lower posterior chain to help drive us forward through our swing which includes our glutes and our hamstrings. These are the two best exercises to build strength in these muscles. For beginner lifters we recommend starting out with a goblet squat and leg press (shown below). Then, move up to a barbell squat when you have a feel for proper form. Here is a great guide on different variations of the squat.
2. Deadlift w/ Barbell or Trap Bar
The deadlift is perhaps the most efficient exercise you can do to improve your swing because it strengthens and works so many muscle groups. While primarily working your posterior chain, or backside; it also recruits help from the anterior (front) chain. This is due to the tension of the weight being lifted off the ground. This exercise includes your core which is needed for stabilization in the lift. Some may think this lift is too daunting or dangerous; however, when performed properly and with manageable weight, it is safe and a great way to actually prevent injury. Golfers already have a big part of the exercise down in the hip hinge; as we naturally hinge in our swing.
For beginners we recommend starting out with the trap bar and moving up to a barbell deadlift, once you get a proper feel for the lift. Sticking with the trap bar and lower weight is also a good option for those with lower back issues or pain. Here is a guide with different variations of the deadlift.
3. Lat Pulldown & Cable Row
These two back exercises are complementary to each other, and will do wonders to improve your swing and distance. They are two of the most basic, yet effective lifts to build your lats among other back muscles which will greatly contribute to the power of your swing. A great alternative for the lat pulldown is the pull-up. We actually recommend switching off between the two.
4. Cable Woodchop (with different cable positions)
The cable woodchop is a great exercise to strengthen our upper body trunk muscles, helping to improve your swing. This includes our core and also many other upper body muscles in our back as well. Not only do we get our rotational power from this location, but also the stabilization in our swing. This will help with the rotation of your golf swing greatly. Preform this exercise with the cable rope starting in either the low, mid, or high position. The best alternative to the cable rope is using bands, but one can also perform this movement with a dumbbell or medicine ball
5. Side to Side Leg Raises or any dynamic core exercise (with movement)
This is one of our favorite core exercises, adding more rotational movement to the leg raise. This hits your core while working on your obliques, continuing that trend of strengthening your trunk muscles, and adding extra stability and power to improve your swing. While this is our go-to core exercise, there are a lot of alternative core exercises out there. That being said, static core exercises such as a plank, will not benefit you as much as this dynamic exercise. Try as many dynamic core exercises as you can and find the one that you feel works your core most efficiently. Note* Images show basic leg raises. For the side to side alternative, simply rotate your hips to the side when your feet are on the way down.
These are just a few exercises that are proven to increase overall strength and also specifically in areas that will help improve your golf swing. There are a number of exercises out there that can help improve your swing. That being said, this is a great foundation and starting point to strengthen your swing and prevent injury. Try these exercises at home and take to the range to see your improvement.