How to Do Strength Training for Golf

By Amy Neighbors
Golf-specific strength training can help improve distance with every club.
Golf-specific strength training can help improve distance with every club.

When you want to improve your overall fitness for golf, strength training is a great option. Many golfers forget that in golf, technique is just half of the equation. The body must be in golf shape, and the right muscles must be worked and strengthened. This will help the golfer hit the ball farther, maintain stamina through 18 holes and prevent pain and injury.

Use the proper equipment. Golfers do not need to lift heavy weights because their sport doesn't require a lot of body mass. Use dumbbells ranging from 8 to 15 pounds and resistance bands in green and red. Do more reps with lower weights; complete most exercises for 12 to 15 repetitions.

Warm up properly to supply blood and oxygen to the muscles and prepare them for the weight workout. Mimic movements used in golf for approximately 5 minutes. Include arm circles front and back, airplane twists, hip and knee circles and brisk walking in your warm-up.

Work the biggest muscles first: the legs and buttocks. Hold dumbbells on your shoulders or at your side. Or step on a band and pull the handles to your shoulders. Perform 12 to 15 repetitions of squats at a slow pace, counting two seconds down and two seconds up; do three sets. Next place your feet in a staggered position, with one foot in front and the other foot behind. Again working the posterior chain, perform three sets of 12 to 15 repetitions of lunges.

Exercise the core and upper body, including the shoulders, back and chest. Do core exercises specific to the movements, positions and physical requirements of the swing motion. The wood chop mimics the twist motion of the core in golf while working the upper and lower body at the same time. Stand in a neutral position. Hold a dumbbell with both hands extended over your right shoulder. Your body will be slightly twisted toward the right and should form a diagonal line from fingertips to feet. Maintaining a tight core, keep your arms straight and quickly pull down toward the left foot as if to be chopping a piece of wood. Quickly lift your arms back to the starting position. Complete three sets of 12 on each side.

Cool down properly after strength training for golf. Walk slowly for five minutes, followed by a hamstring stretch, forward flexion low-back stretch and cat-cow stretch. Hold each stretch for 20 seconds on both the right and left sides.

About the Author

Amy Neighbors is president and master trainer of Swing Athletics Golf Performance Fitness. She is an AFAA-certified group fitness instructor, SCW and NHE personal trainer, and ARC CPR. Neighbors holds bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Illinois. She began writing for online publications while working on her master's degree in 2006.

Photo Credits

  • weights and measures image by John Sfondilias from Fotolia.com
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