Shoulder Exercises for Golf

By Brendan O'Brien
Simple shoulder exercises can prevent injury and strengthen performance.
Simple shoulder exercises can prevent injury and strengthen performance.

The shoulders are a critical part of the golf swing. The shoulder muscles allow the arms to turn and extend correctly over and behind the head through the backswing. Strong and flexible shoulder muscles also allow the golfer to have a solid follow-through and finish. A flexible and solid backswing and follow through are essential ingredients to a consistent golf swing.

Bench Lift

The shoulder needs to have a range of motion to operate at a optimal level for a golf swing. One easy and effective exercise is a front shoulder stretch, which is performed by lying on a weight bench with small dumbbells in your hands. Elbows should be a 90-degree angle as you move them down until the hands are next to your hips. Alternate arms, completing 10 reps on each arm. If you are doing the exercise correctly, you will feel tension in the front of each shoulder but no pain.

Standing Shoulder Press

A standing shoulder press is performed while standing with two small dumbbells. With a dumbbell in each hand, stand straight with your palms facing front. As you push both dumbbells upward, twist your body to the right. When your arms are fully extended, stop briefly and then lower the dumbbells down and turn back to the original position. Complete six reps turning right and six reps turning left. Do this three times.

Shoulder Turn

While strengthening the muscles is important, a golfer cannot forget to training the shoulders to move correctly during their swing. This can be done with the shoulder turn exercise. This exercise can be done with a small iron and an exercise band in the backyard. With one end of an exercise band under the right foot and the other end held in the grip, start your regular golf swing. As you make your golf turn, you will feel a gradual increase in tension in the shoulders. Complete 10 to 15 reps. Eventually, change the length and position of the of the band. This will put tension on other muscles in the shoulder

About the Author

Brendan O'Brien is a professional journalist in Milwaukee, Wis. He has worked for several news organizations, newspapers such as the "Milwaukee Journal Sentinel" and trade magazines during his career of more than 15 years. He is currently a freelance writer who works for several publications.

Photo Credits

  • couple working out image by Mat Hayward from
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