Weight Training for Golf

By Brian Hill
Professional golfers are continuing to discover the benefits of fitness training.
Professional golfers are continuing to discover the benefits of fitness training.

Golfers do weight training in order to build muscle strength, which in turn helps increase club head speed. Because golf requires a coordinated effort by a number of different muscle groups, performing exercises to build up each group ensures there are no weak points in the swing. Weak legs, for example, can affect a golfer's balance and throw off the timing of the swing or cause him to tire near the end of the round.


Golfers may be reluctant to begin weight training because they have heard that it will build bunched-up muscles, resulting in less flexibility, a restricted swing arc and less club speed. This can be true if heavy weights are lifted, but weight training for golf involves lighter weight and more repetitions. Stretching exercises are often used in conjunction with weight training to improve muscle and joint flexibility.

Home Gym or Health Club Membership

Many golfers prefer to set up their own exercise and weight room at home to work out whenever they want without traveling. You need sufficient space, especially if you will be purchasing a weight machine. Putting in a mirror will allow you to check your form as you do the exercises. A health club will have a wider variety of equipment, and there are instructors to guide you.

Types of Weights

Golfers use free weights and multistation weight machines. Free weights include barbells, a long metal bar with weight plates attached on each end, and dumbbells, smaller weights lifted with one hand. Free weights primarily exercise the upper body, although exercises such as leg squats and lunges are often done during the same session for a complete workout. Multistation weight machines allow golfers to exercise a variety of muscle groups in both the upper and lower body.


For a golfer outfitting a home exercise room, barbells and dumbbells are less expensive than a weight machine and take up less space. Using free weights helps improve balance and stability, both contributors to a sound, dependable golf swing. Using free weights requires more care to control the weight and do the exercises properly; follow the exercise instructions to the letter to get the most benefit. With weight machines, the weights slide on a metal track and are kept in place for you. Instructions are printed on each station to guide the user.

Exercise Method

During weight training golfers, perform a number of repetitions of each exercise, 10 to 20 per set. Start with sufficient weight that you begin to experience muscle fatigue near the end of the set. The key is to not use such heavy weights that you are not able to maintain proper form--stance, posture and movement--during each repetition. Golfers serious about their exercise program may do weight training as often as three times per week, resting a day between each session.

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