I worked with a college golf strength and conditioning program as their strength and conditioning coach when I was coaching in America. Soon after, I had an opportunity to work with a professional golfer who was aiming for a spot in the Master’s PGA tour. I’ve been around the game for a while and there is no doubt that golf is a physically and mentally demanding sport.
Players on the fairway such as Bryson DeChambeau and Rory McIlroy are now among a large group of players that recognise the importance of strength and conditioning for golf. Waterford golfer Seamus Power also credits much of his success to his strength and conditioning programme also.
These guys clearly prioritise gym work for the betterment of their game; but how can you as a weekend golf player use similar tactics to ward off lower back pain, shoulder discomfort and increase your average drive on the golf course? In this article we’ll show you some of the best exercises to perform to improve your golf game.
Strength and Conditioning Advice for Golfers
You should use a combination of strength, power and endurance exercises in the gym. Each exercise will serve a specific purpose.
Strength exercises should feel the most difficult, power exercises should feel light and explosive and endurance exercises will contain lots of reps of smaller, simple to perform movements.
Strength Exercises for Golf
When starting off in the gym I recommend using a single heavy upper body and single heavy lower body exercise for your golf strength training. These exercises should feel like a 7 to 8.5 out of 10 difficulty and should be done at the start of each gym session.
Hex Bar Deadlift
Incline Dumbbell Alternating Press (2-1)
Power Exercises for Golf
Half Kneel Medicine Ball Rotations
Endurance Exercises for Golf
The goal with these endurance based exercises is to increase shoulder and upper back strength, particularly increasing rotator cuff strength which will give you stronger, more stable shoulders and allow you to play without pain.
Overhead Band Pull Apart
Band Face Pull
Core Exercises for Golf
Use these exercises to develop core stability so that you can effectively rotate for longer drives off the tee. These exercises will also help provide support for your lower back.
Split Stance Pallof Hold
Fire Hydrant Hold
Single Leg Bridge Hold
Strength & Conditioning Programme for Golfers
Two to three sessions in the gym should suffice for long-term improvement in your golf game. These sessions should ideally be performed on non-consecutive days (i.e. Monday/Wednesday/Friday).
- Perform both strength exercises each session
- Perform both power exercises each session
- Complete two endurance exercises each session
- Complete two core exercises each session
Reps & Sets for Golf Strength Training
Perform 3 to 5 sets of 3 to 6 reps for both strength and power based exercises
Perform 2 to 3 sets of 12 to 20 reps for endurance exercises
Perform 2 to 3 sets of 20 to 40 second holds [each side] for core based exercises
We hope you found this insight into golf strength and conditioning training useful. If you’d like to work with us in-person to eliminate any pain that is limiting your enjoyment on the golf course or want to take your golf performance to the next level – contact us today to start training with us in our spacious gym.