Most amateur golfers would agree that a few extra yards off the tee, or a little more finesse with the wedge would be handy. But how do you go about achieving that? Believe it or not, the key to improving your swing might just be a few gym workouts away. Welcome to a whole new world of golfing strength and fitness!
Can gym exercises help on the golf course?
Did you know that strength, stability, and flexibility are three key elements that contribute to a solid golf swing? Think about the pros; they don’t get their power and control from thin air and good course management. Those robust drives and precise putts come from a well-conditioned body, trained for the rigours of the course. A trip to the gym can help work those essential muscle groups that will give your golf game the much-needed boost.
Training for golf in the gym – how it will help your game
Exercises that focus on your core, flexibility, balance, and power will improve your swing mechanics, prevent injuries and add yards to your game. And the best part is you don’t need to be a gym rat or bodybuilder to see the benefits. Just a few targeted workouts a week could have you sinking putts like a pro.
If you don’t want to take our word for it, have a look at a few of the golf pro’s on the PGA tour right now. Bryson DeChambeau and Rory McIlroy are two clear examples of golf pro’s who have benefited from hitting the gym, hard! So what are the kinds of golf exercises that they are doing in the gym? Let’s take a look.
Squat your way to longer drives
The king of all exercises, the squat is a fantastic full-body movement that promotes strength and balance. “Squats not only build your legs but also recruit your core, which is vital for stability in the swing,” says Sarah Johnson, a personal trainer and avid golfer.
Perform squats by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart. Lower your body as if you’re sitting down on an invisible chair. Keep your chest up and your back straight. Push back up through your heels to the standing position. For the best results, aim for 3 sets of 12 reps.
Plank on to more accurate putts
Your core is the foundation of your golf swing, and planks are the perfect exercise to build core strength. “A strong core translates into a more stable swing and can help prevent lower back injuries, common in golfers,” mentions James White, a personal trainer specialising in golf conditioning.
Begin in a push-up position, but rest on your forearms instead of your hands. Keep your body straight from head to toe and hold this position. Start with 30 seconds and gradually work your way up to holding the plank for longer periods.
Glute Bridge stops you being the butt of golf jokes
Glute bridges target the backside muscles, which are vital for generating power in your golf swing. Strengthening these muscles will help you gain distance on your drives.
Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Push through your heels to raise your hips off the ground until your body forms a straight line from your knees to your shoulders. Lower your hips to return to the starting position. Repeat this for 3 sets of 15 reps.
Lunges help you win more trophies
Lunges help improve your balance and stability, crucial elements for a controlled golf swing. They work your glutes, quads, and hamstrings.
Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart. Step forward with one foot and lower your body until your front knee is at a 90-degree angle. Make sure your knee doesn’t go past your toes. Push back up and return to the starting position. Do 3 sets of 10 reps for each leg.
Russian Twist towards better iron accuracy
The Russian twist is an excellent exercise for working your oblique muscles, which are crucial for the twisting motion in your golf swing.
Sit on the ground with your knees bent and lean back slightly. Keep your back straight and hold a weight in front of your chest. Twist your torso to the right, then to the left to complete one rep. Aim for 3 sets of 12 reps.
Deadlift to more explosive swing action
Last but certainly not least, the deadlift is an excellent exercise to build up your lower back and core strength, crucial for a powerful golf swing.
Stand behind a weighted barbell. Bend at your hips and knees, grab the bar with a shoulder-width grip. Keeping your lower back naturally arched, pull your torso up and thrust your hips forward as you stand up with the barbell. Lower the bar to the floor and repeat. Do 3 sets of 10 reps.
When you can’t make it to the gym, there are a plethora of at-home workout options
Trideer Extra Thick Yoga & Exercise Ball – £15.99 Amazon
The Trideer Extra Thick Yoga & Exercise Ball is a fantastic addition to your home fitness arsenal, offering a low-impact way to build core strength, flexibility, and balance, all vital elements for a solid golf swing. This multi-purpose piece of equipment is perfect for a range of exercises, from simple seated stretches to more dynamic workouts like push-ups, squats or even pilates-style routines. Its extra-thick, anti-burst design ensures safety and durability, giving you confidence to push your workouts to the next level.
Using the exercise ball is straightforward: simply choose an exercise and replace your traditional workout bench or floor mat with the ball. For instance, when doing planks or push-ups, place your hands on the ball instead of the floor. The instability of the ball challenges your muscles to work harder, building strength and balance.
When sitting or laying on the ball, your body is constantly making minor adjustments to stay balanced, thus working your core muscles. With its affordability and versatility, the Trideer Extra Thick Yoga & Exercise Ball is a cost-effective way to level up your at-home training.
The FitLife Exercise Resistance Bands Set – £29.99 Amazon
The FitLife Exercise Resistance Bands Set is another versatile, space-saving piece of fitness equipment that’s ideal for golfers. These bands offer varying levels of resistance, allowing you to tailor your workouts to your needs. The set is compact and portable, meaning you can take your workout on the road, perfect for keeping up with your fitness routine while away at golf tournaments.
Resistance bands can be used to mimic many gym-based exercises. For instance, to replicate deadlifts, stand on the band and grip the handles, then push through your heels to stand straight, pulling the handles up as you do so. To imitate squats, hold the handles at shoulder level, step on the band and squat as you would normally.
The bands provide resistance through the full range of motion, working your muscles in a way that free weights can’t. They can also be used for upper body exercises and stretches, making them an excellent tool for improving both power and flexibility. As a golfer, incorporating resistance band workouts into your routine can help you gain distance on your drives and improve control over your swing.
So there you have it. Incorporating these exercises into your workout routine will not only improve your strength, stability and flexibility, but they’ll also likely enhance your overall golf performance. Remember, fitness isn’t just about looking good; it’s about playing better too. So grab your gym gear, or at-home fitness kit, and let’s get to work on improving that handicap!