Strength training for golf
Joe Rossi, NASM-PES
Tiger Woods has publicly credited his strength training routine for his success in golf. Learn how to strengthen your golf game with these strength training exercises.
Tiger Woods was onto something when he publicly credited his strength-training routine for his recent success in the sport of golf. Tiger improved his golf swing by preparing for the physical demands that the golf swing places on the human body.
Every muscle, starting from the feet all the way to the hands that grip the golf club is activated during the golf swing. A well-designed strength-training program wards off the aches and pains associated with lack of preparedness and will put the sting back into your swing.
Whether you golf competitively or only occasionally, you cannot play yourself into shape. Start your golf season in the gym by focusing on building a solid base of strength in the entire body.
For the lower body, incorporate bilateral exercises such as squats and deadlifts and unilateral exercises such as lunges or step-ups. To train the major muscle groups of the upper body, include pulling movements such as dumbbell and cable rowing and pressing movements such as barbell and dumbbell presses. (It has been said that Tiger Woods pushes a 300-pound bench press.)
Getting the grip strong with timed dumbbell holds will give you ultimate control over your golf club.
Strengthen your golf swing with the three exercises shown here. Get strong–and good luck!
Timed Dumbbell Holds
Develops club control
Muscles Targeted: Hands and Wrists
Choose a pair of dumbbells that you can hold for a minimum of 20 seconds. In a standing position, hold dumbbells at side until grip tires. Keep the chest up, abdominals tight, and pinch shoulder blades together.
Do 2 or 3 sets once each week.
Reverse Cable Wood-Chops
Develops a balanced golf swing
Muscles Targeted: Obliques and Abdominals
Begin in a semi-squat position with chest up and feet pointing straight ahead. Hold cable handle in both hands at knee level on one side of the body. Keeping arms fully extended, lift the cable on the diagonal and rotate the entire body using hips, abs, and glutes. Raise until the hands reach eye level. Return to start position.
Do 3 or 4 sets of 12 to 20 repetitions on each side once each week.
Develops a strong and healthy lower back
Muscles Targeted: Spinal Erectors, Gluteals, and Hamstrings
Lie face down with hips supported on bench. Place arms across chest and bend at waist to lower body. Keep legs straight and squeeze glutes to raise upper body.
Do 3 or 4 sets of 12 to 20 repetitions once each week.