The 12 Best Golf Swing Exercises To Strengthen Your Swing

Strength training is an essential part of being a strong and healthy athlete, no matter what sport you play, because it improves athletic performance and can help prevent overuse injuries.

In golf, strength training will help you improve your overall strength, mobility, balance, and flexibility, all essential components to playing well on the course. 

One of the most attractive benefits of strength training for golfers is the power that can be gained for your swing. 

In this guide, we will look at specific golf swing exercises that work the primary muscles used in golf so you can really show off that powerful swing on the course. 

We will cover the following:

  • What Are The Primary Muscles Used In Golf?
  • The Benefits of Strength Training For Golfers 
  • The 12 Best Golf Swing Exercises
The 12 Best Golf Swing Exercises To Strengthen Your Swing 1

What Are The Primary Muscles Used In Golf?

Our golf swing exercises will focus on the targeted muscle groups used to play golf. It may come as a surprise for some, but golf is truly a total-body workout. Hence, your strength training program needs to be well-rounded, focusing on the functional movement of your swing.

The main muscle groups used when you take a good swing are your core muscles, especially your external abdominal obliques, glutes due to hip rotation and follow through, hamstrings, upper back, and even your pecs.

When honing in specifically on the power of a golf swing, the primary muscle groups targeted are the abdominal muscles and the glutes. 

Therefore, to get some power behind that swing, we need to condition and strengthen our entire body with extra focus on our core and glutes.

The 12 Best Golf Swing Exercises To Strengthen Your Swing 2

The Benefits of Strength Training For Golfers 

As we touched upon in the intro, strength training for golfers can reduce the risk of golf-related injuries due to the repetitive movements of the internal and external rotation of the swing. 

Of course, it can also improve performance, such as increasing driving distance, swing power, and ball speed, and help fix common muscle imbalances due to the unilateral nature of golf. 

Strength training also improves overall fitness and general endurance for those long days on the course.

The 12 Best Golf Swing Exercises

Let’s go over the basics before we jump into our golf swing exercises:

Add two non-consecutive days of golf swing exercises into your training schedule to maximize your strength training gains. It would also be ideal to fit in another day of specific mobility exercises focusing on your hips, ankles, shoulders, and wrists.

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For the following golf swing exercises, do 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps of each exercise listed below. 

If you are new to strength training, you’ll want to start small and work your way up. Begin with 2 sets of 8 reps of each. Rest for 30 seconds to a minute between each set, so you have enough time to recover.

If you are fitter and more accustomed to strength training, you can do 3-4 sets of 12 reps. Feel it out and see what feels best for your level. You may need to add even more reps in there.

For our golf swing exercises that call for weight, such as dumbbells or kettlebells, make sure you use just enough weight that the last two to three repetitions feel challenging, but you can still do them with good form. If they are too easy, bump up the weight.

#1: Windshield Wipers

This one of our golf swing exercises will work your core strength and stability and hip rotation for your swing.

  1. Lie on your back with your arms out by your sides, forming a T position with your body.
  2. Lift your legs so they are pointing straight up toward the ceiling, perpendicular to the floor, ankles flexed.
  3. Without allowing your back to come off the floor, rotate your hips to your right and touch your feet to the ground on your right side. 
  4. Return to your starting position. 
  5. Now, rotate your hips and touch your feet to the ground on your left side.
  6. Repeat 8-12 times. 

#2: Superman 

This exercise strengthens your lower back and builds stability, helping you prevent one of the most common golf injuries, lower back pain.

  1. Lie facedown on the floor with your arms extended in front of you and your legs straight behind you. 
  2. Engage your glutes and core and lift your arms and legs off the ground simultaneously, squeezing your shoulder blades together.
  3. Hold this position for a couple of seconds.
  4. Gently lower yourself back to the floor. 
  5. Repeat for 8-12 reps.

#3: Weighted Russian Twist 

The Russian twist is a great way to work your obliques and rotational strength for your swing. You can do this exercise with just your body weight, but if possible, add a kettlebell or medicine ball for more of a challenge. 

  1. Sit on the floor and hold a kettlebell or medicine ball in your hands.
  2. Lean back, balancing on your glutes and lifting your feet slightly off the floor.
  3. Rotate from side to side, bringing the kettlebell to your right and left sides.
  4. Repeat for 8-12 reps. 

#4: Stability Ball Jackknife

You will need a stability ball for this one of our golf swing exercises. You could also use a suspension device like a TRX or even sliders. This exercise will strengthen your core, hip flexors, and upper body.

  1. Begin in a plank position with the stability ball under your feet.
  2. Engage your core, and bring your knees toward your chest in a controlled motion.
  3. Roll back out to your starting position.
  4. Repeat for 8-12 reps. 

#5: Dumbbell Sword Pulls

This exercise is excellent for upper body and core strength and can also help with the range of motion in your shoulders for your swing. 

  1. Hold a dumbbell in your left hand at your right hip, elbow extended.
  2. Bring the dumbbell across your body from your right hip to above your left shoulder extending your elbow completely. 
  3. Return to your starting position by lowering the dumbbell back to your hip in a controlled manner.
  4. Repeat for 8-12 reps. 
  5. Repeat on the other side.

#6: Elbow To Knee Plank

This exercise will improve shoulder stability and core strength.

  1. Begin in a full plank position. 
  2. Simultaneously, lift and bring your left knee and right elbow together as if you were doing a crunch. 
  3. Return to the full plank position. 
  4. Repeat on the other side. That is one rep.
  5. Repeat for 8-12 reps.

#7: Push-Ups

This is a classic but one of the most fundamental exercises in any workout. Push-ups are excellent for upper body strength and a great bodyweight exercise you can do anywhere.

  1. Lie on your stomach, palms on the ground lined up on either side of your chest, and your feet hip-width apart.
  2. Push through your hands, extending your elbows as you raise yourself and keeping your body straight as a board.
  3. Lower yourself back down in a controlled manner, bending your elbows until your body is barely above the ground. 
  4. Repeat for the desired amount of reps. 

Note: To work up to this exercise, you may need to begin by performing push-ups against a wall or countertop, on your knees, or on a bench for extra help.

#8: Jump Squat 

Now, for some serious power behind that swing, let’s do some jump squats!

  1. Lower down into a basic squat position.
  2. As you extend your knees and hips, launch yourself off the ground bringing your arms back behind you.
  3. Land softly and repeat just as your feet hit the ground.
  4. Repeat for 8-12 reps.

Note: Be sure to jump explosively while landing softly after each rep to avoid excess impact.

#9: Squat Thruster

The squat thruster is a compound exercise that works your upper and lower body for a powerful follow-through.

  1. With a dumbbell in each hand, bend your elbows at 90 degrees, palms facing one another, and hands directly in front of your shoulders. 
  2. Lower down into a basic squat position, keeping the dumbbells in place.
  3. As you extend your knees and hips, returning to your standing position, simultaneously push the dumbbells up overhead, extending your elbows.
  4. Lower the dumbbells back to the starting position.
  5. Repeat for 8-12 reps.

#10: Kettlebell Swings

Another great, explosive golf swing exercise:

  1. Stand tall with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, gripping the handle of a kettlebell with both hands, your arms fully extended so the kettlebell is hanging in front of you.
  2. Bend your knees slightly.
  3. Engage your core and glutes as you press through your heels and explode powerfully through your hips to drive the kettlebell upward until it’s at chest height and your arms are fully extended in front of you.
  4. Swing the kettlebell back between your legs, keeping your back completely straight.
  5. At the end of the swing, snap your hips forward again to drive the kettlebell back up.
  6. Repeat for 8-12 reps.

#11: Dumbbell Step-Ups 

For this one of our golf swing exercises, you will need a step or plyometric box and a set of dumbbells or kettlebells.

  1. Stand tall, facing the step with a dumbbell in each hand, down by your sides.
  2. Place your right foot entirely on the step and push yourself up onto the box extending your right leg. 
  3. Bring your left foot up onto the step, so you are standing on top of the step.
  4. Lower your left foot back to the floor slowly, then your right. 
  5. Repeat 8-12 times.
  6. Switch sides.

#12: Medicine Ball Core Rotations 

This one really gives you a total-ab workout! 

  1. Stand tall and hold a medicine ball or kettlebell with both hands extended out in front of you. 
  2. Engage your core and rotate your torso to the right, and pause.
  3. Return to your starting position. 
  4. Rotate to the left and pause. 
  5. Repeat for 8-12 reps.

There you have it! 12 specific golf swing exercises to strengthen your swing and give you the power and stability to play an even better game and stay injury-free. 

If you are looking for a warm-up routine before your next round, check out our article: The Complete Warm Up Routine: 10 Exercises For Golfers.

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Katelyn is an experienced ultra-marathoner and outdoor enthusiast passionate about fitness, sports, and healthy living. As a coach, she loves sharing her knowledge and experience with others and greatly desires to motivate people to get fit, become better athletes, and enjoy every minute of the process!

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