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Golf Fitness Drills

Planks

Planks are an excellent core strength building and stability exercise.

Hack Squats

Hack Squats are a very quadricep dominant movement. They work on posture and help you increase the range of motion in your hips and knees. This helps improve posture during your golf swing while adding stability and range of motion to your pivot. They are particularly beneficial to those that have ankle restrictions.

Front Squats

Front Squats are a variant of the traditional squat exercise, but the center of gravity is changed. This exercise makes you use the muscles of the upper back and shoulders along with your legs. It is a great exercise for posture and trunk control during your golf swing.

Lunge

The Lunge is a great exercise for the lower body. It can work different muscles depending on how it's done. If you stand more on the toes you will work your quadriceps. If you are standing more on your heels with your knees back you will work your glutes. Because it's unilateral, it works heavily on balance and stability. This forces you to use the inner thigh muscles and the muscles that stabilize the hips as well. A strong lower body is important for balance and generating power in your golf swing.

Front Step Up

The Front Step Up is a unilateral exercise to build strength in the lower body. It can be used as a quadricep dominant exercise by raising the heel or used as a complete lower body exercise. It builds balance and speed while teaching you how to control compensations, especially in weight transfer adding to stabillity and power to your golf swing.

Side Step Up

Much like the front step up this exercise is used for lower body strengthening and can be manipulated to be a little more quadricep or glute dominant depending on foot position. The side step up works a little more on side to side control and stabilizing the adductor muscles. By building strength in the lower body the Side Step Up helps to increase balance and power throughout the golf swing.

Hamstring Curls on Swiss Ball

Hamstring Curls on the Swiss Ball is an exercise that also brings in the glutes, low back muscles and abdominal muscles. The instability of the ball forces you to work on complete trunk and lower body control while performing the curling motion. This is a great exercise for the golf swing because it teaches the body to be able to stabilize while in motion. You also use your hamstrings with every shot in golf so it is important that they are both strong and flexible.

Birddog

Birddogs despite their silly name are one of the most popular exercises in the rehab world for it's simplicity and effectiveness in teaching trunk control especially with back patients. It helps to teach proper positioning of the lumbar spine an forces stabilization while support is taken away. Birddogs will also teach unilateral stabilization, balance between the sides, mobility coordination and more. It also has the added benefits of improving flexibility and strength as well. When all is said and done Birddogs can go a long way to help you with posture and balance throughout your golf swing.

Open Books

Open Books are a great exercise for building trunk and shoulder range of motion. It helps to isolate limitations in your upper back that might be restricting your turn. This exercise will easily show you how limited you are and how much progress you are making as it progresses. You will be able to easily gauge your success by how far you are from the ground. Increasing your range of motion in your trunk and shoulders will help to increase your coil and the length of your golf swing adding power.

Low Trunk Rotation with Kettlebell

The Low Trunk Rotation exercise with the kettlebell works on the upper back and even mid to low back rotation. It can also be used to strengthen the obliques for rotation. This is a huge help to your pivot and coil motion in your golf swing and will help create more force and a faster clubhead speed.

Rolling

Rolling is a rather unique exercise based on the principles of primitive movements and the developmental sequence we go through as children when learning how to move. The premise is that if we have not developed these more primitive abilities and movement patterns, it is likely that we are utilizing compensations in our other more complicated movements. This will of course help smooth out the movements of your golf swing and help to eliminate swing compensations.

Plank Knee to Elbow

The Plank Knee to Elbow is a dynamic form of the plank. While working the stabilization factors the same way the plank does, it brings in movement forcing the body to stabilize while moving into different positions. The base of support is changing which adds a good challenge. This is a great exercise for dynamic stability and to get your heart rate going. All plank exercises help strengthen the muscles of your core and upper body adding power to your golf swing.

1/2 Kneel Lift

The 1/2 Kneel Lift is a dynamic movement exercise that is great for creating power, stabilization and mobility during a rotational movement such as your pivot and coil in your golf swing. This is more of a pushing exercise from one side and a pulling exercise from the other. It helps to create strength in the abs especially with rotation and shoulder stability.

1/2 Kneel Chop

The 1/2 Kneel Chop is a dynamic movement exercise that is great for creating power, stabilization and mobility during a rotational movement such as your pivot and coil in the golf swing. This exercise helps create strength in the abs especially with rotation, but also in a bracing fashion so that you are able to generate powerful movements even while rotating and in an unstable stance. It has the added benefit of providing shoulder stability which is important for both your backswing and forward swing.

1/2 Kneel Hip Flexor Stretch

1/2 Kneel Hip Flexor Stretches are obviously a stretch that targets your hip flexors which are easily subject o tightening. Given the most popular posture for adults is sitting, it's very common for golfers to have tight hip flexors. This can have a significant affect on your posture, back strength, back pain/comfort level, knee pain/comfort level just to name a few. This exercise helps to create more freedom of movement and awareness of lumbar posture and pelvic control. These benefits help improve your golf posture and pivot.

Standing Cable Rotations

Standing Cable Rotations are an abdominal exercise that strengthens the obliques and the rotational muscles of the trunk. They help teach the upper body how to stabilize and move as a unit while working on weight shift and proper rotation. These benefits greatly help the coil, pivot and power of your golf swing.

Stork Turns

Stork Turns are primarily a stability and mobility exercise that targets the hips and legs. This exercise provides a great avenue for you to work on good separation between your lower and upper body which in turn increases coil and power. It also has the added benefit of helping you improve balance in your golf swing.

Golf Stance Thoracic Rotation

The Golf Stance Thoracic Rotation is a fantastic pre game warmup exercise. It works to teach proper hip stabilization while also working on trunk rotation and range of motion. All of these combined greatly benefit your pivot and coil in your golf swing on both the backswing and the downswing.

Hamstring Toes Up/Toes Down Stretch

The Hamstring Toes Up/ Toes Down Stretch targets the back of your legs (hamstrings) and provides a nice variation to traditional hamstring stretching. Hamstrings are used in every golf stance and swing and are particularly vulnerable to getting tight so stretching them before and after you play golf is a must. Hamstring stretches can be performed using nothing, but using a foam roller or something else to help lift your feet is helpful.

Reverse Toe Touch Progression

The Toe Touch Progression is a great exercise for building balance, proprioception (knowing where you are in space) and body awareness. It also helps as a basis for lower body exercises like the squat. The Toe Touch Progression is a great hamstring stretch as well. Balance and flexibility are such an important part of the golf swing that any exercises that work on both should be a regular part of your exercise routine.

Dynamic Hamstring Stretch

Dynamic stretches simply mean stretches performed in motion rather than standing still. Hamstrings are used in every golf stance and swing and are particularly vulnerable to getting tight so stretching them before and after you play golf is a must. Hamstring stretches can be performed using nothing but your body, but using a towel or resistance band is also helpful.

Band Walking

Band Walking is a great exercise for stabilizing the hip and knee joints. Not only does it improve lower body stability, but it helps to strengthen your hip abductors and glutes which are a huge muscle involved in the golf swing. Strengthening and stabilizing all the muscles around the pelvis goes a long way in assisting the pivoting action of your swing.

Cat and Camel

For golfers looking for flexibility and stability especially in their core and back, the Cat and Camel is perfect. It is also a great stretching exercise and wonderful at loosening a tight lower back. Your lower back, abdominals and hips will all get a great work out with this exercise which makes it perfect for the golf swing.

Seated Wall Postures

Seated wall postures are a great postural exercise. They work mainly the back extensors, postural muscles of the trunk, abdominals, hip flexors, and mid scapular muscles . It is also a great way to provide an active stretch for the hamstrings. All of this helps a golfer establish good posture and maintain it throughout the swing.

Deadlifts at the Wall

Deadlifts are a perfect exercise for strengthening your lower back muscles, your gluteus muscles and your hamstrings. To help maintain good posture, remain stable and create force in your swing, these muscles are perfect to key on during your exercise routine. Perform these to help improve your swing, but also to protect your back from injury and prolong your career.

Iron Cross

An Iron Cross is a great all over body exercise to help increase strength. It results in more distance for your golf shots. The Iron Cross works the typical muscles of a squat (quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings,etc.) but also is a fantastic exercise for the shoulders and chest. If you are looking for all over power, this exercise is highly recommended.

Reach Backs

Reach Backs are a great exercise for improving posture and rotation in your golf swing. They accomplish this by working the muscles of the upper back and the abdominal muscles. The added benefit of Reach Backs is that they also provide a good stretch to your core helping you to increase coil. No equipment is necessary so these can easily be performed at home.

1/2 Kneel Rotations

1/2 Kneel Rotations are a great rotational training exercise. The foundation of the golf swing is rotation and a strong core is necessary for a player to be stable while they rotate and rotate with force. 1/2 Kneel Rotations work the muscles of the core such as the abdominal muscles and lower back.

Fire Hydrants

Fire Hydrants are a core strength and stability exercise that works on trunk control and separation of the upper and lower body during rotational movements. This is obviously very useful when it comes to making a proper coil and pivot in the golf swing. The more we separate the upper and lower body the more coil/power we generate.

Seated Rows

Seated Rows work your arms (biceps) and almost all the muscles of your back. A strong healthy back is important to golfers to help establish good posture, avoid injury and apply both stability and power to the golf swing.

Declined Push Up

A Decline Push Up like a regular push up is used for building muscle tone mainly to the chest, arm and shoulder muscles, but it also helps strengthen the core. The difference from a regular push up lies in the fact that a decline push up works more of the upper chest and around the collar bone area. Push ups are a strengthening exercise that can benefit your golf swing by helping you to support the club at the top of the swing, increase your arm speed through the ball (especially the straightening of your rear arm at impact) and increase your core rotation speed.

Bridge Heels on Chair

The Bridge with Heels on Chair exercise primarily works your glutes, but has added benefits of strengthening the core, hamstrings and adductors. The glutes, hamstrings and core are used for stabilization in the golf swing, but are also very important power muscles. Bridges are an essential exercise for golfers wishing to play well, maintain form and generate force.

Overhead Squat

The Overhead Squat is a functional exercise which helps you in a lot of daily activities. It helps you develop movement and stability which stands out more than on a regular squat. It is a fantastic exercise for developing speed and power; both of which are desired by all golfers. Overhead Squats are a great bang for your buck because you will work the typical muscles of a squat like legs, glutes and core, but you'll have an added benefit of strengthening your arms and shoulders along with preventing weakness in your upper back muscles.

Shoulder Rotations

External Shoulder Rotations are a great exercise to target the rotator-cuff muscles which are a common area of injury for golfers. There are hoards of students that come to the lesson tee each year complaining about rotator problems. This exercise will work other muscles of the shoulder as well. Strong shoulders are important for stability and power in the swing.

Front Raises

Front Raises are a shoulder exercise that work primarily your shoulder muscles, but work other muscles such as the arms and the back muscles as well. Strong shoulders help you control and stabilize your golf swing especially at the top of your swing. They are also heavily involved in creating power in your swing as they help you perform the coil on the backswing and then help fire your arms throughout the downswing.

Single Leg Deadlift

Single Leg Deadlifts strengthen your lower back muscles, your glutes and your hamstrings. These are all muscles that are extremely important in your golf swing to help maintain good posture, remain stable and create force. Perform these to help improve your swing, but also to protect your back from injury and prolong your career.

Band Chest Press

The Band Chest Press is similar to a push up, but it is done in a standing positions. Like push ups, presses work your chest, shoulder and arm muscles. The more narrow the grip you use, the more you will use your arm muscles. The wider the grip, the more you will use your chest muscles. This exercise can exercise benefit your golf swing by helping you to support the club at the top of the swing, increase your arm speed through the ball (especially the straightening of your rear arm at impact) and even support good posture.

Bent Over Flyes

Bent Over Flyes help increase your shoulder and upper back strength. This helps add stabilization at the top of your golf swing and helps you reach the height you desire. Strengthening your shoulders (deltoids) with Bent Over Flyes can also help prevent many of the shoulder related injuries that golfers face.

Split Squats

Split Squats are a wonderful exercise for building up your legs and adding strength and power to your swing. A huge added benefit is what they will do for your balance in your swing. By strengthening the legs and working one leg at a time you are essentially building up balance at the same time. Just like regular squats, they are a functional exercise and one that helps you with many daily activities.

Wall Angels

A Wall Angel is an exercise that targets the shoulder and upper back muscles. When these muscles weaken and become unstable, it can greatly affect your ability to maintain good posture throughout your swing and form a stable position at the top of your swing. You will find this exercise particularly tough if you have naturally poor posture in your daily activities.

Plank Rotations

Plank Rotations are a fabulous training exercise for golf because of the fact that they target the core, but work so many other muscles at the same time. For your swing they can help increase stability and power. If you are not used to doing these and have not been working out for a while, it's amazing how weak they can make you feel! Plank Rotations work mostly your abdominal muscles, but also help target the lower back, gluteus muscles around your hips and the adductor muscles (inner thigh). To hold yourself in position during this exercise you will feel the added benefit of secondary muscles like your chest, shoulder, upper back and front and back leg muscles activating.

Supermans

Supermans are a great exercise for targeting your lower back, abs and gluteus maximus. And after all, who doesn't want to be a super hero? For your golf swing this will help build strength and stability as well as help protect your lower back from injury; something all golfer's need to do.

Squats

Many skilled fitness trainers will tell you that if you can only do one exercise, do a squat. This is because squats are perfect for strengthening multiple body parts at once. They mainly work your quadriceps and gluteus muscles, but also utilize your hamstrings and back as well. Although you don't need any equipment outside of your own skin, you can even be creative and throw in some arm weights to help strengthen your arms, shoulders and upper back. For your golf swing, your gluteus maximus and leg muscles are huge for power and stability so these are a great exercise for not only swinging, but building leg strength to walk the links.

Single Leg Bridge

The Single Leg Bridge is a very common and necessary golf strengthening exercise performed while laying on your back. It is used to target mainly your gluteus muscles and your hamstrings although it helps to strengthen the core muscles (abdominals and lower back) as well. There is hardly a golfer on the planet that would not benefit from performing the single leg bridge as a regular part of their fitness routine as glutes and hamstrings are used throughout the golf swing and are key muscles for power and stability.

Push Ups

A Push Up is an ancient exercise used in calisthenics and for building muscle tone mainly to the chest, arm and shoulder muscles, but it also helps strengthen the core. Push ups are a strengthening exercise that can benefit your golf swing by helping you to support the club at the top of the swing, increase your arm speed through the ball (especially the straightening of your rear arm at impact) and increase your core rotation speed.

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