Strength and fitness wasn’t associated with golf a couple of decades ago, professional golfers were not seen as athletes until Tiger Woods arrived on the scene. Fast forward to the current crop of world class golfers and if they aren’t working as hard in the gym as they are in practice then they are loosing ground on the rest of the field. Strength and fitness is now recognised as an integral part of improvement, becoming strong, flexible and fast is only going to help you on the course.
Below is a basic strength program, it is specific to the needs of golfers and will focus on strengthening the core, legs and upper body and increasing overall speed and power. This workout is designed to increase performance elements without too much fatigue build up so there’s no excuse for not getting down the range or on the practice green!
First off, there are 2 workouts, A & B and are full-body, they should be done 3 times per week, alternating each time, the way I like to space it out is Monday, Wednesday & Friday, so at least a day between workouts and the weekend off (hopefully to shoot some great scores on the course!).
As for performing the reps and sets in the workout itself, you should not reach failure on any rep (when you can’t move the weight any longer) and you should aim to have 1 – 2 clean reps left in the tank at the end of each set. This ensures you train the neural pathways as effectively as possible and also avoid fatigue build up.
– Workout A
1. Standing Barbell Shoulder Press – 3 sets of 5 reps with 90 – 180 seconds rest between sets.
2. Barbell Deadlift – 2 sets of 5 reps with 120 – 180 seconds rest between sets.
3. Box Jumps or Standing Long Jumps – 3 sets of 5 reps with 45 – 60 seconds rest between sets.
4. Cable Wood Chop – 2 sets of 8 reps with 45 – 60 seconds rest between sets.
– Workout B
1. Barbell Bench Press – 3 sets of 5 reps with 90 – 180 seconds rest between sets.
2. Barbell Back Squat – 2 sets of 6 reps with 120 – 180 seconds rest between sets.
3. Barbell Bent Over Row – 3 sets of 8 reps with 60 – 90 seconds rest between sets.
Some points to note:
Feel free to add in some face pulls at the end of each workout for healthy shoulders, not a necessity but would work well and I love them!
All of the barbell exercises can be substituted for dumbbell equivalents, however I would always strongly recommend the barbell where possible.
The rest periods may seem vague, they are there to give you more recovery if the previous set was an exceptionally hard one, try to stick to the shorter of the 2 times if you are feeling good.
The weights you should choose for your first workout shouldn’t be too heavy and should allow you to complete all the reps fairly comfortably, this ensures plenty of ‘room to grow’.
Progressing on this program is simple, every workout that you successfully get all your reps on an exercise and it felt like you still had at least 1 rep in the tank on each set, you will add 2.5 kilos or 5lbs extra to the bar next time you perform that exercise. For the box jumps or standing long jumps then try to squeeze more height or a further distance when you start to feel too comfortable. Try to beat your previous time on the plank by 5 – 10 seconds. For the cable wood chops, again, add weight when you feel too comfortable. Most people don’t have a problem progressing on this program, they usually have the problem of wanting to progress too quickly, strength training for a sport should progress consistently and steadily.
Give this workout a try and watch your distance and control improve! I would also love to hear your feedback and thoughts on this workout and any other topics you have questions for.
If you liked this then make sure to check out my other posts here for more great golf exercises, workouts and tips.
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Thanks for reading!
Golfer and gym goer. I enjoy helping people achieve their golfing goals by providing exercises and workouts to improve performance and giving people insights into my own golf training.