Home Workouts For Golf

Building a strong, stable and powerful swing doesn’t require a gym and lots of equipment, sure if you have a membership and enjoy going to the gym then that’s great, I regularly go to the gym. When I’m short on time however I love working out at home and I know many people who built some serious performance into their game the same way.

There are many ways to structure these workouts, depending the equipment available. one of my favourite ways to build explosive power is through Plyometric training. Plyometric exercises are usually bodyweight movements that are explosive and where the targeted muscles exert maximum force in short intervals of time, with the goal of increasing power (speed-strength) This training focuses on learning to move from a muscle extension to a contraction in a rapid or “explosive”  manner . That’s the science way to say it but basically its moving your body as forcefully as possible.

Plyometric exercises are great as they don’t require any equipment and are all bodyweight exercises which are perfect for golf specific workouts, mainly because they train you in exactly that – moving your bodyweight and building the necessary strength and stability to do so effectively, exactly what you are doing in a golf swing.

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Besides Bodyweight and plyometric bodyweight exercises, there are a couple of great bits of equipment that I would highly recommend anyone who is serious about their home workouts to invest in.

The first is an exercise band, they come in varying strengths, I have a few different ones as they are great for a whole load of exercises, definitely a must have! I also recommend getting a kettlebell as one of the best exercises you can do for your posterior chain at home is kettlebell swings, they are also very versatile and can be used in other exercises such as goblet squats, one arm shoulder press and rowing movements too. The final piece of equipment I recommend is a pull-up / chin-up bar, now you might be thinking “how will that help golf?” well it is one the best ways to build total upper body strength and stability and, believe it or not it is also very versatile! I also highly recommend investing in some dumbbells, you can pick them up second hand really cheap and adjust the weights accordingly. There are a few extra bits of equipment that would also be great but are non essentials, these include an incline-able bench, a barbell and a medicine ball.

With these essentials you are well on your way to Golf home workout greatness! It doesn’t take long to see the benefits in your game either, longer drives, a more stable and powerful swing, better overall fitness and endurance are all side effects of Golf specific home workouts! Make sure you are subscribed to the workout newsletter (link here) to get new home workouts sent straight to your inbox!

Check out my other posts here on great golf exercises, workouts and tips.

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Golf fitness – Staying motivated, knowing your weaknesses and todays workout.

I have a few topics to go over today, having a good round of golf at the weekend had me thinking about the work I had put in recently at the gym and in practice. It seems to have really paid of in terms of reaching my latest goals and I wanted to talk about motivation and knowing the areas you need to improve.

Motivation – Sometimes everyone looses motivation, it could be for anything but usually its for something we know we should do, like eating healthy or exercising. I had a slump in motivation for my training a month or so ago and found it hard to muster the effort to drag myself to the gym after work. It lasted a week or so, I managed to break out of my “funk” by doing 3 things:

  1. Taking the time to look back at all the goals I had set and achieved in the past.
  2. Focusing in on the recent goals I had set and how much progress I had already made towards them.
  3. Decided to take a week break from my current workout program and spent that time performing workouts I really enjoy, to get the love for training flowing again!

Sometimes everyone needs to take a step back and have a look at the overall picture, you may have had a bad workout or a bad round of golf but as long as the general trend line of your progress is upward then you know you are on the right track. Don’t be afraid to divert from a plan that you have laid out if it means you are more likely to workout consistently. All of those individual workouts add up to something great, incremental gains make big changes over time, I make sure to remind myself of that every time I feel the motivation slipping.

Knowing your weaknesses – Another area I struggled with for a while was setting goals that would actually help me, I would lie to myself about weaknesses I knew I had but didn’t want to bother addressing. Its more fun doing the stuff you are already good at, right? While that is very true, it generally doesn’t help you improve as much as you could, for example, say you are gifted with moderate distance, you thrash at the ball and it flies but you don’t have much control over your swing and you struggle with a painful back, now would it be better to perform only exercises that help you swing even faster? or would you be much better served building a stable base for  your swing and a solid core for control and to help with the back pain? I know which would help you more! You have to be honest with yourself about your weaknesses when setting goals or they aren’t going to help you in the long run and may even hinder you down the line!

Todays workout – Today was a day when I needed to do something in the gym that I found fun, something I knew I liked and that wouldn’t make me resent the gym! (just like I was talking about earlier!) I decided on a fan favourite chest and arm workout, doesn’t sound like a workout that would help golf but surprisingly, upper body strength actually helps a lot in the golf swing. It helps control the club and keep the arms and body working together. I decided that today would be focused on hypertrophy (muscle building) again, a favourite! I had a great workout and left the gym feeling revitalised and ready for whatever workout was coming my way next, which happens to be squats and deadlifts tomorrow, one of my more weakness oriented workouts. The “fun” workout has paid off in this way because I am ready to hit the gym and give it 100% tomorrow, if I had attempted squats and deadlifts today, they would have been half arsed to say the least!

Those are my ramblings for today!

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Is The Gym Good Or Bad For Golf? (Hint, Its Good!)

With the news that my e-book The Power Hack is available for pre-order today, I wanted to talk about something I hear all to often amongst golfers. That is the myth that the gym is bad for golf and will lead to you becoming ‘musclebound’ and getting injured.

First things first – ‘Musclebound’ do you know how hard it is to actually build a significant amount of muscle? let alone enough to make it hard to swing a golf club effectively? very hard is the answer, I am yet to encounter a case where a golfer is too muscular. In most cases, the opposite is true, many people do not have enough muscle to support a stable and balanced swing. Many compensations come from weak or under developed muscles, these imbalances are a great thing to start with when embarking on golf specific workout routines.

If you believe that you are a genetic ‘monster’ and genuinely are worried about getting too big and muscular, then that’s fine because a lot of power work in the gym doesn’t have to bring with it a high amount of hypertrophy (muscle growth) all you need to do is play around with the reps, sets and weight of an exercise, simple as that! A good guide for all out strength and power work with minimal hypertrophy would be to stick to 1 – 3 rep sets of a moderately heavy weight (85 – 95% of your one rep max if you know it) and focus on being as explosive as possible, I would do between 3 and 10 of these sets depending on your experience.

Next I want to talk about injuries, if you perform an exercise correctly, there is no reason to fear getting injured. most injuries in the gym come from either ego lifting (trying to lift a weight you have no business attempting) or ridiculous exercise that usually are sold as giving you ‘functional strength’ as if there is a type of strength that isn’t functional?? One of the main benefits from building muscle, strength, stability and a strong core is that it actually prevents injuries from occurring in the first place. In my case, I used to have chronic low back pain when playing golf when I first started, as soon as I started working on a stronger back, glutes and core I found the pain disappeared!

Now for some benefits! I may be biased but here goes…. Distance! Power! Strength! Speed! Explosiveness! Core strength and stability! Endurance and general fitness! Mental toughness and focus!… the list goes on and on! I honestly believe that if you want to improve your game, golf specific training is a must, it may even become as much of a passion as golf!

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  • Gym or home workouts.
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  • Exercises that actually work – no ‘nonsense’.
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Golf Workout Series – 4 Exercises For A Strong Core & A Stronger Golf Swing

You hear it so often, people talking about the ‘core’ its almost mystical. People believe it to be your abdominal muscles, some your obliques and others your lower back muscles. in my opinion it is all of these, infact I believe it covers every stabilising muscle between your legs and shoulders, including your glutes!

Why do you need a strong core for golf? Well, it helps stabilise your swing and prevent lots of common swing mechanic errors, it provides lots and I mean lots of power in the swing and it also protects you from injury. Here are my top 4 exercises for building a strong core for golf.

1. Plank

The humble plank, such a good exercise! it trains the abs, obliques, lower back, hip flexors and the glutes. the key to a good plank is keeping a dead straight line from head to heel, no sagging or raised bum! You want to really squeeze your abs and glutes in the plank and start off with a few sets of 15-20 seconds and work your way up each session pushing for more time. your golf swing will really thank you for this one!

2. Cable / Band ‘Wood Chop’

This one sound complex but it is essentially holding a cable or band (easy to se at home) in both hands with straight arms in front of your body and rotate, usually done from shoulder height on one side downwards towards the other and vice-versa, google/youtube it, its a simple movement. The reason it is such a great movement is that it emulates a golf swing and as such builds the necessary muscles to perform the movement with resistance meaning when you take away that resistance you will have no trouble swinging like a well oiled speed machine! it also helps to iron out golf related muscular imbalances because you perform sets of the exercise on each side which make this an even more valuable exercise.

3. Back Extensions

Preferably 45 degree (there or thereabouts) extensions. These can be performed ona specialised rest at the gym or can be cobbled together on a regular bench set at aheight you can lean over. I personally love these as they hit my lower back and glutes like nothing else. Your glutes are not only used for power in the golf swing but also to stabilise your lower back and prevent injury. if you love to practice and spend a lot of time hitting shots then you should add these to your routine straight away!

4. Bicycle Crunches

These in my opinion are the only worthwhile crunches when it comes to golf specific training, that’s because they train the abs and obliques more evenly. I usually like to do these for a set amount of time instead of reps, it will do them for something like 5 sets of 30 seconds but you can mix it up in any way you see fit. I like to get a real burn on these usually at the end of a workout just to finish off any muscle fibres that escaped! these will give you a nice tight feeling around your core.

There you go, my top 4 core strengthening exercises for a powerful and stabile golf swing. These can all be performed one after the other for a great core workout or add a couple to the end of each of your workouts, the good thing about core training is that its very hard to do too much.

My new book – The Power Hack contains even more exercises to help you become faster ad more powerful, de to be released shortly so make sure you sign up to my mailing list here http://eepurl.com/cfdCv-/  so you don’t miss it and also for news and great offers!

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