These strength moves will increase the power, speed, and stability behind your swing.
Building rotational power, core strength, and symmetry are key for golfers of any skill level. Strength training golf exercises are equally important if you want to keep playing for years.
“You need your body to be resilient,” says Tonal sports performance specialist Max Artsis, “If you’re good, you’re swinging 70 to 80 times per game. The more resilient and bulletproof you can make your body, the more likely you are to be able to play for the next 40 or 50 years.”
Just look to the pros for proof. Tiger Woods was one of the first to focus on building strength off the course. Now, nearly all top golfers such as Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson, and Michelle Wie West strength train as a part of their overall routine. Even Bryson Dechambeau decided he wanted to bulk up to add more power to his drive. “He’s now driving farther than everyone on the tour,” says Tim Townsend, a senior PGA professional and instructor at Chelsea Piers Golf Club in New York City.
How Golf Exercises Can Benefit Your Game
But you don’t need to be an elite-level golfer with access to private training facilities and a team of specialists to boost your skills. Taylor Zuiderveen, 33, of Kalamazoo, Michigan, is a novice golfer who had been using Tonal to strength train consistently for five months by the time she saw her golf game go from all over the course to a more consistent, less-beginner style of play.
“After training on Tonal, I went from a very weak core to a much stronger, tighter core, which has allowed me to control my swing much better,” she says, adding that she suspects she can drive around 50 yards farther than ever before.
During your swing, force and power start at the feet and move through the legs, core, and shoulders before finally transferring through the club to the ball upon impact. That’s why, Artsis says, building rotational power–as you’ll see below–and drilling techniques that focus on transferring your weight are crucial elements of improving your game.
Tonal is the perfect system to help you stretch out tight muscles and strengthen your body to add more power and consistency to your golf game. Here are seven golf exercises to add to your routine that translate to the course.
Golf Exercises on Tonal
How To Use This List: These exercises are included in many of the programs on Tonal, but if you punch them into a Free Lift session, Artsis recommends keeping the sets between 6 to 8 reps and including 4 sets of each individual exercise. It’s also important to avoid going too heavy.
“You want to be able to create power with these movements,” Artsis says. “The weight should be heavy enough to be challenging, but light enough that you can move with force and velocity. You can move fast or you can be tired, but you can’t move fast when you’re tired.”
1. Rotational Row
How to Do It: Rotate toward Tonal, reaching the handle down toward the end of the arm. Pull the handle toward your ribcage, using your torse, like you’re pulling a lawnmower. Rotate the hips to shift your body into the outside leg, bringing the cable across your body. Slowly bring the handle back toward Tonal and repeat on the same side.
Why It Works: This move helps you understand how to transfer your weight more effectively and develop rotational power. “It’s essentially ensuring that you’re creating power from the ground up,” Artsis says.“You need to transfer that power to the ball.”
2. Rotational Chop
How to Do It: With your inside leg, press the floor away from you and rotate the pelvis to shift your body into the outside leg. Rotate at the torso and bring the rope across your body and down toward your inside hip, like you’re buckling a seatbelt. Bring the rope back to start, sit into the inside hip, and repeat.
Why It Works: “The emphasis here mimics the downswing with your golf club,” Artsis says. “The backswing should focus on control, but the downswing is about transferring the power that you load in your backswing.” Performing this exercise helps you be more explosive with your swing.
3. Iso Split Squat Pallof Press
How to Do It: Get into a half-kneeling position with your outside knee on the mat and your inside leg planted on the floor in front of you. Lift the outside knee just barely off the floor. Take the handle with both hands and center it in front of your chest with arms bent at your sides. Push the handle away from your chest, keeping your arms centered in between your shoulders. Slightly rotate your torso toward Tonal’s arm, and then back to center. Keeping your back as straight as possible, pull the handle back in toward your chest, bending at the elbows.
Why It Works: “We’re training a whip effect here,” says Artsis. “This is what’s called thoracic dissociation. On your backswing, you want is create torque and tension. It’s like a wind-up toy.”
4. Skater Bound
How To Do It: Bound up and to the side off of one foot and land on the other foot as softly as you can by shifting your weight back and down gently. Once you land, bound back to the other leg.
Why It Works: This is an explosive bodyweight movement that focuses on weight transfer. “Skater bounds help train your body to load, explode, and absorb force,” Artsis says.
5. Bird Dog With Row
How To Do It: Start in a tabletop position on your bench with your wrists under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Lift one leg toward the ceiling and grab the handle with the opposite arm, balancing on the limbs. Using your back, pull the handle toward your ribcage aiming your elbow to the ceiling. Control the weight back down and repeat on the same side.
Why It Works: This move helps build important core stability to protect your lower back. “Your golf swing engages your entire body but at high speeds,” Artsis says. “If your rotation or power comes from your lower back, you’re at risk for injury, so this is where you want to create tension and protect yourself”
6. Rotational Lift
How To Do It: With your inside leg, press the floor away from you and rotate your pelvis to shift your body into the outside leg. Rotate at the torso and bring the rope across your body and toward the ceiling like you’re trying to throw something over your outside shoulder. Bring the rope back to start, sit into the inside hip, and repeat.
Why It Works: The rotational lift offers a combination of training for rotational power, vertical force, and weight transfer. “Plus it trains the follow-through of your swing. There’s no other move that starts low and goes high like this, and if you think about your swing—especially if you’re driving for power—you’re swinging upward,” Artsis says.
7. Goblet Squat
How To Do It: Hold the handle strap with your thumbs wrapped around the top and position it in front of your chest. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and toes slightly turned out. Reach your hips down and back like you’re sitting in a chair behind you. Push the floor away from you and stand tall powering the hips toward Tonal and repeat.
Why It Works: If you want to build power and hit with force, it starts with your legs. “The stronger your legs are, the more capacity you have for power,” Artsis says. “Goblet squats are one of the best movements for building leg strength, stability, and foundational power.”