The legendary golf champion lays out how you can improve your swing before you even step foot onto the course.
When golf is not your day job, you don’t have a ton of time to practice swinging at the range or chipping around the green. This, says professional golfer Michelle Wie West, is the biggest difference between amateurs and pros, who warm up in the gym and on the range for several hours before hitting the course.
“The hardest part about getting better at golf is that it requires a lot of time,” says Wie West.
Enter Tonal, which Wie West has been incorporating into her workout routine since 2019. “Golf is all about muscle memory and getting the proper motion down,” explains Wie West, who uses the functionality of Tonal’s arms to train the motion of her golf swing. “Just spending 10 minutes a day working on those motions on Tonal and incorporating your golf swing into your workout when you can’t get to the range is really impactful.”
While hitting balls is one essential part of becoming a better golfer, using Tonal at sub-maximal loads to reinforce movement patterns can take the place of a range session on days when you just can’t get there. Or if a particular golf course doesn’t have a driving range, you can leverage a Tonal session at home to warm up and activate the muscles you use in your golf swings before heading to the course.
Strength training on Tonal can also prepare your body to be physically ready for both practice and competitive play. Exercises such as rotational lifts and chops create stability in the legs and mobility in the upper back and shoulders and are critical for generating power. They’ll train you to separate your lower body from your upper body—what Wie West calls the “X-Factor”—and effectively transfer force from your body to the golf club to the ball.
The golf champion also uses Tonal to work on the tempo and rhythm of her golf swing by first doing rotational exercises slowly to get into the movements and increase range of motion. Then, she repeats the moves with speed to boost her power while keeping an eye on Tonal’s real-time metrics. “I love seeing the power meter to see how much power I am putting out,” she says.
Beyond movement patterns and power, Wie West stresses the importance of building strong stabilizer muscles to protect your joints from the impact of regular play. “Golfers hit the ground with their clubs hundreds and hundreds of times a day,” she explains. “In a fight between you and the ground, the ground is always going to win.” But, training to better absorb the beating will set you up for success. A strong core and mobile lumbar spine can bulletproof the body against the unnatural motion and repeated acceleration and deceleration of the golf swing.
“Doing the right workouts is really important for recreational golfers,” says Wie West. “Even just a few minutes on your Tonal every day can help you with the muscle memory that is so important for golf.”