Professional male golf player hitting by iron from bunker

The ultimate golf workout: give me an hour three days a week and I’ll make you a better player

FIRST THINGS FIRST: this workout is a long-term strategy for improving your golf game as well as your body. If you can’t commit to it, then I can’t help you. Now, the good news. In the time it takes you to watch “American Idol,” “survivor” and “the sopranos” each week, I can turn you into a physically fit golfing machine. sound good? This workout program is tailored not only to the specific muscles needed to hone an effective and repeating golf swing, but also to the ones that prevent injury. I threw in a dose of cardiovascular exercise to make sure you don’t run out of gas when a match is on the line. Let’s go hit the gym.

What you’ll need

You don’t need a gym membership to follow this workout, but you do need dumbbells (prices vary depending on weight), a physioball ($40), flat bands ($10), stretch bands ($10) and a medicine ball (the ball I’m holding here, $35-$55 depending on weight). Most fitness stores carry all of this equipment.


Male golf player putting on green with female golfer holding flag in foreground
Male golf player putting on green with female golfer holding flag in foreground

These warm-up exercises will increase your body temperature, as well as lengthen, strengthen, stabilize and balance your muscles. as the name suggests, you are preparing the body for movement.

HIP CROSSOVER: Lie on your back, arms extended, knees bent, feet flat. Twist your lower body until your knee hits the floor. Keep your shoulders flat on the floor. Then twist the other way. stretches and strengthens the torso.

LUNGE STRETCH: Step back with your left leg, reach up with your left arm and bend your torso to the right. Then step forward and repeat with the opposite leg and arm. Stretches groin, hip flexors, glutes, hamstrings.

HANDWALK: Bend at the waist and walk your hands into a push-up. Then walk your feet until you are bent at the waist again. Stretches hamstrings, lower back, glutes, calves and stabilizes shoulders, torso.

INVERTED HAMSTRING: Stand on one leg, and bend at waist, keeping your body straight from ears to ankles. Extend one leg so it’s parallel to the floor. Hold onto a chair until the move gets easier. Stretches hamstrings and stabilizes hips, torso.

LATERAL LUNGE: Step right with your right foot, keeping your toes forward and feet flat. thrust your arms out. squat through the right hip with your left straight. Push up and switch legs. strengthens and lengthens glutes, groin, hamstrings, quads.

DROP LUNGE: Step back with your left foot behind your right, square your hips back to the start position and sit down into a squat. Stand up and repeat with opposite leg. stretches outside of hips.


Professional male golf player hitting by iron from bunker
Professional male golf player hitting by iron from bunker

These exercises help protect the body from the pain and injuries associated with playing golf. Think of these as the minimum requirements needed to maintain a healthy body through the years.

SUMO/HAMSTRING STRETCH: Bend at the waist, grab your toes, then drop your hips to the ground like a sumo wrestler. Keeping your back straight, push your hips up and back until you feel your hamstrings stretch. Also stretches groin, lower back.

PILLAR BRIDGE: Lie on your stomach, feet apart (farther apart is easier) and push up with your elbows, supporting your weight on your forearms (keep abs tight). Extend one arm for two seconds, then the other. Strengthens shoulders, abs, trunk.

PILLAR BRIDGE LATERAL: Lie on your side with your elbow under your shoulder, feet stacked. using your forearm, push your hip off the ground. Keep your head in line with your spine. Hold. Strengthens shoulders, abs, obliques.

GLUTE BRIDGE: lie on your back, arms extended, legs bent. Lift your hips into the air and then lift one leg off the ground until your thigh is perpendicular to your chest. Switch legs. Strengthens glutes, lower back, hamstrings, groin.

MINI-BAND SLIDE: While standing, slip a stretch band just above your knees and spread your feet until you feel tension. Step laterally with one leg, pushing with the opposite foot. Finish reps on one side, then do the other side.

PHYSIOBALL ALPHABET: Lie on a ball supported by your toes, back straight. extend your arms out and mimic the letters “Y,” “T” and “W.” Keep your stomach tight, thumbs up. Strengthens shoulders, entire back.


Male Golfer Lining Up Tee Shot On Golf Course
Male Golfer Lining Up Tee Shot On Golf Course

These exercises improve your balance, coordination, stability, flexibility, strength and cardiovascular system. They are multi-joint movements that work all the muscles of the golf swing.

PHYSIOBALL PUSH-UP: Assume a push-up position with your hands on the ball, feet on the floor. Keep your bellybutton drawn in and push off the ball. Keep your fingers pointed down. Control the ball. Strengthens chest, arms, torso.

GLUTE BRIDGE/PHYSIOBALL LEG CURL: Lie on your back, arms extended, feet on the ball. raise your hips by contracting your glutes. Then pull your heels and the ball toward you, with your hips up. Strengthens glutes, hamstrings, lower back.

PHYSIOBALL CRUNCH: Arch your body over the ball, hands interlocked, supporting your head. Drape your body over the ball and then curl your trunk and pelvis together. Keep your bellybutton pulled in. Strengthens the abdominals.

RUSSIAN TWIST: Center shoulder blades on the ball, back straight, arms extended and holding either a medicine ball or dumbbell. Keeping your lower body stationary, rotate your upper body 90 degrees, then return to start. Strengthens back, shoulders, hips, torso.

DUMBBELL SINGLE LEG SQUAT: Stand on one foot in front of a bench, holding a dumbbell (2-10 pounds) in each hand. Squat back, still on one foot, until glutes touch the bench, then stand. Keep knees straight. Strengthens glutes, hamstrings, quads.

CABLE PULL: Pull an anchored stretch band from a low to a high position across your torso while rotating your trunk in the same direction. First pull, but finish by pushing up and away. Strengthens hips, torso, upper back, rotator cuffs, shoulders, chest.


handsome young man playing a game of golf
handsome young man playing a game of golf

Before I give you a cardio routine, let me say this: When you play golf, walk whenever possible. In fact, always look for chances to exert energy, such as taking stairs instead of elevators. When you work out, intensity is more important than duration, and performing an exercise slowly but properly is better than sloppily going “all out.” Your cardio training can include jogging, biking, swimming or just about any piece of cardio equipment in a gym. Do five minutes of warm-up and then alternate between two minutes of high-intensity work followed by two minutes of low-intensity recovery. Repeat five times before doing a five-minute cool-down. As you improve, work your way down to 30-second intervals (10 reps) of high- and low-intensity work. This is called interval training, and it’s the best and fastest way to get in shape.

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