It’s no secret that a powerful golf swing stems from a strong and flexible body. But did you know that to elevate your game, you don’t need any high-end gym equipment?
Yes, that’s right!
All you need is the weight of your own body and the determination to succeed.
From Planks that foster a robust core to Squats that build explosive power in your lower body, we have got it all covered.
These exercises not only aim to improve your strength and flexibility but also focus on enhancing the stability and mobility that are crucial for an effortless golf swing.
Best Bodyweight Exercises for Golf
Here they are, in no particular order, my 10 favorite bodyweight exercises for golfers.
Stick around to the end because I put these 10 exercises into a workout circuit that you can try out right now.
Why: Push-Ups work on your chest, shoulders, and triceps, helping you gain the upper body strength necessary for a controlled and powerful swing.
Push-Ups aren’t just one of my favorite bodyweight exercises, they are one of my favorite upper-body exercises for golf, period.
- Lie face down on the floor.
- Pull your toes in so that you’re on the tip of your shoes.
- Eyes should be focused straight down or slightly up.
- Pull your hands close to about the nipple line of the chest and bring them out about 2-3 inches away.
- Take a deep breath, engage the core and brace.
- Push yourself up in one unit. There should be no sagging of the waist. The entire body from head to toe should move up and then back down in unison.
- Feel your scapula upwardly rotate and make sure the antagonist muscles (Back and biceps) are fully engaging.
- Lock out your push-up and pause.
- Slowly lower yourself back down and get ready for the next repetition from just above the ground. Do not fully relax at the bottom of the push-up unless your program specifies.
Why: Planks build a strong core which is vital for a golfer. A robust core aids in improving stability, thus refining your swing mechanics.
- Start on the ground on your stomach.
- Assume a push-up like position on your elbows and toes. Elbows should be directly under the shoulders.
- Position your body in a straight line from the shoulders through the hips, knees and ankles.
- Brace the core tight. (As if you’re going to be punched in the stomach)
- Do not let the body slouch to the ground nor push the hips up high in the air.
Why: Russian Twists focuses on your oblique muscles, assisting in enhancing your rotational strength, which is crucial for a golf swing.
- Start by taking a seat on the floor and clasping your hands together.
- Slightly bend the knees and raise your feet roughly six inches off the floor.
- Start by rotating your torso to the left, taking your right elbow toward your left knee.
- Now turn your shoulders and rotate your torso to the right, now taking your left elbow toward your right knee.
- Keep legs mostly still and maintain the feet off the floor throughout the movement.
- Continue rotating back and forth until all reps are completed.
RELATED –> My 10 Favorite Core Exercises for Golfers
Why: Mountain Climbers are great for building agility and core strength, promoting a more stable and fluid swing on the golf course.
- Begin in a push-up position – hands under shoulders, core engaged, body in a straight line
- Now raise one knee toward the chest and place the ball of the foot on the ground – from this position you’re ready to begin performing reps.
- Drive one leg up and place the foot right next to where the opposite foot just left.
- Simultaneously extend the ‘up foot’ back to the original starting position.
- Continue alternating back and forth until all reps are completed.
Why: Glute Bridges focus on strengthening your glutes and hamstrings, which are essential muscles used in the power generation during a golf swing.
- Start by laying on your back on the ground.
- Bend both knees to about a 90-degree angle and place both feet flat on the floor.
- Begin the rep by driving your hips up into the air. Try to attain a straight line from the shoulders through the hips and knees.
- Squeeze the glutes at the top of the rep and then lower back down to the starting position.
Why: Bodyweight Squats enhances lower body strength, ensuring a solid stance and powerful drive in your golf swing.
- Perform your bodyweight squat by placing feet shoulder width apart, toes straight ahead or slightly pointed out.
- Squat down by first hinging the hips back and then bending the knees and dropping the hips straight down.
- Chest should stay up, eyes focused straight ahead.
- Feet should remain flat on the floor with weight evenly distributed between the heel and ball of the foot.
- Stand tall by pushing the feet ‘through the floor’, driving the hips up and the shoulders tall.
Why: Burpees are an all-encompassing exercise that builds endurance and strength, helping you maintain energy levels throughout the golf game.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands by your sides.
- Lower your body into a squat position by bending your knees and hips. Place your hands on the ground in front of you, just outside shoulder-width apart.
- Jump your feet back into a plank position, with your hands still on the ground and your body in a straight line.
- Do a push-up by lowering your chest towards the ground, then pressing back up to the plank position.
- Jump your feet back towards your hands, then stand (or jump) up and reach your arms overhead.
Why: Lunges work on the lower body stability and strength, helping in maintaining a balanced and grounded posture during a swing.
- Stand upright with feet hip-width apart, shoulders relaxed and engage your core
- Step forward with one leg and lower your body, bending both knees at 90 degrees.
- Front knee above ankle, not past toes. Back knee close to but not touching the ground.
- Push off the front foot and return to the start position. Alternate legs each rep.
Why: Shoulder Taps strengthen and improve stability in the shoulder and arm muscles, assisting in achieving a smooth and controlled golf swing.
- Shoulder Taps begin with the athlete in a push up position.
- Hands should be directly under the shoulders. Body should be in a straight line, core engaged.
- Raise the left hand up, reach across the body and tap the right shoulder.
- Replace the left hand back to the ground.
- Now raise the right hand up, reach across the body and tap the left shoulder.
Quadruped Rock Backs
Why: Incorporating Yoga-inspired movements like Quadruped Rock Backs into your routine can significantly improve flexibility and balance, which are vital for perfecting your golf posture and swing.
- Start on your hands and knees with your wrists directly under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips.
- Engage your core and tuck your toes under.
- Begin to rock back towards your heels by shifting your weight backward, pushing your hips towards your heels, and extending your arms out in front of you.
- Continue to rock back until you feel a stretch in your hips and lower back, and then rock forward again to return to your starting position.
Here’s a bodyweight circuit that you can follow to build strength and endurance utilizing the exercises above:
|Circuit 1||3 Rounds|
|Bodyweight Squats||x 15|
|Plank||x 45 seconds|
|Circuit 2||3 Rounds|
|Mountain Climbers||x 15 each leg|
|Shoulder Taps||x 10 each side|
|Russian Twists||x 15 each side|
|Circuit 3||3 Rounds|
|Glute Bridges||x 15|
|Lunges||x 12 each leg|
|Quadruped Rock Backs||x 10|
Make sure to start off with a proper warm-up. I have a few sample warmups here if you need one.
Perform each exercise in Circuit 1 one after another, with minimal rest in between, until 3 total rounds have been completed.
Rest 2 minutes.
Continue on to Circuit 2 in the same manner, resting another 2 minutes between Circuit 2 and 3.
If you want to increase the challenge, try 4 rounds of each circuit instead of 3.
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Incorporating bodyweight exercises into your training program is a straightforward yet effective approach to enhance your physical readiness for golf.
These exercises target core muscle groups that are pivotal in achieving powerful and precise golf swings.
By dedicating time to building strength and flexibility through the exercises outlined above, you can foster a golf game that is both strong and controlled. Commit to this regimen, and watch how it transforms your game into a force to be reckoned with on the green.