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6 Exercises to Increase the Strength and Power of Your Golf Swing

Golf season is among us! If you are a dedicated golfer, you know how exciting this time of year can be. The weather is warming up and golfers everywhere are making their way to the course. At PREP Performance Center, we want to help you make the most out of this golf season.

As a physical therapist, I am constantly being asked if I can recommend good exercises or stretches to improve one’s golf game. While this is more of a performance question, it is my job to make sure my patients know how to effectively and efficiently use their bodies. These programs offer you some insight into a warm up, cool down and performance program.  It is imperative that you focus on stability and control, as well as strength and power. Please note that these strength exercises should be completed after a thorough warm up (see last blog on warm up and stretching), safely and not with heavy loads.

If you are a golfer with a nagging injury, stiff hips or low back, I would highly recommend seeing your local physical therapist to better understand your muscle imbalances, strength and flexibility deficits. This step will not only greatly improve your golf game, but your personal and professional life as well!

Whether you’re playing for fun or competitively, these 6 exercises can help increase the strength and power of your golf swing, so you can perform at your optimum performance this golf season:

 

1. Side plank

Starting from a normal plank position, place your right hand down and rotate your body so that your left hand reaches up towards the ceiling. Engage through your belly and glutes.

  • Hold for 20 seconds on each side. Complete 2-3 sets depending on your tolerance.
  • Modify with your right knee on the ground for increased stability.
  • Targeted Muscles: Shoulders, Core, Glut Med.
  • Golf Integration: Shoulder, core and hip stabilization is imperative for body awareness, proper loading and stance position.

 

2. Lunge with Rotation

Right foot in front, bring your left back to a lunge position, arms extended holding a resistance band (pulling opposite direction of front knee). Keeping both of your hips facing forward, knee forward (not falling in), draw in your belly button, stabilize through your hips, and using your trunk, arms stay straight rotate the right. Slowly returning to the center.

  • Complete this exercise 2 sets of 10 reps in each direction.
  • Modify with your right knee on the ground for increased stability.
  • Targeted Muscles: Quadriceps, Glut max, Glut med, Transverse Abdominis, External and Internal Obliques.
  • Golf Integration: Maintaining balance during the transition from back swing to full swing with powerful yet controlled trunk rotation.

 

3. Sidestepping

Place a resistance band around your arches. Keeping your toes forward, knees slightly bent and facing forward, take one step to the right and a small step to the right with your left foot. Continue with a big step on the right and a small step on the left for 10 steps.

Duck Walks:

Place a resistance band around your arches. Separate feet to be just greater than shoulder distance apart. Keeping your toes forward, knees straight but not locked out. Take one inch steps forward.

  • Complete this exercise 2 sets of 10 steps in each direction.
  • Targeted Muscles: Glut max, Glut med, External Rotators.
  • Golf Integration: Your glutes supply stability as well as power to transition force through the trunk into the ball from back swing to ball contact.

 

4. Squat with med ball rotation

Stand with your feet separated shoulder distance apart, toes forward, slight bend in the knees. Engage through your belly, keeping arms straight rotate slightly to the right then toss med ball left to a partner or against a wall. Keep your hips and feet straight and knees apart.

Squat w/ med ball rotation

  • Complete this exercise 2 sets of 10 reps in each direction.
  • Modify with your right knee on the ground for increased stability.
  • Targeted Muscles: Glut max, Glut med, Transverse Abdominis, External and Internal Obliques.
  • Golf Integration: Controlled and powerful rotation is the foundation of transforming energy from back swing through ball contact.

 

5. Bridges with Pulses

Feet separated shoulder distance apart with a resistance band tied across knees. Hands down to your sides, squeeze through your glutes and raises your hips toward the ceiling. Hold for 10s and repeat 10 times. After 10th rep, pulse hips up to the ceiling for a count of 10. After the 10th rep, keep your hips high and engaged and pulse your knees open. Keep your feet forward and your big toes pressing into to the ground. NO REST BETWEEN PULSES!

  • Complete this exercise 2 sets of the entire series.
  • Targeted Muscles: Glut max, Glut med, External Rotators.
  • Golf Integration: Stability and control through your hips and pelvis can greatly improve your power in the back swing as well as support your low back from too much rotational stress.

 

6. Single leg Deadlift

Standing on right leg with dumbbell in left hand, maintain balance and gently hinge at hips letting dumbbell lower toward the ground. Control this motion through your right hamstring as your hinge forward and gently pull yourself back up to starting position. Try not to rest your left leg down.

Single Leg Deadlift

  • Complete this exercise 2 sets of 10 reps in each direction.
  • Targeted Muscles: Hamstrings and Glut Med.
  • Golf Integration: Balance and stability through the pelvis will transfer well into a smooth swing and stabile base of support.

 

If you are looking to increase the strength and power of your golf swing, contact Doctor of Physical Therapy, Mary Kate Casey at our Chicago, IL clinic today! We can provide you with additional tips for improving your technique so you can get the most out of your golf season!