Today more professional golfers embrace the gym than ever before. This applies just as much to the LPGA Tour as it does to the PGA Tour. Women pros know that becoming stronger while staying supple give them an edge on a tour that is perhaps even more global than the men’s tour.
Here are five of the fittest golfers currently on the LPGA Tour:
- Lexi Thompson
Lexi Thompson is one of the strongest women on tour. The 11-time winner works with Coach Kolby Wayne, who also trains PGA Tour pro Justin Thomas. Kolby told Golf Digest that Thompson is “probably one of the greatest athletes I’ve ever worked with.”
As with the men, Thompson’s workouts are focused on creating a strong and stable lower body for power and velocity, and a solid core. She uses a mix of equipment, ranging from sleds to resistance bands to barbells and weight machines. The 26- year-old Thompson is so committed to her fitness regime that she is known to do two-a-day workouts in the gym. She will do a cardio routine in the morning and a strength and HIIT workout in the afternoon or evening. “It is very important to be physically fit when you are playing a sport,” she told the Golf Channel a few years ago.
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2. Mel Reid
There’s no question that England’s Mel Reid is one of the fittest women on the LPGA Tour. She’s not shy about her reputation either. When asked by Golf.com where she ranked among her peers, the 34-year-old Reid said “Top three, no doubt.
Reid and her trainer Ken McDonald prioritise movements and exercises that translate to her game on the course and that addresses any weaknesses. “We’re very switched on about it,” Reid said. “We know what parts of my body are weak, we work on it.” Like a lot of other golfers, medicine balls help her work her core while simulating the movement through impact. Lately, her training program has been designed to help her develop more speed in her swing. In 2021 she ranked 18 th on the LPGA Tour with an average drive of just under 268 yards.
“I work my a— off in the gym,” Reid has said. “It’s something that I do consistently.”
3. Ryan O’Toole
It took Ryan O’Toole 228 starts and 11 years to win her first LPGA Tour event – the 2021 Scottish Women’s Open. For O’Toole, the win was confirmation that all those hours she spent in the gym with trainer Andrew Hannon were worth it.
The pair place a premium on plyometric exercises such as “bilateral jumps, unilateral jumps, landmines for upper body and, of course, medicine ball throws. Plyometric exercises help simulate how a person’s loads their body and transfers their weight in the golf swing. Therefore they have the potential to increase both strength and power, which translates into more clubhead speed.
“I can fine-tune some of the specific things she’s working on golf-wise,” Hannon told GOLF.com. “It’s a blend of plyometric work, getting her joints moving the right way and strength work.”
The 34-year-old O’Toole also does a lot of mobility, especially for her hips. She also goes running, surfing and does yoga too.
4. Belen Mozo
Spanish golfer Belen Mozo is a big believer in spending hours in the gym. For her, exercise doesn’t just build physical strength, it builds mental strength too. “When you push yourself to new limits you are not only building muscle, losing fat or increasing in cardiovascular health, but training your mind,” she wrote on her website.
Mozo’s exercise program focuses on three components – mobility training, strength training and power training. She pays particular attention to training her core, which is very important for golf, and stabilising her shoulders. She also throws in cardio as well. According to her, this combination has not only helped her to add length on the course, but also helps with injury prevention. “When you don’t see me on the golf course, I am usually working out”, the 33-year- old Mozo told Golf Digest in a video.
5. Brittany Lang
Former Women’s US Open champion Brittany Lang remembers having problems with her back from the time she was 10 years old. The pain gradually got worse as She grew older and persisted through her early career on the LPGA Tour.
“I would get shooting pains up my back,” she told the Toronto Star newspaper. When the pain became too much to bear, she sort out a trainer to help her fix it. Turns out she had a weak core. So the trainer added core strengthening exercises to her workout and she hasn’t had to worry since.
In addition to strengthening her core, the 36-year-old Lang uses free weights to work her upper body and does lunges and squats for her lower body. “I love to work out. I really like to lift weights, but the majority of my workout is based around the core,” she said in a YouTube video.
Photo – Golf Digest