When creating a workout program to improve your golf swing, focus on exercises that make your body more stable and flexible, then build strength and power, says Golf Digest Fitness Advisor Ben Shear. In our February 2017 issue, he offered six moves for better stability and flexibility. Assuming you’ve been working on those, it’s time to add three strength training exercises and three more to power up your swing. “Combine all 12 exercises for a balanced workout,” Shear says. “You can do it all in less than 30 minutes if you keep moving. Just do 10 reps, two sets per exercise.”
1. Bulgarian split-squat
Hold two dumbbells and prop one foot (toes down) on a bench behind you. Lower the propped leg nearly to the ground, then back up. Keep your shin and back straight as you squat. Switch legs after each set. This improves lower-body strength (legs, hips, glutes, etc.), a key to swinging with a stable base.
1. Rotational Jump
Keeping your hands on your hips, squat and then jump as high as you can while rotating your body as much as you can (180 degrees is a good goal). Repeat in the other direction as quickly as possible, and keep alternating.
This trains your body to use ground force in multiple planes of motion—just like the golf swing.
2. One-legged glute bridge
While seated with your back resting on a physio ball, extend one leg off the ground and push upward with the other. Contract your butt muscles, raising your pelvis as
high as you can. Hold for a second, then return to the start position, switch legs and repeat. This strengthens the glutes, which are prime power generators in golf.
2. Vertical leap
Keeping your hands on your hips, squat and thrust straight up as high as you can. Do these reps fairly quickly and with all the energy you can muster. This will improve the thrust you create with your legs to generate more clubhead speed.
3. One-legged row
Hold one dumbbell and bend your torso forward, balancing on the opposite leg with the other extended behind you. Pull the dumbbell toward your torso, lower it and return to an upright position. After one set, switch and repeat. This improves hamstrings, hips, back and shoulders, important to safe deceleration of the club.
3. One-legged lateral jump
Wind your torso counterclockwise, and then thrust off one leg laterally while rotating so you land with your body facing in the opposite direction. Repeat in the other direction. Simulates and improves the winding/ loading and unwinding/unloading of the body to create explosive power as the club moves through impact.