More and more people are doing golf exercises at home.
But let’s face it, knowing where to start a golf exercise program is confusing.
The internet and social media overwhelm us with golf specific exercises. Don’t get me wrong, most of the exercises are great and are proven to be beneficial.
The question is, are these exercises right for you?
It’s very interesting to see the exercises that Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth use in their golf conditioning program. But most likely you shouldn’t concentrate on those exercises.
Because you aren’t Justin or Jordan, you don’t have the same gym IQ, you don’t have the same mobility, and you haven’t gone through the same exercise progressions.
Social media is a popularity contest so people upload what we want to see, not necessarily what benefits most golfers.
Yes, it’s cool to see the exercises, but you shouldn’t use exercises posted on social media to build your golf conditioning program.
So where should you start? My answer might surprise you.
Golf Exercises at Home
If you’ve read this far, I’m pretty sure you believe improving fitness will put you into position to play better golf.
Articles by Keogh et. al, Marshall & Llewellyn, Sell et.al, and Wells et al contain statistical proof that in general golfers with better balance, more mobility, flexibility, and strength will hit the golf ball farther and have a lower handicap index.
Therefore, doing any basic exercise that will improve balance, mobility, and strength is worthwhile. As long as the exercise isn’t complex and doesn’t put the body in a position to cause injury more likely than not that exercise will be useful.
Ideally, you will seek out a golf fitness professional to help you develop a golf fitness program. However, I realize that tight budgets, time, and logistics make this hard for many golfers.
But there is no reason you can’t start a program and do golf exercises at home. It doesn’t require expensive or special equipment. To start doing golf exercises at home all you need is a set of resistance bands, a couple loop bands, and a kettlebell or dumbbell.
Basic home gym equipment is listed on my Resource page.
Even though I believe there is an ordered progression of steps that a golf conditioning program should follow, almost every weekend warrior needs more general body strength.
My basic strength requirements are outlined in How To Tell If You Need More Strength – Golf Weight Training. Although I might update that post to include different requirements by age – especially the number of pull-ups and elevated deadlifts – the requirements listed are good goals to set for yourself.
11 Steps to a Successful Golf Fitness Program
A successful golf conditioning & fitness program has 11 basic steps. I’ve created a guide that explains the steps. Click the button below to have a copy of the guide sent to your inbox.
The guide will give direction and provide resources for your golf conditioning program.
Where to Start
The download above has more details, but the five tips listed below are the first steps you should take in any fitness program. These steps should be taken regardless if you’re creating your own golf conditioning program or a fitness professional is directing your program.
You should assess your mobility, flexibility, stability, and nutrition.
Find out what physical limitations you may have. Knowing your limitations will make it easier to choose exercises.
If you’re not assessing, you’re guessing.
Why assess nutrition? Because many of the foods we eat cause body & joint inflammation.
Besides not being healthy for you, inflammation can reduce the range of motion in joints and cause many of the common pains people complain about.
2. Correct Limitations
Now that you know what your physical limitations are, it’s time to reduce their effects and eliminate them.
If you did a TPI mobility & stability assessment, chances are the evaluation uncovered many limitations. Don’t let the number of limitations overwhelm you.
I know when I was first assessed, I wondered how in the world I played golf as well as I did.
But remember, you can swing a club with limitations. However, correcting limitations will allow you to swing more consistently, have more speed and power, and reduce the chance of pain and injury.
Don’t worry about correcting all of your limitations. Choose one or two limitations and find exercises to correct them.
3. Be Persistent & Aware
Keep working to reduce limitations.
It’s easy to become discouraged with your progress. We live in a world of instant gratification. Fixing mobility & stability limitations isn’t as easy as gaining muscle mass.
The reason for slow progress can often be our lifestyle. Our occupation, habits, and other external factors can force our bodies into positions that strengthen the limitations that we’re trying to fix. Sitting at a computer, driving, watching television in an old comfy chair, or having a job with a repetitive motion is often the cause of our limitations.
We need to be aware of our body positions and how we move throughout the day. If we find ourselves regressing it behooves us to try to change position and not get back into the habits that cause physical limitations.
By being aware and persistent we will see progress.
4. Don’t Strengthen Limitations
Adding resistance to our workouts too soon can actually strengthen dysfunctions.
We often get bored with corrective exercises and just want to lift some weight. It seems like a good idea, after all, we want to become stronger. But sometimes, all we end up doing is making a dysfunction stronger or cause another part of our body an injury.
Think of it this way, if a joint isn’t moving as it should, or in full range of motion, adding resistance or weight to that joint is only going to make the muscles that aren’t moving correctly stronger. Thus, making it harder to correct, or worst, cause an injury.
5. Start and Stay with the Basics
Why are some exercises called basic?
Because they work and everyone uses them. There’s no need to get fancy. Especially if you’re creating your own golf conditioning program.
Basic exercises work. Stay with them.
More complex exercises, those that use specialized equipment and have multiple movement patterns are designed to meet very specific needs.
You don’t need to get crazy with exercises. Stick with basic proven movements.
Starting a golf conditioning & fitness program can be overwhelming. There’s so much information available to you it’s hard to know where to start.
The five best tips I can give you are:
- Assess your limitations.
- Correct limitations but don’t try to correct them all at once.
- Be persistent and keep working on the corrections – it will take time. Be aware of your habits – make sure your everyday life isn’t causing the limitations.
- Don’t hit the weights too soon. If you do use weights make sure you’re doing the exercises correctly.
- Stick with basic exercises – they’ve passed the test of time.
If you’d like more information on how to perform your own TPI mobility & stability assessment, click on the link below.
The basic movement progression I recommend to golfers starts with the hip hinge progression. I outline the process in the article linked below.
Additional progressions are linked at the bottom of each article.
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Todd Marsh Fitness
Focused on Golfers who want to improve their golf performance. TMF offers individual & group training on-line and in-person as well as DIY programs & courses.
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