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  • Writer's pictureANNIKA Foundation

3 Key Exercises for Any Golfer

Over the last two decades exercise has become a staple for the modern professional golfer thanks to trailblazers like Tiger Woods and Annika dominating the scene. While in the past many golfers were able to compete and win on skill alone without relying on being in great physical shape, this is generally no longer the case.

Today, a majority of professional golfers include exercise in their routine, and use their athleticism to gain a competitive edge over the field. While all exercise is great to improve athleticism, there are a few muscle groups that do most of the work in a golf swing: your lower body, core, and posterior chain.

Here are 3 exercises all players can use to help improve their performance on the golf course.

For Mobility: Seated Rotations

One of the most important aspects of a great golf swing is an effective body rotation. Doing these seated rotation exercises will help make sure you have plenty of mobility in your thoracic spine (mid back), and maximize the torque you can put into your golf swing.

This is an easy warm up exercise to do before a round of golf, or before a workout!

Here’s How to Do It:

  1. Start by sitting on a bench or a backless chair with a golf club in hand.

  2. Put the golf club behind your back to rest between your elbows and upper back, and rest your palms just below your chest. It’s important to keep your back straight.

  3. Keep your hips steady, and rotate your upper body in one direction, holding that position for 2-3 seconds.

  4. Return to the starting position, and repeat in the other direction.

  5. Repeat this move in both directions, 10-15 times.

For Leg Power: Box Jumps

Box jumps are easy to perform (in theory) but provide a great all around lower body exercise. This simple move works your quadriceps, hamstrings, groin and calves. The goal is to use explosive energy from a standing position and jump up onto a box.

Here’s How to Do It:

  1. Start by standing in front of a box, with your feet hip width apart (the box you use can be anywhere from 1 to 4 feet tall, depending on how difficult you’d like the exercise to be).

  2. Using both feet, jump onto the box from a standing position, making sure both feet land on the box at once.

  3. Keep your knees in line with your toes as you land on the box.

  4. Jump or step down from the box, and repeat this exercise in 3-4 sets of 4-10 jumps.

Click here for a quick video demonstration:

Compound Exercise: Medicine Ball Slams With Rotation

These modified medicine ball slams are great to build rotational strength and help prevent golf related injuries. This exercise works both your back, shoulders and core muscles, making it a great compound exercise. There are a few ways to do medicine ball slams with rotation, but the key move remains the same through each.

Here’s How to Do It:

  1. On a yoga mat, kneel down on one knee with a medicine ball in hand.

  2. Take the medicine ball over your head and slam it on the ground in a chopping motion, which resembles the golf downswing.

  3. Repeat 5-10 times for one set, then repeat this exercise in the opposite direction.

  4. Do 2-3 sets per side.

Click here for a great video demonstration:

Final Thoughts

Using exercise to increase power and flexibility in the golf swing is now commonplace among golfers. Not only can these exercises help you gain more power from your swing, but they can also help prevent injuries allowing you to stay competitive for a longer period of time. Try these out in your next routine!


Brandon runs a golf website called Fairway Approach, focused on helping golfers take a smarter approach to golf by offering game improvement guides and equipment reviews. He’s been playing amateur golf for over 15 years, and is originally from Syracuse, NY. During the day he’s a technical recruiter within the financial industry, helping software engineers land jobs.

Instagram: @fairwayapproach

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