6 Muscles That Improve Your Golf Swing (How To Swing Stronger)


The golf swing is a full-body movement, a golf study by Dr. Sergio Marta from the University Of Lisbon research indicated the main low body muscle group worked was the gluteus maximum(your butt), with the main upper body muscles being the pectoralis major (chest), latissimus dorsi (back), core and forearm muscles.

I will explain what exercises you can do to make all these muscles stronger without going to the gym, only using inexpensive equipment to improve your swing and strengthen your body allowing you to play golf and stay healthy even at an old age.

At the end of the article, I have a workout routine that you can follow using all the exercises and sets mentioned in this post.

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6 Muscles That Improve Your Golf Swing

1.Gluteus Maximus (Butt Muscle)

The gluteus maximus or butt is the largest muscle in your body but your butt is also made up of the gluteus medius and the gluteus minimus, all these muscles are worked n the following exercises.

All butt muscles are responsible for external and internal hip rotation on the backswing and downswing, and for hip extension which gets you in a balanced finish position. A week butt is not good for your health and even worse for your golf swing.

A medicine ball is a superb piece of equipment for working out your golf muscles, and it can be used for squats and the BEST exercise for golf that is mentioned later. Grab one for a bargain on Amazon.

Find a weight that you can maintain good form in, if any exercises are too challenging for you just do them without weight, or purchase a lighter medicine ball

The following video does not have weights, do the exercise(squat) without weight, and if it’s too easy do a squat whilst holding a medicine ball.

Golf companies love promoting new equipment as easy fixes, but does golf club-quality really makes a difference to your game? Learn the facts in my post.

How To Work Out Your Gluteus Maximus

Beginner Squat

  1. Take a wide stance whilst putting your hands in front of you for balance
  2. Sit back like you were in a chair but make sure your knees stay behind your toes
  3. Squeeze your butt at the top for proper hip extension
  4. Repeat for 4 sets x 12(or less depending on how you feel)

Master the basic squat body mechanics, before you move to the more difficult but also beneficial for golf the squat jump.

Squat Jump

  1. Have your feet roughly shoulder-width apart keeping good alignment(don’t bend knees in or out)
  2. Sit back like sitting on a chair whilst keeping your chest higher than the hips and exhale(breath out) as you jump up
  3. As you land inhale(breath in) and absorb the weight into your heels before you jump again
  4. Repeat 4 sets of 10 reps

As you get accustomed to the squat jump you can add weight, either with a Kettle Bell that you can grab from Amazon or a medicine ball.

2. Obliques

The obliques muscles are active to provide a solid base in the rotation to hit the golf ball. On the right side, the obliques are the most active muscles and assist with the rotation of the torso to hit the ball from the backswing position. (Journal Of British Sports Medicine)

You can’t be lazy and only train one side no matter if you left or right-handed as muscle imbalances will show in your swing and your health will suffer.

Woodchops is a fantastic exercise, and perhaps the best golf exercise you can do, you can see the lovely Paige Spiranac perform the exercise a 5:45 in the video below.

How To Do Wood Chops

  1. Hold a medicine ball in both hands and stand with feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent.
  2. Dropdown slightly, moving the ball to beside your right knee, then drive up through your feet, swinging the ball up and across your body.
  3. Swing it back down again, repeat 4 sets of 10 on EACH side

After every set of Wood Chops with NO rest immediately do 10 ball slams, these work your shoulders, triceps, pecs, calves, back, and core but especially your abdominals; which is what we need for golf.

How To Ball Slam

  1. Hold a medicine ball straight up in front of you and use your cores and arms to slam the medicine ball straight down between your feet with as much force as possible
  2. Exhale as you slam the ball down

The last exercise has the most similar movement pattern to a golf swing and that’s the ball throw. Essentially, you are mimicking a golf swing and training your body to use your hips to extension and really FORCE your ball through just like you should be doing with your swing.

If you throw the medicine ball, too left or too right your ball will fly in these directions, what does that remind you of?

That’s right, your golf swing! This exercise trains the same fast-twitch muscle fibers you recruit and reinforces crucial movement patterns as you throw the ball that is the same for your swing.

Do you ever get painful blisters from golf shoes? Learn why blisters happen and how to prevent them in my article.

How To Ball Throw For Golf

  1. With your left foot forward right foot back hold a medicine ball against a wall
  2. Whilst keeping your left heel in the ground whilst turning your chest as much as you can throw the ball against the wall(or partner)
  3. Repeat for 4 sets of 10 reps on each side

Remember the ball throw should mimic your swing as much as it can, if you find yourself overcompensating lower the weight. We want good form as much as possible, if your stable in the ball this will translate to stability in your swing.

3.Pectorals (Chest Muscle)

Your pectorals together with the lats were shown in the golf study by Dr. Sergio Marta to create strong shoulder abductors, which allow you to bring your arms across the body and raise them in the air, key in the highest portion of the golf swing.

Pushups are the classic chest exercise and for good reason, it is highly effective with numerous variations to make the exercise more difficult/easier and to target different muscle groups like the triceps and shoulders.

How To Perform The Pushup (The Right Way)

  1. Take a kneeling position with your hands against your side and bring your hands into a tee position then bring the hands in front of you and retract straight back(squeeze your back) this is your pushup starting position
  2. Whilst maintaining the position, go to the floor and pull your hands off the floor and squeeze your shoulder blades and then press up through the floor
  3. Come back to the floor and leave your hands off again as a queue to remind yourself to squeeze the shoulder blades, tighten your abs tight the entire time to keep your spine straight
  4. Focus more on feeling your chest than reps, as you feel your chest aim for 3 sets of 10 reps

Doing pushups like this will dramatically reduce the pushups you can do, which is good!

Most people do pushups wrong, doing it correctly will build solid muscle for your golf swing that will not only improve your swing but also your quality of life.

Do you hit irons well but struggle with the driver? Learn the mistakes you could be making and how to correct them in my article.

4.Latissimus (Side Back Muscle)

Big hitters have strong lats which are muscles that run from the shoulder blades to the tips, you use the lats to create a fast clubhead speed needed for a big drive.

Outside of golf lats are key to reduce tension and stress in your neck and shoulder, if you find yourself suffering from stress in your neck and shoulders you need to activate your lats.

To work your shoulders and lats at home, you need a set of resistance bands that you can buy for a bargain on Amazon here, they are an excellent piece. off fitness equipment that you can take with you anywhere

I use my bands every day to correct from terrible posture as I can growing up and I find them invaluable.

How To Work Out Your Lats At Home

  1. Attach a light band(15lbs) to something above you
  2. Push your arms down whilst maintaining an upright posture with your chest up feel like your closing your armpit
  3. Repeat 4 sets of 10 reps

For tips on hitting the driver consistently straight and further see my post.

5. Shoulder

Shoulders are an important muscle group in the golf swing as they create the speed of the club through the ball whilst keeping the swing under control, the shoulders are what turns the club back and through the ball.

You don’t need expensive equipment to work the shoulders, the resistance bands that you can get from Amazon are all you need to strengthen the shoulder to improve shoulder health, for your swing and body.

Here are 5 excellent band exercise(below video) to strengthen your shoulders, they also reduce shoulder pain as they correct shoulder imbalances you might have. Do the exercises that give you more relief more often.

How To Work Out The Shoulders

1 Hand External Rotation

  1. Stand on one end of a resistance band and grab the other end
  2. With one hand holding your core, hold the band at a 45-degree angle with the free hand and externally rotate your shoulder until your forearm is facing up

1 Hand Internal Rotation

  1. Stand on one end of a resistance band and grab the other end
  2. With one hand holding your core, hold the band at a 45-degree angle with the free hand and internally rotate your shoulder until your forearm is facing up

Underhanded Banded Pull Aparts

  1. Hand a resistance band with your palms facing you straight ahead
  2. Squeeze your shoulders together by working your middle back and pull apart the band. You should feel the muscle under your shoulder blades working

Lateral Raise

  1. Stand with your feet together on the middle of a resistance band and grab both ends
  2. Using your shoulders raise the band until your arms make a T

Lying External Rotation

  1. Lie down on the band and hold both ends
  2. Using your shoulders raise the band until your arms make a T

6.Forearms

Strengthening your wrist and forearms will help control the club throughout the swing, strong wrist and forearms muscles will help keep the clubface square through impact whilst delivering more power through your swing.

How To Work Your Forearms

Working out your forearms doesn’t have to take a long time as the forearms are made up of 20 different muscles, see the above video of an intense yet effective forearm workout that will make your clubhead straight that will improve every aspect of your golf game.

Confused on when you should throw away golf balls? Learn the truth in my article.

Golf Workout Routine

This routine is designed to be done at home with minimal equipment, only a medicine ball and resistance bands are needed. It should be done at least once a week, with up to 3 times a week giving the greatest benefit and it will only take around 40 minutes.

With the shoulder band workout, pick and choose different exercise each session stick with the ones that give the most benfeit.

  • Squat 4×12 (rest 2-3 minutes)
  • Jump Squat 4×12 (rest 2-3 minutes)
  • Woodchoppers/ Ball Throw Super 4×10 (rest 2-3 minutes)
  • Pushups 3×10
  • Resistance Shoulder Band Work (2×10 QUALITY Reps)
  • 5 Minute Forearm Resistant Band Workout
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