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Golf Specific
Strength Training Program

The main objective of any strength training program is to increase the level of performance as well as prevent injury.

My golf specific strength program is one that utilizes certain strength training principles and exercises that will be beneficial to developing the muscles that allow the golfer to obtain and perform a correct set up, maintain posture throughout the swing, and perform the backswing , transition, downswing , and the follow through with efficiency. and power. My program is developed on the premise that the body must work as one solid functioning unit and the exercises must be specific to the actions of the golf swing.

Strength is the ability to produce maximum force which is the quest for most athletes when performing a skill. Strength is vital to developing power especially in producing higher levels of force which provides the physiological stimuli needed for your body to perform at its highest efficiency.

One of the most important aspects of a successful golf strength training program is training the muscles used in the golf swing. The principle of skill specificity states that carryover from a training activity to a sport (golf swing) is dependent on the similarity of the neuromuscular demands of the activity and the sport. There are many movements that make up the golf swing. Therefore, a training strength program must address all of the various muscle actions used in the swing.

Strength training has several classifications:
  • Functional Strength: Refers to developing strength that is needed to perform a skill.
  • Relative Strength: Refers to the ability to work against one’s body weight.
  • Maximum Strength: Refers to the maximum amount of weight that a person can lift at any one time.
  • Static Strength: Refers to one‘s ability to maintain or stabilize a position. (GOLF STANCE)
  • Eccentric Strength: Refers to the ability of a muscle to develop force while it is lengthening. (GOLF BACKSWING)This classification is essential to performing a skill with skills that require power.
  • Speed Strength: The foundation of power development. The components are (1) starting strength, (2) explosive strength, and (3) reactive – elastic strength.
  • Starting strength is the ability to exert maximum force immediately when performing a skill.
  • Explosive strength is the rate at which a person develops force.
  • Reactive – Elastic strength is the joining of eccentric strength and concentric strength.
A successful strength training program must encompass all of the types listed above. It is imperative that the strength training adhere to the SAID (specific- adaptation to imposed demands) principle, which means that training must become more mechanically and speed specific. The training drills especially with a golfer must be closely related to the demands in performing a successful golf swing.

Guidelines for a successful training program

In general, a program that stresses multijoint weight bearing exercises that train the body as a whole will have a far more reaching effect when performing a skill such as hitting a golf ball with power. Muscles should be trained in functional task groups rather than in isolation. With golfers this is a very important concept since they have always thought that strength training would be detrimental to their swing.

I highly recommend doing as many exercises in the program while operating out of the golf setup. This gives the golfer a very clear concept on why a particular strength training exercise will help them execute a proper golf swing. Once they do a swing under added load, it will make it much easier for them to correctly perform the swing without load. Also, it allows for several muscle groups to be trained at one time which will be more time efficient. NOW THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR NOW NOT DOING A GOLF TRAINING WORKOUT.

Using free weights such as dumbbells, weighted golf clubs, medicine balls will not only build functional strength, it will help activate the neuromuscular and neuro-endocrine systems, which in turn regulate every system in the body.

This type of training has an advantage over isolated muscle movement for the following reasons:
    Power: The greater the effort and acceleration with a free weight, the greater the functional power development which results in a higher training result.

    Motor Coordination: Are movements that have a motor-control learning effect that transfer over to the following motor skills:
      1 .Orientation and differentiation
      2. Balance, body awareness in time and space
      3. Combinatory of functional skills
      Example: Using dumbbells, weighted club, medicine ball, you can simulate the golf swing in various strength training exercises. This will also incorporate balance, coordination, and actual golf swing training while participating in a training program.

    Systemic Overall –Effect: By increasing exertion and intensity in this type of training, there will be a higher production of hormones which will in turn stimulate over all muscle mass and increase strength to a greater degree.

    Dynamic Isolated Variable Resistance Exercises

    This form of training exercises uses a resistance that automatically changes throughout the movement range. For example: Nautilus machines incorporate a cam to automatically vary the resistance which matches your muscle movements. You will encounter proportionately less resistance in positions of lower muscle force and more resistance in positions of higher muscle force. Using this type of machine will result in matching muscle force and resistance force throughout the movement range.

    For golfers, these types of machines provide a supportive exercise structure. The benefits of using machines is that it will keep you in a stable position that increases your correct biomechanical movement range, stretches the muscles, and reduces the chance of injury. Using dumbbells and free weight bars does come with risk. You could be trapped under a weight bar or dumbbell or lose your balance which could result in injuring yourself. Nautilus and Cybex are brands of resistance machines that provide a specific movement path to keep the joint action on track throughout each exercise set. These safety features make resistance machines a preferred option for golfers who desire a safer, simpler training session.

    I use a combination of both types of resistance training which has allowed my clients to perform at their highest levels. I have learned from my martial arts training, a successful program is about being balanced. Also, you do not train a professional golfer the same way you would train a professional football player. I know, because I have trained many professional athletes for the last 30 years and golfers need to be trained in a manner that will be conducive to performing a golf swing.


An efficient strength training program should include exercises for all of your major muscle groups. The exercises selected in your program should be carefully designed so that your muscles will develop in balance with each other. You should not emphasize training some muscle groups over others because this can result in muscle imbalance injuries.

Your larger muscle groups should trained first, followed by medium and smaller muscles groups. Example: A lower body exercise might start with single leg deadlight with medicine ball. ( GLUTES) followed by physio ball medicine ball squats. (Quads/hamstrings), and single leg calve raises.

Frequency of a successful training program is a very important aspect.

This is very important because properly performed strength exercises progressively stresses muscles which cause a varied degree of muscle tissue trauma. Following a training session, the stressed muscle tissue undergoes repair and a regenerating process that leads to larger and stronger muscles. Muscles need usually 48 hours to recuperate in which they will complete these physiological changes. Research has shown that an average of three to four training sessions a week is sufficient for most people.

A golf professional, college or junior tournament player might increase their training sessions to 5 to 6 days depending on whether it is off-season, pre-season or in-season.

The number of sets and repetitions will vary according to the particular training program. Past and present research has shown that 3 sets per muscle group and 8 to 15 repetition per training exercise has be shown to give the best result for people who have moderate endurance muscles. This will vary depending on the time of season and your tournament schedule.


Specialized strength training offers the golfer the tremendous potential to improve their golf swing which will ultimately improve their performance capability and minimize the risk of injury.


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