Best Exercises: The Muscles Used in a Golf Swing

While you may not be willing, able, or interested in working out as rigorously as a professional golfer, it’s still important to have a good understanding of some key muscles that assist in a swift muscles used in a golf swing. This week’s Play Smart podcast focuses on this topic, which is a major interest of co-host Reed Howard, a certified TPI trainer and professional golfer.

“Your golf swing will only go as fast as your weakest link will allow,” Howard explains that the speed of your golf swing is limited by your weakest muscle group. These muscles are crucial for accelerating your swing and generating greater speed.”

The Basics of a Golf Swing

The process of a golf swing can be divided into different stages, including the backswing, downswing, impact, and follow-through. Throughout the backswing, the golfer rotates their body towards the right while bringing the club backward. In the downswing phase, the player starts their forward stroke with the lower part of their body, and the upper body follows. When the clubhead touches the ball, it signifies the impact stage. Lastly, the golfer carries on their swing and completes it with their body facing the designated target in the follow-through phase. 


Here are some excellent workout routines and exercises you can begin with to enhance your golf skills, such as swing speed and ball striking ability. These workouts primarily target the major muscles mentioned earlier and come with video tutorials that demonstrate how to perform them.

Prior to beginning the exercises, it would be wise to learn more about the fundamentals of golf stretching and the numerous benefits of golfing as a form of physical activity, applicable to both professional and elderly golfers, as well as those in between.

Hip Flexors

There is not comprehensive list, there are numerous muscles involved in generating a strong golf swing. Reed initially highlights the importance of your hip flexors, as sufficient hip mobility and flexibility are necessary for generating a forceful rotation. 

“Your hips are the ignition that starts your golf swing’s sequence,” he says. “You need a certain amount of range of motion to create that power.”

 Pectoral muscles

Golfers who produce high clubhead speed do it by exerting a strong force while pulling the club through the downswing. They take advantage of the ground to amplify their technique, resulting in an impressive clubhead speed. According to Howard, your pectoral muscles play a vital role in this process.

Continue Read: Average golf swing speed


This particular workout helps to enhance the strength and force of your legs. Begin by standing upright with a chair or box situated right at the back of you. Execute a squat by distributing your weight evenly on both legs. Gradually go down until you are comfortably seated on the box. Return to your initial position and repeat the process. As you progress, decrease the height of the chair or box for more effective results.


By doing this exercise, you can improve your upper body strength, increase mobility in your shoulders and spine, and enhance your core stability. To execute this workout, you will require a functional movement trainer, a cable cross machine, and a bar attachment (a triceps rope can be used instead of the bar). Assuming a half kneeling position with your knee down away from the machine or door, grasp the FMT or bar with both hands resting on the top and maintain a tall posture.

Execute a diagonal chop while keeping your hands and the bar close to your chest during the entire action. Ensure to fully rotate your shoulders while performing the chop and gradually return to the initial position. Do the adequate amount of sets and repetitions as required.

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Here are some excellent workouts for golfers that can assist in developing robust shoulders. While facing the high connection point, hold both grips of the TRX. Begin in the complete lean back row stance- the nearer to the attachment, the more difficult it becomes. Execute I’s, Y’s, T’s, and W’s.

Start by extending both of your arms out to the sides with your elbows straight and your thumbs facing upwards, creating a “T” shape with your body. Then, attempt to lift both arms above your shoulders in the shape of a “Y,” while still keeping your elbows locked. After that, bend your elbows and shoulders at a 90-degree angle to create an “L” shape, and turn the backs of your hands towards the sky while keeping your shoulders bent. Finally, slightly bend your elbows, stretch your arms forward with your thumbs pointed upwards, and elevate your arms towards the sky to form a “W” shape.

Repeat each position for the prescribed number of reps. Remember to start each motion by squeezing your shoulder blades together.


Great exercises for overall body strength and golf fitness. Begin with using no weights and only your footwear, then gradually increase the weights. Lie on your side next to a kettlebell and turn to face it. The kettlebell should be easily within reach of your left hand. Take hold of the kettlebell with your left hand and roll onto your back, bringing the kettlebell with you. Bend your left knee and place your foot on the ground with flat soles. Extend your arm completely and lift the kettlebell directly in front of your chest.

Firstly, lower your right arm by your side to assist with the get-up. The initial movement involves curling up to your right elbow with a crunch. Driving through your left heel will also aid in this motion. Additionally, lengthening through your right heel will make it easier to keep your right leg straight and mostly flat on the ground.

Next, transfer your weight from your right elbow to your right hand, ensuring the weight is directly above you. When you are in the “on the hand” position, actively push through your left heel to lift your hips into a bridge. It is important to focus on extending your hips rather than your lower back.

From the high bridge position, sweep your right leg back to a point where your right knee is on the ground underneath your body. Keep your lumbar spine neutral throughout.

Now, rotate your right lower leg so it’s straight and in line with your body, and straighten your trunk so you’re up tall. Once you’re in the “tall half-kneeling” position. It’s an opportune time to refocus with chest up, long spine, shoulder packed, etc.

Lastly, perform a split squat to stand tall, and you are at the top position. To return to the ground, just reverse the direction going back. Then repeat with your other arm.

Tips for Injury Prevention

In order to avoid harm while engaging in golf. It is crucial to perform warm-up exercises before beginning and follow up with stretching exercises afterward. Correct positioning during your swing and utilizing proper technique is equally essential. Furthermore, being attentive to your own body and taking a break if any pain or uneasiness arises is important.


For a successful golf swing, a combination of skill and physical conditioning is essential. Knowing which muscle groups are involved in the swing and how to enhance. Them can enhance your abilities on the green while minimizing the chances of any harm. Adding golf-focused workouts to your fitness regimen can lead to a more powerful and effective golf swing.

Best Guide: Increase your swing speed

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