In the time before a round of golf, taking enough time to warm up the muscles that coordinate the golf swing is crucial to improve your game and prevent injury. Personal trainers can help their golf athletes, both recreational and professional, perform preparatory movements and strengthen the motor patterns important for the game.
It’s not uncommon for recreational golfers to hit the range for a few swings and then spend the next two hours waiting to find their groove before they begin hitting the best shots of their day. Most of these early-round problems can be solved with some selective band exercises that target the muscle groups recruited during the golf swing.
The following are four band exercises designed not only to get you warm for your upcoming 18 holes, but are tailored to help you blast drives from the first tee.
Exercise #1: Downswing Chop
This first exercise is for one of the most critical moments in the swing: that last couple of feet before the club hits the golf ball.
As your club descends, your body is generating swing speed. This speed comes from the uncoiling of the body from the backswing and the engagement of several areas of your body. From the forearms to the torso, hips, and legs, the final move to the golf ball needs all of those crucial areas firing with maximum power.
A great band exercise to warm up these muscle groups is the downswing chop.
- Find an area to hang the resistance band about two to three feet over your head.
- Once you’ve hung the band, hold it like a golf club in the position of the downswing at about waist level.
- Now simulate the golf swing, but you’ll want to stop at the ideal point of impact. Whatever you do, don’t follow through with the band.
- Do two slow reps mimicking the arc of your normal swing, then flip it around and do two reps with the opposite side. You’ll want to work on each side of your body evenly.
Try to get in three sets on each side before you move on to the next band exercise.
Exercise #2: Follow-Through Chest Flys
Now that we’ve worked the downswing, now let’s stretch our follow-through. The follow-through is incredibly important because we want to accelerate through the golf ball to maximize clubhead speed and distance.
In the downswing exercise, we went high-to-low with the band. In this exercise, we want to go from low-to-high, simulating the finish of a golf swing.
- Start with the band connected to an area about one foot off the ground.
- Take the outside hand of your swing, for right-handers it will be the right hand, and hold the band similar to your grip on the golf club.
- Position your body as if you are about to make contact with the golf ball.
- Take the band upward and across your body simulating the conclusion of the golf swing.
- Pull the band through the zone and stop as it reaches shoulder-high on your swing.
Complete three sets of five with each arm before moving to the next exercise.
Exercise #3 Shoulder Raises
After working on the downswing and follow-through rotations, let’s make sure we get our shoulders ready for the day’s swing count.
- Start with a neutral and natural stance, feet shoulder-width apart.
- Stand with the right foot on the middle of the band, taking the handle in your right hand.
- Lift the band and complete one set with the shoulder in three different rotational positions: external rotation, neutral, and internal rotation
- Shoulder raise with external rotation: Thumb up, palm forward.
- Shoulder raise in neutral: Palm facing the ground.
- Shoulder raise in internal rotation: Palm facing behind you, thumb down.
- With each repetition lift the band to slightly above the shoulder and perform ten reps with each set.
- Switch sides and repeat
Exercise #4: Diagonal Lifts
This final exercise is excellent for the posterior chain. The diagonal lift is going to start low and finish across the body as high as you can lift the band.
- First, stand on one end of the tube and make sure you have enough slack to perform the movement.
- You’ll want to feel tension without sensing that the band is straining or that you could potentially hurt yourself.
- Place your right foot on one end of the band and take the free handle with your left.
- Reach across your body, passing along the shoulder line and into the sky at a 45-degree angle.
- Your arm should finish in full shoulder extension and slight abduction.
- Take it slow and do three sets of five repetitions with each arm.
Arrive 30-45 minutes before your round and work through these four band exercises and you’ll find yourself hitting incredible shots with your irons from the first tee.
Below is another great set of bonus exercises excellent for spinal rotation, hip and thoracic mobility and stability—all targeted for golf athletes. Check it out and maybe perform these at home as a full workout:
My name is Jordan Fuller, and I am a golf enthusiast. Golf has always been my passion. I fell in love with helping others improve their game. As a golf expert, my advice has been published on many newspapers, including Golf Tips Magazine, FORE Magazine, GolfMagic and USGolfTV. Learn how to improve your game on my website golfinfluence.com.