46 BACK EXERCISES FOR GOLFERS (THE COMPLETE GUIDE)

In this post on back exercises for golfers, we are going to give you the definitive guide on all the movements you should be adding to your golf strength training routine.

Most posts on back exercises for golfers only give you 5-7 movements but that gets boring!

But if you are like me and need more than just a list, check out the following resources:

Our Golf Workout Program perfect for the gym.
our At-Home Golf Workout Plan.

OK now let’s strengthen that beautiful bogey-free back!

Back Exercises for Golf
Chapter 1

At Home Back Exercises for Golfers

Let’s kick this off by giving you a few exercises that you can do at home to strengthen your back for the golf course.

Let’s review!
At Home Back Exercises for Golfers
1) Bird Dogs
Bird Dogs
Bird dogs strengthen the spinal erectors, glutes, hamstrings, and lower back. All of which are major movers in performing a proper golf swing. This can be done not only as the main exercise but also as a warm-up before you do some of the more advanced back exercises for golfers on this list.
  • Start on the ground on all fours.
  • Extend your right arm and left leg out at the same time holding for a 1-2 second count.
    Switch arms and legs and hold again
  • Hold for 1-3 minutes per side
2) RKC Planks
RKC Plank
The RKC plank is a static hold that helps develop some basic level back and core strength for the golf swing.
  • Start on the floor in a flat position isometrically holding your forearms and toes in contact with the floor.
  • Keep the core braced and your body in a straight line.
  • Avoid having your hips too high or too low. You want to maintain a straight line from shoulders to toes.
  • Hold for a set amount of time before resting and repeating.
3) Single Leg Glute Bridges
single leg glute bridge
The single leg glute bridge is a great exercise that can be done at home with no equipment. It targets the muscles of the glutes and hamstrings.
  • Start by lying on your back with one leg extended and one planted on the ground.
  • Squeeze the glutes and maintains the hips and lower back off the ground slightly.
  • The shoulders, hips & legs should be in one straight line.
  • Hold for a 1-2 second count per rep.
4) Cobra
Cobra Exercise
The cobra requires no equipment and is great if you are just starting out.
  • Begin by lying face down on the floor with the arms to the side and legs straight and together.
  • Contract your lower back & glutes raising your torso, shoulders & arms slightly off the floor.
  • Keep your head in a neutral position and the chest will rise a few inches off the floor.
  • Hold the top of the rep for a 1-2 second count before lowering yourself back down.
5) Superman
Superman Back exercise for golf
The superman is performed similarly to the cobra instead you will have your hands out in front as if you were flying like….Superman!
  • To set up, start by lying face down on the floor with your arms held overhead.
  • The legs will be straight as well and together.
  • Begin the movement, contracting your lower back & glutes raising your torso, shoulders & arms, and legs off the floor.
  • Keep your head in a neutral position.
  • Your chest will come a few inches off the floor.
  • Hold the top of the rep for a 1-2 second count before lowering yourself back down.
6) Aquaman
Aquaman Back Exercises for Golf
The aquaman exercise is performed similarly to the superman but instead of lifting both arms and legs at the same time, you will alternate.
  • Set up as you would a superman laying face down on the floor.
  • To begin lift one arm and the opposite leg. For example, if you lift the right arm up, raise your left leg.
  • Hold for a 1-2 second count and then reverse sides.
7) Laying Reverse Fly
Laying Reverse Fly
The laying reverse fly is an upper back exercise that will also strengthen the shoulders.
  • To set up lay face down on the floor with your arms out to the side.
  • Make sure that your thumbs are face up.
  • Retract the upper back pulling your arms off the ground as far as possible while maintaining a neutral spine.
  • Hold the top of the rep for a 1 second count before returning to the floor.
8) Reverse Snow Angels
Reverse Snow Angel Back Exercise for Golf
Time to bring out the kid in you again! The setup for the reverse snow angel is similar to the superman.
  • To begin the movement, contract your lower back & glutes raising your torso, shoulders & arms and legs off the floor and keep the head in a neutral position.
  • Your chest will come a few inches off the floor.
  • Your toes will remain on the ground as you make a snow angel movement with your arms straight out to the side.
  • A full rep is moving your arms from overhead, down to your side, back to the overhead position.
9) Posterior Plank
Posterior Plank
The posterior plank is one of the back exercises for golfers on this list that targets not only the lower back but also the glutes.
  • To set up you will begin by sitting on the floor with your legs straight out in front.
  • Your arms will be off to the side and slightly behind your shoulders.
  • Squeeze the glutes while at the same time raises your hips off the floor.
  • Keep your legs and arms straight the entire time.
  • At the top of the repetition you want to have your torso and legs in a straight line.
  • Hold the top of the rep for a 1 second count.
10) Side Plank Rotation with the knee
Side Plank Rotation with Knee
The side plank rotation is a full-body movement. I love this one because it also requires balance and rotational strength along with being one of the awesome back exercises for golfers I use frequently.
  • To set up place one hand and one foot on the ground. Make sure they are on the opposite sides ie. if the left hand is on the ground, the right foot is as well.
  • Place the hand that is not on the ground on your hip. The foot that is not on the ground will be out straight.
  • To perform the rep you will rotate your torso, bringing the foot that is off the ground, underneath your torso to the opposite side, and bending at the knee at the same time.
11) Single Arm Downward Dog with Reach Out
Single Arm Downward Dog with Reach out back Exercise
The Single Arm Downward Dog with reach out is a dynamic movement.
  • The setup will begin in a plank position but the feet will be out wide.
  • Perform a downward dog by raising your hips to the ceiling while sinking the chest and shoulders to the ground.
  • Then reach one arm through your legs.
  • From there lower the hips back to the plank position but instead of bring your hand back to the ground, raise it overhead.
12) Ring Rows
Ring Row
To perform a ring row, you can use a pair a gymnastics rings or a TRX grips. This is one of the back exercises for golfers that has a focus on the upper and mid back.
  • Your feet will be underneath the rings. The more horizontal your torso position is, the harder the rep is.
  • Keeping your body in a nice straight line with the core tight.
  • Pull the rings to your upper torso.
  • Try not to use too much body english when performing these.
13) Pull up
Pull Up
Nothing is better for strengthening your back for the golf course than the basic pullup.
  • To perform you will begin by gripping a pullup bar with an overhand grip.
  • Your grip should be shoulder-width or slightly wider.
  • Your legs will be straight and knees locked out the entire time.
  • From here pull with the arms and upper back, retracting your elbows down.
  • Finish with your chin over the bar.
  • If you don’t quite have the strength for these, don’t worry there are some scales included in the tutorial. The banded pullup below is a great scale as well.
Chapter 2

Back exercises for golfers using a resistance band.

Let’s discuss some back exercises you can do for your golf game using just a resistance band.

Let’s dive in.
Golf Exercises
14) X-band Walks
X Band Walks
X-Band walks are a great exercise to strengthen the muscles in the glutes as well as the back. Start off with a light band and as you progress you can go to a thicker band.
  • Step into the band with your feet about shoulder width apart.
  • Cross the band up to form an “X.”
  • Set your hips back slightly as if to perform an air squat. Knees are bent and stay out over the toes the entire time.
  • Walk laterally in one direction and then repeat in the other direction.
  • Keep your steps wide and small.
15) Banded Good Mornings
banded goodmorning
The banded good morning is a great exercise to strengthen the muscles in the lower back, hamstrings, and glutes. You want to start off with a light to the medium thick band.
  • Begin by standing in the band with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Bend down and carefully place the band over your head, resting it on your traps.
  • Hinge at the hips moving your hips back while at the same time dropping the chest to the floor.
  • Go down as far as possible while maintaining a neutral spine.
  • Squeeze the glutes and hamstrings returning to the standing position.
17) Banded Rows
Banded Rows
The banded row is a great back strengthening exercise for golfers that targets the middle and upper back.
  • Begin by sitting on the floor with your legs together, and straight out in front.
  • Fold the band in half and place it under the arches of your feet grabbing one end in each hand.
  • Your torso will be upright. From here pull the bands to your torso using as little “body english” as possible.
18) Deadlifts with a Band
Deadlifts with a band
Deadlifts with a band are not to be confused with banded deadlifts (below). It is important to maintain a nice lumbar curve throughout the movement.
  • To set up, start with a hip width or slightly narrower stance.
  • Fold the band in half and lay it on the floor.
  • Step on it with the band underneath the arches of your feet.
  • Grab one end of the band in each hand.
  • To begin the movement, your hips and shoulders will rise at the same pace.
  • Finish standing with hips, knees and shoulders fully locked out.
19) Banded Pull Aparts
Banded pull Apart Back Exercise for gol
The banded pull apart should be performed in a slow and controlled manner. It works the muscles in the upper back such as the rhomboids and traps as well as the rear deltoids of the shoulders. You will need a light band for these.
  • Make sure to keep constant tension on the band rather than losing tensions when the hands are closer together.
  • The grip is set about shoulder-width apart.
  • Arms are straight out in front.
    Keeping the arms straight, pull the band apart.
  • The band should touch your body right at the mid-chest.
  • Return to the starting position in a slow and controlled manner.
20) Banded Lat Pull Downs
Banded Lat Pull Down
Banded lat pulldowns are a great exercise for the upper back. In addition, it is a much cheaper alternative than an expensive cable machine. You will need bands and a PVC pipe or broom handle.
  • To set up, loop the bands around a pull-up bar and place the PVC in the bands.
  • The arms will be straight will a full grip on the PVC.
  • Pull the bar down, retract the shoulders back and down.
  • The rep is finished when the PVC is below the chin.
21) Straight Arm Banded Pull Downs
Straight Arm Banded lat Pull Down Back Exercise for Golf
The straight arm banded pull down works the muscles in the upper back.
  • To set up, loop the band around a pull-up bar.
  • Grab the band with an overhand grip placing your hand shoulder width or slightly wider apart.
  • To begin, the arms and back will be straight.
  • There is a slight bend in the knees.
  • Engage the back & lats and bring the band down to waist level without bending your arms.
  • Hold for a half-second count.
22) Banded Pull Up
Banded pull up golf exercise
Banded pull-ups are an awesome movement to improve your upper back strength. They are also great if you don’t quite have a regular pull up.
  • To set up, loop a band around a pull-up bar.
  • The thicker the band, the more assistance it provides.
  • Step one foot into the band before grabbing the pull-up bar with an overhand grip that is slightly wider than shoulder-width.
  • To begin, pull with the arms, engaging the back and lats.
  • Pull until the chin is over the bar.
    Then lower yourself, returning to the start position.
23) Kettlebell & Dumbbell Romanian Deadlifts
Kettlebell Romanian Deadlift
The kettlebell and dumbbell version of the Romanian deadlift puts an emphasis on the lower back with very little help from the legs. Some may find this a bit harder to perform than the barbell version. The hip position will remain high throughout the movement.
  • Feet are set hip width apart with a full grip on the kettlebells or dumbbells.
  • You will lift the weights to the hips while keeping the back flat.
  • Keep the knees back and lower the weights down as far as possible while maintaining a nice flat back.
  • Returning to the starting position by engaging the glutes and lower back.
24) American Kettlebell Swings
American KBS
The American Kettlebell Swing is a fantastic exercise to work the lower back muscles which are vital in generating clubhead speed. It also requires hip speed which translates well to your golf game.
  • To begin, the kettlebell will be in the hang position with the feet set about shoulder-width apart or slightly wider.
  • The hips will descend down and back but stay above the knees.
  • Lumbar curve is maintained.
  • Squeeze the glutes and quads rapidly driving the kettlebell overhead.
  • Finish with the kettlebell overhead, in line with the hips, shoulders, and feet.
  • Avoid hyperextension in the low back.
  • To return send the hips back into a partial squat as the kettlebell returns to perform the next rep.
25) Russian Kettlebell Swings
Russian Kettlebell Swing
The Russian kettlebell swing is a smaller version of the American swing. This can be a great fit when first learning kettlebell swings or when performing very heavy one.
  • The form is the same as above except the rep is finished when the kettlebell is at eye level.
26) Banded Kettlebell Swings
Banded Kettlebell swing
The banded kettlebell swing is an advanced movement. It is one of the back exercises for golfers on this list that also develops hips speed. Warning! Make sure you are comfortable performing regular swings before trying these. This banded version adds the accommodative resistance of the band which unlike a conventional kettlebell swing keeps tension high as the kettlebell rises.
  • Loop the band around the handle of the kettlebell.
  • Place your feet in the bands anchoring it to the floor.
  • Feet are set slightly wider than shoulder width.
  • From here perform as a regular Russian kettlebell swing only swinging up to eye level.
  • We highly advise that you do not go overhead with these.
27) Kettlebell/Dumbbell Deadlifts
Back Exercises for Golfers dumbbell deadlift
The kettlebell and/or dumbbell deadlift is an exercise that works the lower back, hamstrings and legs. It is performed with either a pair of dumbbells or kettlebells in each hand. As with most deadlift movements, it is important to maintain a nice flat back throughout the movement.
  • Start with a hip width or slightly narrower stance.
  • Keep a full grip on the dumbbells.
    Hips and shoulders will rise at the same pace.
  • Keep your heels down and finish at full lockout of the hips and knees.
  • Your range of motion will depend on lower back and hamstring mobility.
28) Dumbbell Power Snatch
Dumbbell Power Snatch
The dumbbell power snatch really is a full-body exercise that recruits not only the muscles in the back but also the legs, arms, and shoulders. Its focus on core-to-extremity and has great carryover to the golf swing.
  • Start with a hip-width stance, grip the center of the dumbbell with the dumbbell starting on the ground inside the feet.
  • A nice flat back is maintained throughout the movement.
  • Hips and shoulders will rise at the same rate.
  • And like the golf swing, the hips will then extend rapidly.
  • The shoulders then shrug followed by a pull underneath with the arms.
  • Complete the rep by standing all the way up with hips, knees, and arms locked out.
29) Single Leg Romanian Deadlifts
Single Leg Romanian Deadlifts
The single-leg Romanian deadlift strengthens the hamstrings, spinal erectors glutes, and lower back. It can be done with a barbell but probably best to start off doing with a dumbbell or kettlebell. It is an advanced movement so start light. If you are just starting out you may want to hold onto something for support.
  • Begin by standing tall with one dumbbell in one hand.
  • The dumbbell or kettlebell is lowered down to about mid-shin or just below the knee.
  • Focus on keeping the weight close to your body, with your balance back towards the heels. Maintain your lumbar curve throughout.
  • Then squeeze the glutes standing back up to finish the movement.
30) Renegade Rows
Dumbbell Renegade Row
The renegade row not only is one of the back exercises for golfers on this lists that works the back but it also strengthens the core, chest and arms.
  • To begin grab a pair of dumbbells and begin in a plank position.
  • Keeping your core tight, perform a single arm dumbbell row on each side.
  • Some versions you will see a push up added at the end of the rep.
31) Devil Press
Devil Press
The Devil Press will require a pair of dumbbells. This is an awesome exercise for golf because it requires you to incorporate a lot of hip explosiveness in addition to strengthening the entire back.
  • Set up in a plank position with a dumbbell in each hand.
  • Jump your feet up as if you are doing a burpee.
  • From here you can perform a dual dumbbell clean and jerk or a dual dumbbell snatch to bring the weights overhead.
  • The rep is finished when the dumbbells are overhead with the full lockout of the hips, knees, and arms.
32) Double Dumbbell Rows
Single Arm Bent Over Row
The double dumbbell row is a nice isometric movement that strengthen the upper back.
  • Begin with a dumbbell in each hand.
  • The arms will be extended and bend only at the hip keeping the lower back nice and flat.
  • Your weight will remain in your heels.
  • Pull the dumbbells to your torso using as little body english as possible.
33) Single Arm Bent Over Rows
Single Arm Bent Over Row
The single-arm bent-over row targets the upper back and arms. You may need a bench. You want to make sure that you are staying super strict on these and not using any body-english to help the weight. If you find yourself doing so, drop the weight to maintain form.
  • Maintain a nice flat back bending only at the hips.
  • The movement will begin with the arm fully extended.
  • Pull the dumbbells or kettlebell up to your chest holding for half a second before returning to the starting position.
34) Farmer Carries
Farmer Carry
The farmer carry is a very straight forward movement. This one also puts an emphasis on grip strength which is vital for getting out of that thick rough on the golf course. With these, you can really vary the distances and weights. Try some heavy carries over shorter distances (50m-200m) or some lighter weights for longer distances (400m+).
  • Simply pick up your two objects and carry them.
  • Keep your core engaged and eyes on the horizon.
  • Dont let the back round or hunch over.
35) Dual DB/KB Overhead Carries
Dual kettlebell overhead carry
The dual kettlebell overhead carry really puts an emphasis on overall core stability since the weight will be held overhead, raising your center of gravity. This can be a tough one. Start light and as you progress beef up the weight.
  • Hold two kettlebells in the locked out overhead position while walking.
  • The torso remains.
  • Focus on keep the elbow, shoulders and hips in a straight line.
  • Avoid hyperextending your back.
  • Feel free to vary the distance and weight. Heavier weight for shorter distance and lighter weights for longer distance.
Chapter 4

Back exercises for golfers that incorporate a barbell.

OK now that you are gaining some confidence it is onto the barbell!

Many of these will also target the glutes which are vital for adding distance.

Let’s review.
Barbell exercises to strengthen your back
36) Conventional Deadlift
Conventional Deadlift
There is nothing better than the conventional deadlift when it comes to strengthening your back for the golf course. It strengthens the lower back, hamstrings and legs. It is important to maintain a nice lumbar curve throughout the movement.
  • Set up with a hip-width stance and your hands just outside your hips with a full grip on the barbell.
  • Shoulders are slightly in front of the bar.
  • Maintain a nice lumbar curve throughout the movement.
  • Hips and shoulders will rise at the same pace.
  • Keep your heels down and finish at full lockout of the hips and knees with shoulders behind the bar.
37) Dimmel Deadlift
Dimmel Deadlift
The dimmel deadlift is meant to strengthen your hamstrings and glutes, both of which generate a large amount of speed in the golf swing. The dimmel deadlift is a smaller version of the conventional deadlift.
  • The bar will start at hip level and lower to just above your knees.
  • You want to use a higher rep range on these (20-35 reps) with loading to match.
  • Really focus on squeezing the glutes at the top which mimics that impact position in a golf swing.
38) Sumo Deadlift
sumo Deadlift exercises for strengthening your glutes in the golf swing
The sumo deadlift really works the glutes, hamstrings all of which are vital for generating power and clubhead speed in the golf swing. Unlike other deadlift variations, your hands will be inside your feet with your legs set out wide.
  • The width of your stance will vary, but generally speaking, it should allow for you to have your shins perpendicular to the floor and the back flat with your shoulders directly above the bar.
  • Use a grip that is just inside shoulder width.
  • Engage your lats feeling as if you are squeezing golf balls underneath your armpits.
  • From here you want to perform similar to a conventional deadlift.
39) Romanian Deadlift
Romanian Deadlift
The Romanian version of the deadlift is a version that really puts the emphasis on the low back with little help from the legs. This is a more advanced movement and you will want to start out light.
  • The hip position stays high with little to no help from the quads.
  • Feet are set hip-width apart with a full grip on the bar
  • Hands are about shoulder-width apart.
  • Pick the bar up to the hips, maintain a flat lumbar curve.
  • Keep the knees back and bring the barbell in contact with the ground before returning it to the starting position.
40) Banded Deadlift
Banded DL
The banded deadlift is a very advanced version of the deadlift. You will be using the accommodative resistance of a band to provide a different stimulus. This is one of the back exercises for golfers on this list that also develops explosiveness in the hips and glutes for the golf swing. So not only will it strengthen your posterior chain but it will also teach you how to develop more clubhead speed.
  • Drape the band over the bar making sure the band is evenly spaced.
  • Use a mixed or overhand grip.
    Feet are standing on the band, hip-width apart.
  • Activate your core with a flat back.
    From here perform similar to a conventional deadlift.
  • Really try to explode up through the range of motion and squeeze your glutes at the top.
41) Barbell Good Mornings
Barbell Good Morning
The barbell good morning strengthens the lower back and hamstrings. It starts standing upright with the barbell in the back rack position.
  • You want a slight flex at the hips and unlock the knees ever so slightly.
  • Maintain a flat lower back throughout.
  • Lower your chest to the ground.
  • The degree to which your chest drops is dependent upon lumbar stability as well as flexibility.
  • Squeeze your glutes and return to a standing position.
42) Inverted Barbell Row
Inverted Barbel Row
This movement targets the muscles in the upper back as well as the arms. Set the barbell in the rack so that you are pulling the bar towards the rack. You can change the difficulty of the movement by changing the height of the bar or position of your feet. The more horizontal your body, the harder the movement will be. You will then sit on the ground.
  • Use a grip that is shoulder-width apart or slightly wider.
  • Maintain a straight torso and the back of your heels should be on the ground.
  • Pull the bar to the bottom part of the chest before returning to the start position.
43) Barbell Glute Hip Thrusts
Glute Hip thrust exercise for Golf
And finally the barbell glute hip thrust. This movement really mimics the explosiveness and extension that is created during the golf swing. It is awesome and will help you generate a little more power in your golf game. You will need a bench, maybe a pad or towel as well a barbell and weights.
  • Set up with your shoulders set against the bench.
  • Shins are perpendicular with the floor.
  • Place the barbell in your hip crease.
    If this is uncomfortable you can add a pad or towel between the barbell and your hips.
  • Thrust the barbell and squeeze the glutes at the top holding for a half second count.
  • Start light and as you become more comfortable add load.
Chapter 5

Hip flexibility for golf. Why it matters

Below is a list of back exercises for golfers using a hip extension/GHD machine.

These have an emphasis on the lower back, glutes and hamstrings and help strengthen the posterior core.

Enjoy!
Back exercises for golfers using a hip extension or GHD machine
44) Glute Ham Raises
Glute Ham Raise
The glute-ham raise requires a GHD machine. This movement works your posterior chain.
  • You will begin with your chest perpendicular to the ground.
  • The starting position will begin by pressing your heels into the footrest and flex at the knee to bring your body to a 90-degree position.
  • Lower yourself until you are parallel to the floor before squeezing your glutes and engaging your lower back.
  • The rep is finished when you return back to the starting position.
45) Hip Extensions
Hip Extension
Hip extensions target the muscles in the lower back.
  • The movement starts with your body in a line parallel to the floor.
  • Lower yourself by hinging at the hip.
  • Maintain a lumbar curve.
  • Squeeze the glutes and lower back.
  • Return to the start position.
46) Back Extensions
Back Extension
The back extension is a posterior chain exercise. The back will go from being straight in extension into complete flexion and back again into extension.
  • Set the support pad so the hips are on top of it.
  • The spine remains neutral and the arms are crossed against the torso which is parallel to the floor.
  • To begin, the chin tucks down, flexing the spine.
  • The upper back will begin to round followed by the lower back.
  • You want to feel as if you are rolling into a ball.
  • To finish the rep, begin to unroll the lower back and then the upper back.
  • Finally, the neck extends to finish the rep. Reps are meant to be deliberate and slow.

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