CORE strengthening exercises for golfers (the complete guide)

(over 50 golf core exercises)

In this guide, we are going to give you an extensive list of core strengthening exercises for golfers just like you.

Most routines on core strengthening exercises for golfers only give you 5-10 exercises but in this post, we will give you over 50!

For a full array of exercises, workouts, and stretching routines to increase your strength, improve your flexibility and gain distance check out the following resource:

Our full Golf Workout Program 

and our At Home Golf Workout Program

Now, let’s strengthen your core muscles.

Core Exercises for Golf

Table of Contents

Chapter 1

Anterior Core Strengthening Exercises for Golfers

Will these exercises get you a 6 pack? Well…Yes & No.

If you take care of your nutrition on and off the golf course then yes, most likely. 

If you don’t, then they will still strengthen your core but the world won’t be able to see it as well.

Let’s start off by reviewing some anterior core exercises for golf.

Let’s get started!

Anterior Core Exercises for Golf

FIRST SOME ANTERIOR CORE EXERCISES FOR GOLF THAT REQUIRE LITTLE TO NO EQUIPMENT

Abmat Situps

Abmat Situp
click the image for a full tutorial

The abmat situp is a great exercise to strengthen your core for golf that you can start from homeThe abmat situp will require either an abmat or a rolled-up towel fill the space between the floor and your lumbar curve. Start with your feet together or underneath a set of dumbbells. Brace your core and sit up until your shoulders are over your hips. Slowly lower back down to the ground until your shoulder blades touch the ground.

  • Difficulty Level: Low
  • Equipment Requirements: Abmat or a rolled-up towel
  • Suggested Workout: 3-5 sets of 15-25 reps per set

Reverse Crunch

Reverse Crunch
click the image for a full tutorial

A reverse crunch may require a kettlebell or another stable object to hold on to for this. You want to make sure that when you are extending your legs that you are also exhaling and keeping your anterior core engaged. We want little to no space under your lower back so there should be no overextension. The goal is to keep a neutral posture so your core should be tight. Think abs down. So essentially you are going to do a knee to elbow rolling your lower back up slightly.

 

Difficulty Level: Low

Equipment Requirements: A stable structure

Suggested Workout: 3-5 sets of 15-20 reps each

Deadbugs

Deadbug
click the image for a full tutorial

The deadbug is a golf core exercise that begins lying on your back. Bring your feet, knees, and hips to 90 degrees or perpendicular with the floor. Straighten one leg and one arm to lockout (opposite of each other ie. left leg and right arm). Hold the position briefly before switching the arm and leg that are locked out maintaining opposite arm, opposite leg. Try to keep tension in your core the whole time.

  • Difficulty Level: Low
  • Equipment Requirements: A stable structure or object
  • Suggested Workout: 3-5 sets of 10-15 reps each

V-Ups

V Up
click the image for a full tutorial

V-ups are one of the more advanced core strengthening exercises for golfers that requires no equipment. But don’t let it fool you, this one really works the core and requires a lot of stability, similar to your golf swing. You will start in a hollow body position lying on your back on the floor. Extend your arms up over your head and extend your legs straight keeping your feet together and knees locked out. Simultaneously bring your feet and hands together while maintaining locked out knees and arms. You will want to feel as if you are being folded in half.

  • Difficulty Level: High
  • Equipment Requirements: None
  • Suggested Workout: 2-4 sets of 10-15 reps each

Deadbugs + Reverse Crunch

Deadbug and Reverse Crunch
click the image for a full tutorial

This golf core exerise is a combination of the deadbug and reverse crunch. You will need a stable structure or object to hold onto as well. We want to make sure that when you are extending your legs that you are exhaling and keeping your anterior core engaged. Lie on you back with little to no space under your lower back so there should be no overextending at all. For this one you will only extend one leg at a time and alternate legs.

  • Difficulty Level: Medium
  • Equipment Requirements: Stable structure or object
  • Suggested Workout: 3-5 sets of 10-15 reps each

Abs with a plate switch

Abs with Plate Switch
click the image for a full tutorial

Abs with a plate switch is an awesome way to strengthen your core that will really test your stability. This one works from lying to a seated position on the floor and we will add a plate for resistance. Start with a small plate, maybe 2.5-5lbs to start. You will start lying down with legs on the ground and the plate in one hand. Then we move into flexion raising our torso up and knees bent. When you are at the top of flexion you will pass the plate underneath your knees to the other hand and return back to a slightly lying position.

  • Difficulty Level: Medium
  • Equipment Requirements: A weight plate
  • Suggested Workout: 3-5 sets of 10-15 reps each

Hollow Holds

click the image for a full tutorial

This one of the core strengthening exercises for your golfers that requires no equipment. Lie on your back then raise your heels off the ground with the toes pointed, feet together and knees flexed. Arms are outreached overhead. The goal is to not let your shoulder blades or heels make contact with the ground during the work phase.

  • Difficulty Level: Medium
  • Equipment Requirements: None
  • Suggested Workout: 3-5 sets of 10-30 second static holds

RKC Planks

RKC Plank
click the image for a full tutorial

RKC planks are a static movement that helps develop some basic level core strength for your golf swing. For these, you will start on the floor in a flat position isometrically holding your forearms in contact with the ground as well as your toes. 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. You will hold for a set amount of time before resting and repeating.

  • Difficulty Level: Low
  • Equipment Requirements: None
  • Suggested Workout: 4-5 sets of 30-45 second holds

NOW ONTO SOME ANTERIOR GOLF CORE EXERCISES THAT YOU CAN DO WITH JUST A PAIR OF DUMBBELLS OR KETTLEBELLS

Dumbbell Serratus Crunch

DB Serratus Crunch
click the image for a full tutorial

The dumbbell serratus crunch starts in a lying position with knees bent & heels on the floor. Hold a set of light dumbbells overhead with elbows locked out. Keep your abs tight and perform a crunch keeping the dumbbells above your torso.

 

  • Difficulty Level: Medium
  • Equipment Requirements: Dumbbells
  • Suggested Workout: 3-5 sets of 10-15 reps per set

Farmer Carries

Farmer Carry
click the image for a full tutorial

The farmer carry is a very straightforward movement that can be performed with either dumbbells, kettlebells or even a pair of barbells. Not only does this work the core but also grip strength which is beneficial to the golf swing. Keep your core engaged and eyes on the horizon. Simply pick up your two objects and carry them. 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+).

  • Difficulty Level: Low
  • Equipment Requirements: A set of dumbbells or kettlebells
  • Suggested Workout: 200m – 400m carries at a lighter load. 100m-200m carries at a heavier load

Front Rack Carry

Front Rack Carry
click the image for a full tutorial

The front rack carry is a great stability exercise that can improve your golf game. You can use a barbell, a pair of dumbbells, or even a pair of kettlebells. The latter is the hardest in my experience. Either way, the elbows should be in front and abs locked down as if someone is going to punch you in the stomach. Depending on the weight you will then walk for distance. Vary the weight and distance. For example, try a lighter weight for 50-100 meters. As your core gets stronger beef up the weight to 25-50m increments.

  • Difficulty Level: Medium
  • Equipment Requirements: Barbell or dumbbells or kettlebells
  • Suggested Workout: 50m-100m carries at a lighter load. 25m-50m carries at a heavier load

Dual Kettlebell Overhead Carries

Dual kettlebell overhead carry
click the image for a full tutorial

The dual kettlebell overhead carry really puts an emphasis on 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. You will hold two kettlebells in the locked out overhead position while walking. The torso remains vertical and arms are behind the ears. Avoid hyperextending your back. If you find it difficult to press the weight overhead, you may need to work on your shoulder flexibility as well. Feel free to vary the distance and weight. Heavier weight for shorter distance and lighter weights for longer distances.

  • Difficulty Level: High
  • Equipment Requirements: Dumbbells or kettlebells
  • Suggested Workout: 50m-100m carries at a lighter load. 25m-50m carries at a heavier load

Weighted Sit Ups

weighted sit up
click the image for a full tutorial

This is a weighted version of a regular sit up but has a couple of variations. You want to use an abmat or a rolled-up towel to fill the space between the floor and your lumbar curve. You will need to anchor your feet underneath a structure or a set of dumbbells. Hold a dumbbell or set of dumbbells on your chest or shoulders, brace your core, and sit up until your shoulders are over your hips. Slowly lower back down to the ground until your shoulder blades touch the ground.

  • Difficulty Level: Medium
  • Equipment Requirements: Dumbbells or Kettlebells
  • Suggested Workout: 2-3 sets of 15-20 reps per side

FINALLY SOME ANTERIOR CORE WORKOUTS FOR GOLF THAT MAY NEED SOME EXTRA GYM EQUIPMENT.

Hanging Knee Raise

Hanging Knee Raise
click the image for a full tutorial

The hanging knee raise will start by hanging from a pull-up bar with hands about shoulder-width apart. Extend your legs straight down until knees and hips are fully extended. Raises your knees until your thighs are parallel to the ground with your knees bent before lowering your feet back down.

  • Difficulty Level: Low
  • Equipment Requirements: Pull up bar
  • Suggested Workout: 3-4 sets of 10-20 reps per set

GHD Situps

GHD Situp
click the image for a full tutorial

The GHD situp is a very advanced golf core exercise but it works the entire abdominal structure as well as the hip flexors. All of these are vital for core strength in the golf swing. Set up with the pad just below your buttocks and knees slightly bent. Keep your legs bent as the torso descends down and back. Go down until your torso is parallel with the ground. If you feel comfortable you can go all the way until you can touch the ground with both hands. Initiate the return by extending your legs. Keep your core braced and complete the movement by touching the pads.

  • Difficulty Level: High
  • Equipment Requirements: Glute Ham Developer (GHD) Machine
  • Suggested Workout: 3-5 sets of 10-25 reps each

Toes to Bar

Toes to Bar
click the image for a full tutorial

Toes to bar is an advanced movement but none the less a great way to improve your golf swing and core. But I like it because it works the core as well as your grip strength. Both of which are vital on the golf course. Start out hanging from a bar with hands about shoulder-width apart and a full grip on the bar. Arms start fully extended. Lift your knees and feet up to the bar while and at the same time feel as if you are pushing down on the bar with straight arms. Both feet should contact the bar between your hands.

  • Difficulty Level: High
  • Equipment Requirements: Pull up bar
  • Suggested Workout: 3-5 sets of 10-15 reps each

Banded Plank Rows

Banded Plank Row
click the image for a full tutorial

To perform a banded plank row you will need a resistance band. You can anchor it to a support beam or other heavy object around your gym or house that is pretty stable. Keep your core engaged the whole time. This movement is harder than it looks so be prepared. Loop a band about shin to knee height around a column or other object. Then wrap the band around one of your wrists. Get into a push-up or plank position. Extend the hand with the band up and pull towards you keeping your abs tight and “turned on” the entire time. Repeat each side.

  • Difficulty Level: Medium
  • Equipment Requirements: Resistance Band
  • Suggested Workout: 3-5 sets of 15-20 reps each

L-Sits

L Sit
click the image for a full tutorial

In my opinion, this is the hardest of all core strengthening exercises for golfers on this list. When performing L-sits, you will need a set of parallettes but you can also perform these in a dip station or by setting up a pair of boxes. This is a very difficult exercise so don’t get discouraged at first. Support yourself by actively pressing up through the arms and extend your legs out attempting to keep your knees locked. If this is difficult you can keep your knees bent. In my humble opinion, this is the hardest ab/core exercise on this list!

  • Difficulty Level: High
  • Equipment Requirements: Parrallettes, pull up bar, plyo boxes or dip station
  • Suggested Workout: 2-3 sets of 10-45 second holds per set

Banded Resistance Situps

Band Resisted Situp
click the image for a full tutorial

The banded resistance situp provides accommodative resistance at the top of the sit-up which you won’t get in a regular sit up. You will need to anchor a band to a nice stable structure. From here you will hold the band over your shoulders. Have an abmat or a rolled-up towel fill the space between the floor and your lumbar curve. You will need to also anchor your feet underneath a structure or a set of dumbbells. Brace your core and sit up until your shoulders are over your hips. Slowly lower back down to the ground until your shoulder blades touch the ground.

  • Difficulty Level: Medium
  • Equipment Requirements: A band
  • Suggested Workout: 3-4 sets of 15-20 reps per side

Chapter 2

Posterior core exercises for golf

A common misconception is that your core is just your abs.

That is incorrect. Your core includes the muscles in the thoracic areas such as your lower and mid-back.

These core exercises for golf target those posterior areas.

Let’s review.

 

Posterior Golf Core Exercises

FINALLY SOME ANTERIOR CORE WORKOUTS FOR GOLF THAT MAY NEED SOME EXTRA GYM EQUIPMENT.

Conventional Deadlift

Conventional Deadlift
click the image for a full tutorial

There is nothing better than the conventional deadlift when it comes to posterior core strengthening exercises for golfers.  As we point out in our post on back exercises for golfers, these are great for the hamstrings and legs. All of these are vital in the golf swing. It is important to maintain a nice lumbar curve throughout the movement. Start with a hip-width stance and your hands just outside your hips with a full grip on the barbell. You want to set up with your shoulders 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.

  • Difficulty Level: Medium
  • Equipment Requirements: Barbell and weights
  • Suggested Workout: 3-5 sets of 10-15 reps per set.

Dimmel Deadlifts

Dimmel Deadlift
click the image for a full tutorial

The dimmel deadlift is a core strengthening exercise for golf that targets 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 the 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.

  • Difficulty Level: Low
  • Equipment Requirements: None
  • Suggested Workout: 2-3 sets of 20-30 reps per set.

Romanian Deadlifts

Romanian Deadlift
click the image for a full tutorial

The Romanian version of the deadlift is a variation 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 and even get in a stretch afterward. 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 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.

  • Difficulty Level: Medium
  • Equipment Requirements: Barbell and weights
  • Suggested Workout: 2-4 sets of 12-15 reps per set.

Sumo Deadlift

sumo Deadlift exercises for strengthening your glutes in the golf swing
click the image for a full tutorial

The sumo deadlift really works the glutes, hamstrings, and posterior chain. All these 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, the width should allow for you to have your shins perpendicular to the floor and the back flat with your shoulders directly above the bar. Take a grip that is just inside shoulder width. You want to “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.

  • Difficulty Level: Medium
  • Equipment Requirements: Barbell and weights
  • Suggested Workout: 3-5 sets of 10-15 reps per set.

Banded Deadlifts

Banded DL
click the image for a full tutorial

This is an advanced golf core exercise and only attempt it if you have mastered the conventional deadlift. You will be using the accommodative resistance of a band to provide a different stimulus. As stated in our post on back exercises for the golf course, this is one of the core strengthening exercises for golfers that also develop explosiveness in the hips and glutes for the golf swing. Your bandwidth will depend upon your strength levels. Some setups will require a special lifting platform but for our version, we will show you a version that doesn’t require special platforms and hooks. You will drape the band over the bar. Make sure that the band is evenly spaced. From here get into your mixed or overhand grip. Feet are standing on the band about hip-width apart. Activate your core. Make sure your lumbar curve is set. 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.

  • Difficulty Level: High
  • Equipment Requirements: Barbell, weights and a band
  • Suggested Workout: 3-5 sets of 5-10 reps per set.

Barbell Good Mornings

Barbell Good Morning
click the image for a full tutorial

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 knees bent just slightly. Maintain a lumbar curve throughout. Slightly 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.

  • Difficulty Level: Medium
  • Equipment Requirements: A barbell and weights
  • Suggested Workout: 2-4 sets of 10-15 reps per set.

Barbell Glute Hip Thrusts

Glute Hip thrust exercise for Golf
click the image for a full tutorial

The barbell glute hip thrust works the glutes and especially the hip extension that occurs during the impact of the golf swing. This is a fantastic way to improve your golf swing because it really develops your glutes. You will need a bench, maybe a pad or towel as well as a barbell and weights. You want 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. You want to then 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.

  • Difficulty Level: Medium
  • Equipment Requirements: A bench, barbell, and weights
  • Suggested Workout: 3-4 sets of 10-15 reps per set.

Hang Power Cleans

Hang Power Clean
click the image for a full tutorial

This core strengthening exercises for you golf is also a very dynamic movement that recruits the legs, back, and even arms. It mimics the golf swing in that the power will come from the hips and legs first before finishing off with the arms. Similar to the golf swing, an early arm pull will result in a loss of power. Feet start hip to shoulder-width apart. Hands are about one thumbs distance from the hips. Lower the bar to just above the knees while maintaining a lumbar curve. Heels remain down and arms straight. Torso will then rotate to a vertical position before firing the legs and hips. Shoulders will shrug followed by a pull of the arms to get the barbell to land on the shoulders. The movement is complete with a full hip and knee lockout and the barbell still on the shoulders.

  • Difficulty Level: High
  • Equipment Requirements: A barbell and weights
  • Suggested Workout: 2-4 sets of 8-12 reps per set.

BREAK OUT THE DUMBBELLS AND KETTLEBELLS FOR THIS SECTION ON POSTERIOR CORE STRENGTHENING EXERCISES FOR GOLF.

Kettlebell & Dumbbell Romanian Deadlifts

Kettlebell Romanian Deadlift
click the image for a full tutorial

The kettlebell and dumbbell version of the Romanian deadlift still puts an emphasis on the low back with little help from the legs. The kettlebells and dumbbells provide a different stimulus than the barbell. Variety is great when looking at different core strengthening exercises for golf. Some may find this a bit harder to perform. Like the barbell version, the hip position is high with little to no help from the quads. Feet are set hip-width apart with a full grip on the kettlebells or dumbbells. You will lift the weights to the hips, maintain a flat lumbar curve. Keep the knees back and the lower the weights down as far as possible while maintaining a nice lumbar curve before returning it to the starting position.

  • Difficulty Level: High
  • Equipment Requirements: Dumbbells or kettlebells
  • Suggested Workout: 2-3 sets of 15-20 reps per set.

American Kettlebell Swings

American KBS
click the image for a full tutorial

The American Kettlebell Swing is a fantastic exercise to work lower back and hip explosiveness which translates well to improve your golf swing. It also works your grip strength and shoulders. It starts with the kettlebell in the hang position and finishes fully overhead. Feet are set about shoulder-width apart or slightly wider. The hips will descend down and back but stay above the knees. The lumbar curve is maintained. Knees stay in line with the toes. From here squeeze the glutes and quads rapidly driving the kettlebell overhead. The heels will stay down during the entire movement until the hips and legs are extended. Finish with the kettlebell in line with the hips, shoulders, and feet. Avoid hyperextension in the low back. From here send the hips back into a partial squat as the kettlebell returns to perform the next rep.

  • Difficulty Level: Medium
  • Equipment Requirements: A Kettlebell
  • Suggested Workout: 3-4 sets of 12-20 reps per set.

Russian Kettlebell Swings

Russian Kettlebell Swing
click the image for a full tutorial

The Russian Kettlebell Swing is a smaller version of the American version. The points of performance are the same except the kettlebell will end at eye level. This can be a great version when first learning kettlebell swings or when performing very heavy swings.

 

  • Difficulty Level: Low
  • Equipment Requirements: A Kettlebell
  • Suggested Workout: 3-4 sets of 12-20 reps per set.

Kettlebell and Dumbbell Deadlifts

Back Exercises for Golfers dumbbell deadlift
click the image for a full tutorial

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 the conventional deadlift, it is important to maintain a nice lumbar curve 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 the lower back and hamstring mobility.

  • Difficulty Level: Medium
  • Equipment Requirements: A pair of kettlebells or dumbbells
  • Suggested Workout: 3-4 sets of 10-15 reps per set.

Dumbbell Power Snatch

Dumbbell Power Snatch
click the image for a full tutorial

The dumbbell power snatch really is a full-body exercise that recruits not only the core muscles in the lower back but also the legs, arms, and shoulders. It focuses 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 at the ground inside the feet. The lumbar curve 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. Keep your heels down until the hips and legs extend. The shoulders then shrug followed by a pull underneath with the arms. Complete the rep by extending all the way up with hips, knees, and arms locked out.

    • Difficulty Level: High
    • Equipment Requirements: A dumbbell
    • Suggested Workout: 3-5 sets of 10-20 reps per set.

Single-Leg Romanian Deadlifts

Single Leg Romanian Deadlifts
click the image for a full tutorial

The single-leg Romanian deadlift strengthens the hamstrings, spinal erectors as well as the glutes. 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. Start with the weight in an upright position. 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, and weight in the heels. Maintain your lumbar curve throughout. Then squeeze the glutes to return to the starting position. If you are just starting out you may want to hold onto something for support.

  • Difficulty Level: High
  • Equipment Requirements: Dumbbells or Kettlebells
  • Suggested Workout: 2-3 sets of 10-15 reps per side

LET’S WRAP THIS CHAPTER UP ON SOME MISCELLANEOUS POSTERIOR CORE STRENGTHENING EXERCISES FOR GOLFERS.

Glute Ham Raises

Glute Ham Raise
click the image for a full tutorial

The glute-ham raise requires a GHD machine. This movement works your posterior chain. You will begin with your chest perpendicular to the ground. Press your heels onto the footrest and flex at the knee to bring your body to a 90 degree starting position with knees bent. 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 a 90-degree position.

  • Difficulty Level: High
  • Equipment Requirements: GHD Machine
  • Suggested Workout: 2-4 sets of 10-12 reps per set.

Hip Extensions

Hip Extension
click the image for a full tutorial

Hip extensions are another exercise that works the vital muscles of the golf swing in the lower back. This will require a GHD or hip extension machine. The movement starts with your body in a line parallel to the floor. Lower yourself by hinging at the hip. Maintain a lumbar curve and then hinge back up to return to the starting position where your torso is parallel with the floor.

  • Difficulty Level: Low
  • Equipment Requirements: GHD/Hip Extension Machine
  • Suggested Workout: 3-4 sets of 10-15 reps per set.

Back Extensions

Back Extension
click the image for a full tutorial

The GHD back extension is a posterior chain exercise. It requires a glute-ham developer or hip extension machine. short. Your back will go from being straight in extension into complete flexion and back again into extension. Start by setting the support pad so the hips are on top of it. The spine is neutral and arms are crossed with your torso parallel to the floor. From here 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, you will 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.

  • Difficulty Level: Medium
  • Equipment Requirements: GHD/Hip Extension Machine
  • Suggested Workout: 3-4 sets of 10-15 reps per set.

X-Band Walks

X Band Walks
click the image for a full tutorial

X-Band walks are a great exercise for golf to strengthen the muscles in the glutes. Start off with a light band and as you progress you can start to go to a heavier 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. From here you will walk laterally in one direction and then repeat in the other direction. To get the full benefit, make sure to keep your steps wide and knees driven out the entire time. Take small steps as well as maintain tension on the band the whole time.

  • Difficulty Level: Medium
  • Equipment Requirements: A band
  • Suggested Workout: 3-5 sets of 10 steps in each direction.

Banded Good Mornings 

banded goodmorning
click the image for a full tutorial

The banded good morning is a great exercise to strengthen the muscles in the lower back and 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 on your traps. Maintain a neutral spine throughout the movement. Hinge at the hips moving your hips back and chest to the floor. Go down as far as possible while maintaining a neutral spine. This will depend on individual flexibility. Then squeeze the glutes and hamstrings returning to a standing position.

  • Difficulty Level: Low
  • Equipment Requirements: A band
  • Suggested Workout: 2-3 sets of 20-30 reps per set.

Single-Leg Glute Bridges

single leg glute bridge
click the image for a full tutorial

This is a great exercise that can be done at home with no equipment. It strengthens the muscles of the glutes and hamstrings. You will start by lying on your back with one leg extended and one planted on the ground. You will then squeeze the glutes and maintains the hips and lower back off the ground slightly. Note the shoulders, hips & legs should maintain one straight line throughout. Hold for a 1-2 second count per rep.

  • Difficulty Level: Low
  • Equipment Requirements: None
  • Suggested Workout: 2-3 sets of 10-12 reps per side

Bird Dogs

Bird Dogs
click the image for a full tutorial

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 or cool down. You can also perform this exercise in the comfort of your home. Starting position will be on the ground on all fours. Next, extend their right arm and left leg out at the same time and hold for a short isometric hold. Return to the the starting position before switching arms and legs and hold again.

  • Difficulty Level: Low
  • Equipment Requirements: None
  • Suggested Workout: 3-4 sets of 10-15 reps per side

Chapter 3

Rotational Core Exercises for Golf

Finally, let’s move on to some rotational movements that will strengthen your core and give you more speed and power through impact.

We implement a few new movements in this section which involve some bands and medicine balls. 

Enjoy!

 

Rotational Golf Core Workouts

LET’S BEGIN THIS CHAPTER WITH SOME ROTATIONAL CORE EXERCISES FOR GOLF INVOLVING RESISTANCE BANDS.

Pallof Press

Pallof Press
click the image for a full tutorial

For the palloff press, you want to use a heavier band and attach it to a fixed object either in the gym or around your home at about belly button height. You want to grab the band with the hand that is closest to the anchoring point and the other hand overlaps. Take a shoulder-width stance with your feet. Brace your core and press out holding for a 1-second count. Exhale as your press out. This exercise is about resisting the force of the band thus help to strengthen your core.

  • Difficulty Level: Low
  • Equipment Requirements: Stable structure & a band
  • Suggested Workout: 3-5 sets of 15-20 reps each

Banded Low to High Rotations

Banded Rotations Low to High
click the image for a full tutorial

Banded low to high rotations are one of the anti-rotation core strengthening exercises for golfers. For this, you will need a resistance band. You can anchor it to a support beam or other heavy object around your gym or house that is pretty stable. Keep your core engaged the whole time. This movement is harder than it looks so be prepared. Loop a band about shin to knee height around an upright or another object. Use an overhand grip about shoulder-width apart on the bands. Brace your core, extend your arms down to one hip and rotate up and to your opposite side. Try to rotate focusing on using your core and not your arms. Exhale on each rep. You can also switch this up going from a high to a low position.

  • Difficulty Level: Low
  • Equipment Requirements: Stable structure and a band
  • Suggested Workout: 3-5 sets of 15-25 reps per side

Banded Alphabet

Banded Alphabet
click the image for a full tutorial

The banded alphabet is a rotational as well as dynamic golf core exercises that will have tons of carry over to your golf swing. When performing the banded alphabet, you will need a light to medium band and loop it around a support structure. This focuses on anterior core and resisting rotation. The movement can be more challenging than it first appears. Beginning by grasping the band with the hand that is closest to the band’s anchor point. Take your other hand and cusp the first. Extend & lock out your elbows forming a triangle of your arms and chest. From here spell the alphabet and focus on rotating your chest and core rather than your arms. Repeat on the other side.

  • Difficulty Level: Medium
  • Equipment Requirements: Stable structure and a band
  • Suggested Workout: 1-2 sets per side

Banded Rotations

Banded Rotations
click the image for a full tutorial

Banded rotations are a great way to strengthen your. The band really helps you work that anti-rotation movement which will improve your improve your golf swing speed. You will want to anchor your band around a rig or another object in your gym that is pretty sturdy. Use a double overhand grip about shoulder-width apart. Keep your core nice and engaged and your gaze is to the horizon. Then rotate your core with extended arms keeping the core engaged the whole time. Repeat each side.

 

Difficulty Level: Low

Equipment Requirements: Stable structure and a band

Suggested Workout: 2-4 sets of 10-20 rotations per side

Banded Side Bends

Banded Side Bends
click the image for a full tutorial

The banded side bend is similar to the weighted side bends but this one provides more tension at the top of the movement. You want to set this up to a stable structure in your gym. Set up will take a bit more time than most movements. Get into a shoulder-width stance. Engage your core. You want to be pretty strict on these and focus on only bending at the side rather than getting too crazy with the head and neck. Try to squeeze for a 1-second count at the top of the rep.

  • Difficulty Level: Medium
  • Equipment Requirements: A band
  • Suggested Workout: 2-3 sets of 15-25 reps per side

FINALLY, WE HAVE SOME MISCELLANEOUS ROTATIONAL CORE EXERCISES FOR GOLF.

Stir the pot

Stir the Pot
click the image for a full tutorial

This exercise is called stir the pot and you will need a Bosu ball or a medicine ball. While doing this the head is neutral and the core stays tight. You are going to take an RKC plank position with your elbows on the ball and your toes on the floor. For 10-15 seconds you will rotate in a clockwise direction, then 10-15 seconds counter-clockwise before finishing with 10-15 seconds back and forth.

  • Difficulty Level: Medium
  • Equipment Requirements: Medicine ball or Bosu ball
  • Suggested Workout: 2-3 sets of 10-15 seconds per direction.

Landmine Rotations

Landmine Rotation
click the image for a full tutorial

The landmine rotation may require an actual landmine but for our purposes, we are not using one. This is one of the great core strengthening exercises for golfers that carries a rotational piece to it, similar to the golf swing. Wedge your barbell into a stable corner using a plyo box or another object. When performing landmine rotations you will keep the barbell in front of you and rotate side to side really working the anterior core. The abs stay tight while your feet stay stable. You can pivot the feet in this one. This movement does not resist rotation like the banded alphabet. Landmine rotations really challenge the core to move dynamically through the movement similar to the golf swing.

  • Difficulty Level: Low
  • Equipment Requirements: Barbell and weights
  • Suggested Workout: 2-4 sets of 10-20 rotations per side

Russian Twists

Russian Twist
click the image for a full tutorial

The Russian twist is another rotational core strengthening exercises for golfers. It begins in a seated position with the chest and legs elevated and your body resembling a “V”. Holds a dumbbell or medicine ball in your hand and twists your upper body only attempting to touch the bottom of the dumbbell or medicine ball to the ground. Then rotate and repeat on the opposite side.

  • Difficulty Level: Low
  • Equipment Requirements: Medicine ball or a dumbbell or a weighted plate
  • Suggested Workout: 3-4 sets of 15-35 rotations per side

Side  Plank

Side Plank
click the image for a full tutorial

Side planks require no equipment and can be done anywhere. For the side plank, the starting position will be on your side with one elbow in contact with the ground. Keep your body in line with the arm in contact with the ground. To make these a bit more challenging you can add weight in the off-hand.

  • Difficulty Level: Low
  • Equipment Requirements: None
  • Suggested Workout: 3-5 sets of 30-60 second holds per side

Weighted Side Bends

weighted-side-bend
click the image for a full tutorial

The weighted side bend is great for working those oblique muscles used during the rotation of the golf swing. You will need a dumbbell or kettlebell for these. Get into a hip to shoulder-width stance. Engage your core. You want to be pretty strict on these so focus on only bending at the side rather than getting too crazy with the head and neck. Try to squeeze for a 1-second count at the contraction of the rep.

  • Difficulty Level: Low
  • Equipment Requirements: Dumbbells or Kettlebells
  • Suggested Workout: 3-4 sets of 15-25 reps per side

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I strengthen my core for golf?

The best way is to simply get started. Start out with some of the exercises in this list that easier such as abmat situps, side planks, banded good mornings bird dogs and farmer carries. When you feel strong enough move onto some of the more difficult exercises.

Are planks good for golf?

Any plank position movement (both regular and side planks) are a great way to strengthen the muscles of your anterior (front) abs. They work the muscles in the rectus abdominus, internal and external obliques. These muscles are used extensively during the downswing in golf.

What muscles need to be strong for golf?

The glutes are the muscles that are used the most in the golf swing. The glutes are part of your core as well. Exercises from this list such as glute ham raises, x-band walks, single-leg glute bridges, and bird dogs are great for strengthening the glutes.

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