67 Exercises to Increase Club Head Speed.

(and the research behind why they work)

In this post we will discuss over 60 exercises to increase clubhead speed and why they work.

Most posts on exercises to increase swing speed only give you a handful of movements. 

I don’t know about you, but to me that gets boring!

But before all that, we discuss what the fastest swings in the world exhibit as well as some data behind our exercises to increase your swing speed. 

Not a data nerd like me? That’s OK, just skip past Chapter 1. 

P.S. (Shhhhh!) In the bonus section, you can download 7 days worth of workouts that incorporate many of these movements…FOR FREE!

But if you are like me and need more than 7 days, check out one of our structured Golf Workout Program (CLICK HERE)

OK let’s get you some extra MPHs!

Exercises to increase Clubhead speed PDF Cover Image

Contents

The research behind why these exercises are the best at increasing club head speed.

Chapter 1: Analyzing the fastest swings in golf and the research to find the best exercises to increase club head speed.

Core exercises to increase club head speed.

Chapter 2: Core exercises to increase club head speed.

Dumbbell & kettlebell back exercises for golfers

Chapter 3: Exercises that increase hip speed for your golf game.

Exercises for the glutes that will help boost club head speed.

Chapter 4: Exercises for the glutes and single leg work that will help boost club head speed.

Upper body exercises to increase clubhead speed for the chest, shoulders and arms.

Chapter 5: Upper body stretches and exercises to increase club head speed.

Download 7 days of workouts designed to increase club head speed FOR FREE

Bonus: Download 7 days of workouts designed to increase club head speed FOR FREE!

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Improve your strength so you can stop losing distance off the tee.

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Gain distance so you can start hitting shorter irons into par 3s & 4s and reach more par 5s in two.

Improve your overall health & fitness so you can continue to play the sport you love.

Plus 3 additional bonuses!

Chapter 1

Analyzing the fastest swings in golf and the research to find the best exercises to increase club head speed.

To find the best exercises to increase club head speed we must first look at the fastest!

From there we can pinpoint what muscle they use in the swing to decide which are the best exercises to increase swings speed.

Let’s begin!

There is no better place to start our search for the best exercises to increase club head speed than with the world’s fastest swings!

And that would be using swings from the long drive communities.

Now, wait! I know what you are thinking!

“Those guys are crazy!”

“They have some of the funkiest swings and there is no way I can take that to the course!”

That may be true but there are still some things we can take away.

We show you how some of the same movements can also be found in the longest hitters on the PGA Tour.

Don’t believe me? Well, Brandel Chamblee is learning from them so I do as well.

Let’s examine the muscles used in the backswing to pinpoint how some of the longest hitters set themselves up to create some club head speed.

You can see below from reigning long drive champ Kyle Berkshire that there is a noticeable away from the ball into the trail (right) leg. 

Kyle Berkshire Move Off the ball Load rear Leg
You see the same move off the ball from former (2008 & 2009) long drive champ, Jamie Sadlowski.
Jamie Sadlowski Move Off the ball Load rear Leg
It’s not pictured, but you can find that some of the biggest hitters in baseball, like Barry Bonds, do the same. 

They are loading up the muscles in the rear such as the quads and glutes.

We can see the same from some of the fastest and biggest drivers on tour like Bryson, DJ, Bubba and Rory. 

They don’t move off the ball as much as Jamie and Kyle, but you can still see this bracing “mini-squat” into the trail leg. 

Bryson Dechambeau Move off the Ball
Dustin Johnson Move off the ball
Bubba Watson Move off the ball
Rory McIlroy Move Off the Ball
If you have weak quads, glutes, and hamstrings, you won’t be able to perform as efficiently. or your weight will start to get outside that trail leg. 

Chapter 4  will show you some single leg quad and glute exercises to help increase your clubhead speed and get you stronger in this position.

Let’s move to the top of the backswing to find some exercises to generate some swing speed. 

A bunch of things to point out here but let’s first focus on the upper body. 

Notice how high they get their hands as evidenced by their right elbow relative to their head. 

This requires a ton of flexibility and strength in the shoulders and upper back to hold this position!

Long Drivers Top of the back swing
Now I know what you are thinking. Yes that holds true for the long drive contest but that is not applicable to “regular golf”

Wrong!

CHECK OUT out this graphic from our post on shoulder stretches for golf.

Long drivers of the pga tour and shoulder flexibility
We show some of the longest hitters on tour like Rory, Wolf, DJ, Bubba, and Bryson all have a high their right elbow at least at chin level. 

It’s a common characteristic of the longest hitters on tour. 

It’s not as extreme as some of the long drive champs but the same characteristics.

To do this the arms have to be able to create a lot of

  • Flexion – ability to raise overhead
  • Abduction – ability to raise to the side.
  • Internal and external rotation – in layman’s terms rotate inward and outward.

If you want to see how flexible your upper body is just take our upper body flexibility test and see.

Later in chapter 5 we will show get you stronger in this position by showing you some upper body exercises to increase club head speed.

 

Let’s move down to the hips and examine their role in creating some swing speed.

In the early 1990s, Jim McLean popularized a term called the “X-factor.” 

Its a theory in the golf swing that takes advantage of the stretch-shortening cycle.

In theory, the larger the difference in your hip turn and shoulder turn, the more stretch is created and hence more clubhead speed on the downswing. Think of a rubber band here.

X Factor in Golf
This led many to restrict their hip turn as little as possible while trying to create a “big” shoulder turn. 

Yes, there is a difference in how much the hips and shoulders rotate but many were restricting their hip turn to as little as possible (myself included)

Or worse, leaving them square to the target line. 

My friends if you are restricting your hip turn as much as possible in the YOU ARE SAPPING SWING SPEED AND CLUBHEAD SPEED.

Let’s look at some of the longest hitters on the planet. 

Top of Backswing Long Drive Champs
If long drive champs like Jamie and Kyle were restricting their backswings three things would not be happening.

  1. Their belt buckles wouldn’t be pointed back towards the rear foot (arrow).
  2. Their left heel would not be coming off the ground (circle).
  3. And finally, their left knee would not be back behind the ball (circle).

The fastest swings in golf don’t restrict their hip rotation to a minimum and neither should you if you are looking for some swing speed.

PGA Tour Players Top of the Backswing
Looking at the longest hitters on tour, they exhibit 2-3 of these characteristics as well.

Note that Bubba exhibits all three which is why he has been one of the longest drivers on tour for a while now!

In this position, you need to have strong glutes, quads and flexibility in the hips as well as core strength.

The hips need to be strong and flexible to create the freedom to internally and externally rotate as well.

Chapter 3 will break down some hip exercises to increase swing speed.

Next, let’s tie the upper and lower body together by examining the core. 

The transition from the back to the downswing is when a lot of that potential energy turns into kinetic energy and we accumulate some actual swing speed.

A 2005 study titled “Work and Power Analysis of the Golf Swing” found that over 70% of the “work” generated during a golfer’s downswing comes from the major joints around the back, core and hips!

This is true for both scratch golfers and double-digit handicap recreational golfers!

Let’s examine why.

 

Starting with the core muscles, you can see that for the longest drivers in the world, move their bodies from extension into flexion.

This is reflected by:

  1. The angle between their right leg and torso becomes slightly more acute and
  2. Their heads drop down in transition.
Berkshire Hollow Body Transition
Dustin Johsnon Hollow Body Transition
DeChambeau Hollow Body Transition
Rory McIlroy Hollow Body Transition
In gymnastics as well as fitness this is what we call a “hollow” body position.
Gymnast Hollow Body for Speed
It’s a move that requires a great amount of core stability and strength. 

Chapter 2 will have a ton of core exercises to increase club head speed and get you stronger in this position!

 

Moving along further into the downswing, the hips begin to rotate open while the shoulders remain close thus creating a stretch shorting cycle (SSC) in the muscles 

This requires a ton of flexibility and strength in the upper back, shoulders, and thoracic (core) areas. 

On top of that, flexibility in the hips and glutes starts to be emphasized more.

Now focusing on the upper body

Note from some of the longest hitters in the world that the lead shoulder must be able to internally rotate as the trailing shoulder externally rotates to put the club on plane. 

 

Long Drivers Lag Position in the downswing
As their hips are rotating towards the target, their upper body and shoulders are still turned away from the target. 

  • The lead arm is internally rotated as evidenced by the fact you can see their left elbows.
  • The trailing arm is externally rotated. If you look closely you can see the inside of the right elbows.
  • Finally, look at the AWESOME amount of extension (bending back) of the right wrist.

All this creates a TON of speed coming into impact and requires a lot of upper body flexibility and strength.

If you want to test out your upper body flexibility in this position, take our test.

Let’s look at the lower body and examine what’s happening to help up pinpoint some exercises to increase swing speed. 

 

Dustin Johnson Driver Down the Line at impact
Bryson DTL at Impact with Driver
Rory Driver Impact DTL
Pictured above is DJ (left), Bryson (middle) and Rors (right).

I want you to check out a few things.

  1. The lead leg is extended and even “jumps” off the ground.
  2. The trailing leg is still bent and driving towards the target.
  3. Thus, the independent movement of the legs (lead leg extending while the trailing leg is still bent) puts a lot of emphasis on unilateral/single-leg exercises to create some clubhead speed.
  4. The spine becomes more curved and in a position of what we call “flexion.”
  5. All as the hips rotate open.

This opening of the hips towards the target requires a tremendous amount of flexibility and strength in the hips, lower back, core, and glutes.

If you haven’t noticed, your core is a big engine for creating swing and clubhead speed.

  • Chapter 2 will give you a bunch of anterior and rotational exercises to increase club head speed. 
  • Chapter 3 will detail some hip exercises to increase swing speed. 
  • And Chapter 4 will focus on exercises for your glutes as well as some single leg exercises to increase clubhead speed.  

The guys at GolTec studied hundreds of swings. One of the things they found in the pros is their ability to opens up the hips much more than the average player.

Hip Rotation at Impact by Handicap

So the exercises to increase club head speed will utilize pretty much every muscle in your body, right?

Yup pretty much looks that way but to varying degrees at different points in the swing.

But interesting enough a bunch of smart scientists in a 2015 study titled, “The Effects of Power Type Resistance Training on Golf Driver Club Head Speed” found that the following movements tended to have a higher correlation with club head speed.

These were some of their major findings:

  • Chest, back, and leg strength were found to have strong to moderate correlations with higher club head speeds.
  • Single leg strength and explosiveness was found to have a very strong correlation with club head speed.
  • Rotational work done with cable machines was found to have a higher correlation with club head speed

But I believe this study is limited for a few reasons

  • The exercises used were very limited.
  • It excludes compound/functional movements such as kettlebell movements, thrusters.
  • It excludes hamstring & lower back dominant movements such as various deadlifts.
  • We can also replicate many of the cable movements with some resistance band exercises.

For time sake, the vast array of exercises was probably not explored.

So to sum it all up here is what we believe are the areas of focus and exercises to increase swing speed:

  • Core exercises to increase swing speed.
  • Hip stretches and exercises to increase swing speed.
  • Exercises for the glutes will help boost club head speed.
  • Upper body stretches and exercises that will boost your swing speed.

Let’s dive right in.

Chapter 2

Core exercises to increase club head speed.

Many of the exercises in this chapter are taken from our original post on core strengthening exercises for golfers.

We even added a few to it.

Let’s get to it!

Core exercises to increase club head speed.

FIRST SOME ANTERIOR CORE EXERCISES TO INCREASE SWING SPEED

Abmat Situps

Abmat Situp
Click the image above for a full video tutorial
The abmat situp is a great place to start when building up some core strength to improve your swing speed.

  • Sit on the floor and feel free to place an abmat or a rolled-up towel to fit between the floor and your lumbar curve.
  • You can have your feet together or underneath a pair of dumbbells.
  • I like to keep the arms extended in front of my body as shown in the video but some like to rest them across the chest.
  • Brace your core and sit up until your shoulders are stacked over your hips.
  • Lower yourself back down until your shoulder blades touch the ground.

Reverse Crunches

Reverse Crunch
Click the image above for a full video tutorial
To perform the reverse crunch you will need a stable object such as a kettlebell or dumbbell to hold onto.

  • Lay face up on the ground gripping the kettlebell that is behind your head. 
  • Extend the legs keeping them hovering off the ground. 
  • Make sure that when your legs are extended, you are also exhaling and the core is nice and tight. 
  • From here attempt to bring your knees to your elbows and in the process, you will roll your lower back up slightly.
  • Hold the top of the rep for a half-second before returning to the start position.

Deadbugs + Reverse Crunch

Deadbug and reverse crunch
Click the image above for a full video tutorial
We will be combining two movements here. The set up is the same as the reverse crunch so we won’t repeat.

  • For this one you will only extend one leg at a time and alternate legs. 
  • So lying on the ground, extend one leg keeping the other knee tucked into your chest. 
  • Attempt to bring both knees to your elbows and in the process you will roll your lower back up slightly.
  • Hold the top of the rep for a half second before alternating legs.

Abs with a Plate Switch

Abs with a plate switch
Click the image above for a full video tutorial
Abs with a plate switch will really test the stability of your core.

  • Start by sitting on the floor with a small 2.5-5lbs plate in one hand. 
  • Start in a hollow body position which means your legs will be slightly extended and the plate is out to the side. 
  • Then we move into flexion by raising your torso up and tucking the knees.
  • As you move into flexion, pass the plate underneath your knees to the other hand.
  • Move back to a hollow body position with the weight plate in the other hand. 
  • This one can be difficult to explain via text so watch the video.

RKC Planks

RKC Plank exercises to increase club head speed
Click the image above for a full video tutorial
Planks are one of the few static exercises to increase club head speed that we program for our golfers. It will help you develop some core strength needed to achieve that hollow body position we pointed out in Chapter 1.

  • Setup with your forearms and toes in contact with the ground.
  • Keep the core braced and your body in a straight line from toes to shoulders.
  • You want to avoid the hips being too high or 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.

Now for some rotational exercise that has a very high correlation with creating some club head speed.

Banded Low to High Rotations

Banded Low to High Rotations for club head speed
Click the image above for a full video tutorial
  • Setup up by looping a band around a support beam or column.
  • Keep the core engaged the entire time.
  • This movement is harder than it looks so be prepared. 
  • Use an overhand grip about shoulder-width apart on the bands.
  • Brace your core and extend the arms down to one hip.
  • Rotate up and to your opposite side.
  • Focus on using your core and not your arms to rotate.
  • Exhale at the top of each rep.
  • You can also switch this up going from a high to low position.

Landmine Rotations

Landmine Rotations for club head speed
Click the image above for a full video tutorial
We like landmine rotations because there is a bit of a weighting component to strengthen the core and obliques which are vital to creating clubhead speed.

  • Wedge a barbell into a stable corner making sure it is nice and secure.
  • Keep the barbell in front of your torso as you rotate side to side.
  • Keep the abs tight and the feet stable.
  • You can pivot the feet in this one.
  • Landmine rotations really challenge the core to move dynamically through the movement similar to the golf swing.

Banded Rotations

Banded Rotations for club head speed
Click the image above for a full video tutorial
  • Anchor your band to a stable object in your gym.
  • Grip the open end with a double overhand grip about shoulder width apart.
  • Keep your core engaged with your gaze to the horizon.
  • Rotate the core with extended arms keeping it engaged the whole time.
  • Repeat each side.

Russian Twists

Russian Twists rotational work for club head speed
Click the image above for a full video tutorial
  • Begin in a seated position with the chest and legs elevated.
  • Your body should resemble a “V” or a hollow body position.
  • Holds a dumbbell or medicine ball or weight plate in your hands
  • Twists your upper body and tap the weight to the ground as you rotate to each side. 
  • Repeat on the opposite side.

Russian Twist with Med Ball Toss

butterfly stretch
Click the image above for a full video tutorial
This is a great exercise to increase clubhead speed because of the weighted tossing component.

  • Begin in a seated position next to a wall. 
  • The chest and legs are elevated in a hollow body position.
  • You will need a medicine ball for this one. 
  • Perform a Russian twist tapping the weight ball to the ground but when you rotate towards the wall you will toss it against the wall. 
  • Catch the ball and repeat.
  • Perform an equal amount on both sides.

Half Kneeling Rotational Throws

Half Kneeling Rotational Throw
Click the image above for a full video tutorial
  • Begin with one knee on the ground and the other foot is flat.
  • You want the forward leg to be the one that is closest to the wall. 
  • From here grab your medicine ball and rotate away from the wall using your core rather than the arms. 
  • Rotate towards the wall and toss the medicine ball against the wall. 
  • Keep your core braced the entire time.
  • To get the most out of these rotational exercises to increase clubhead speed make sure you perform them on both sides so you don’t create imbalances. 

Rotational Med Ball Throws

Rotational Medicine Ball Throw
Click the image above for a full video tutorial
  • Standing a few feet from the wall grasp a medicine ball in front of your chest. 
  • Brace your core and rotate towards the wall.
  • As you rotate to the wall release the ball throwing it against the wall. 
  • Make sure that you are using your core rather than your arms to toss the ball.

Medicine Ball Rainbow Slams

Medicine Ball Rainbow Slams
Click the image above for a full video tutorial
This exercises to increase club head speed has the added benefit that you can perform these when you are frustrated with your putting. You will see what I mean in a moment.

  • Grasp a medicine ball and stand with your feet a little wider than shoulder width apart.
  • Extend the arms overhead while holding the ball.
  • Quickly rotate your torso to one side (i.e. right) and slam the ball on the ground outside of your right foot without letting go of the ball.
  • To do the movement correctly, squat down and use your hips and legs as much as possible.
  • Avoid this movement becoming all arms.
  • On the rebound, stand back up and take the ball back overhead.
  • Without pausing at the top, keep going and slam the medicine ball outside your other foot (i.e. left foot).
  • Remember to rotate your torso to the left and squat down again.
  • Repeat back and forth forming a rainbow motion.

Finally some posterior core exercise that increase swing speed.

Banded Good Mornings

Banded Good Mornings
Click the image above for a full video tutorial
I use banded good mornings as a nice warm up piece as well as a cool down. But this is a good one if you are just starting out.

  • Set your feet shoulder width apart or slightly wider. 
  • Stand inside the band. 
  • Bend down and carefully place the band on your traps. 
  • To perform the banded good morning, hinge at the hips moving them back while also dropping the chest to the floor.
  • Maintain a nice flat lower back throughout
  • Squeeze the glutes and hamstrings to return to a standing position.

Deadlifts with a Band

Deadlifts with a band
Click the image above for a full video tutorial
  • Fold the band in half and lay it on the floor.
  • Step on the band so that it’s underneath the arches of your feet.
  • Your stance should be hip-width or slightly narrower.
  • Bend at the hips and knees keeping your back nice and flat. 
  • Head is neutral (don’t hyper-extend upwards)
  • Grab one end of the band in each hand.
  • Push with the legs so that your hips and shoulders rise together.
  • Keep your body weight in your heels the entire time.
  • The rep is finished when the hips, knees, and shoulders are fully locked out.

Kettlebell & Dumbbell Romanian Deadlifts

RKC Plank
Click the image above for a full video tutorial
  • To set up place your feet hip-width apart with a kettlebell or dumbbell on the outside of your stance.
  • Get a full grip on the weights.
  • Lift the weights, pushing through your heels keeping the lower back flat the entire time. 
  • The hips and shoulders will rise at the same rate. 
  • The rep is finished when your knees, hips, and shoulders are locked out and over each other as you stand tall. 
  • To return to the ground, keep the knees back and lower the weights down as far as possible while maintaining a nice flat back.

Conventional Deadlift

Conventional Deadlift
Click the image above for a full video tutorial
  • Set up with a hip width stance.
  • Your hands will be about shoulder width apart, gripping the barbell just outside your hips.
  • When viewed from the side, the shoulders will be slightly in front of the bar.
  • Lower back is nice and flat the entire time.
  • Head is neutral to keep pressure off the upper spine area.
  • Hips and shoulders come off the floor at the same rate.
  • Weight stay in the heels.
  • Rep is finished when hips, knees and shoulders are locked out and in one straight line as you stand tall. 
  • To return to the floor, send the hips back first putting your weight in the heels.
  • Then send hips and shoulders down at the same rate.

Dimmel Deadlift

Dimmel Deadlift
Click the image above for a full video tutorial
  • You can take the bar out of a rack or pick it up off the floor. 
  • If picking it up off the floor, the same cues apply as the conventional deadlift.
  • The dimmel deadlift begins with the bar at hip level.
  • Send the hips back keeping you weight in your heels and lower the bar until it is just above your knees.
  • The lower back stays nice and flat. 
  • To return to the top, focus on squeezing the glutes.
  • We typically program these at higher rep ranges (15+ per set) but lighter weights.

Romanian Deadlift

Romanian Deadlift
Click the image above for a full video tutorial
The Romanian deadlift uses little help from the legs and really recruits muscles in the glutes, lower back and hamstrings. You will want to start out light and make time to get in a hamstring or lower back stretch afterwards.

  • Set up is the same as with all our deadlifting movements. 
  • Hip width stance, flat back, weight in the heels. 
  • Hands gripping the bar just outside the hips.
  • But for these the hips will be slightly higher than normal. 
  • You will feel as if you are only hinging at the hips using your glutes, hamstrings and lower back to lift the weight as opposed to the legs. 
  • Make sure to not have your weight shift into your toes and let the back round.
  • The lower back is nice and flat throughout.
  • The rep is complete with knees, hips and shoulders locked out in one line. 
  • To return to the floor, send the hips back keeping the weight in the heels.
  • Hinge at the hips.
  • If you are just starting out, build the bar up off the floor by placing it on some weights.

Barbell Good Mornings

Barbell Goodmornings
Click the image above for a full video tutorial
  • To set up, stand upright with the barbell resting on your traps.
  • Unlock the knees slightly and have a slight flex in the knees.
  • Send the hips back as you lower your chest to the floor
  • Always keep your lower back nice and flat
  • The degree to which you can lower yourself will depend on your flexibility and ability to maintain a nice flat lower back.
  • Only go down as far as you can maintain a flat back
  • Return to the starting position by squeezing the glutes and lower back.

Chapter 3

Exercises that increase hip speed for your golf game.

As we saw in the research of Chapter 1, the hip joints are vital in creating club head speed.

So we want to focus on exercises that will teach us how to dynamically “drive” the hips.

Dont forget to check out our post on hip stretches to improve your golf swing as well.

Let’s begin.

Exercises that increase hip speed for your golf game.

First, some barbell hip exercises that increase swing speed.

Barbell Glute Hip Thrusts

Barbell Glute Hip Thrusts
Click the image above for a full video tutorial
The equipment you will need is a bench, a barbell, and weights as well as a pad or towel.

  • Place your shoulders against the bench. 
  • Your feet will be flat on the floor in a position where your shins are perpendicular to the floor.
  • Place the barbell in your hip crease.
  • Add a pad or towel between the barbell and hips for comfort. 
  • To begin the movement, drive the weight up by really squeezing the glutes.
  • You will feel this in your butt, lower back, and hamstrings. 
  • Hold the top of the reps for a half-second.

Banded Deadlift

Banded Deadlift
Click the image above for a full video tutorial
This is one of the few exercises to increase club head speed that we included on this list that uses a barbell and band to provide accommodative resistance. It really helps develops hip explosiveness. The width of your band will depend upon your strength levels. Start out light and build up as you progress.

  • Place the band over the bar making sure it is evenly spaced.
  • The arches of the feet are standing on the band about hip-width apart.
  • From here set up is the same as the regular deadlift; flat back, shoulders slightly in front of the bar, bar close to the shins.
  • Activate your core by pressing out as if you were about to get punched in the stomach.
  • From here perform similar to a conventional deadlift.
  • Weight in the heels as you drive with the legs keeping the hips and shoulders rising at the same rate. 
  • When the barbell gets above the knees you will really start to feel the resistance of the band. 
  • Really try to explode at this point by squeezing the hips and glutes. 
  • Stand to full extension. 
  • It is helpful to watch our demo video.

Hang Power Cleans

hang power clean
Click the image above for a full video tutorial
The hang power clean may be the most difficult movement on this list. It is a very dynamic movement that recruits the legs, back and even arms. It is similar to the golf swing in that the power will come from the hips and legs first before finishing off with the arms. And similar to the golf swing, an early arm pull will result in a loss of power.

  • Set up so your 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 flat lower back.
  • Heels remain down with straight arms.
  • Your torso will then rotate to a vertical position before “exploding” with the legs and hips.
  • The shoulders will then shrug, followed by a pull of the arms to get the barbell to land on the collar bone.
  • Turn the belows around the bar quickly.
  • Catch the barbell in a partial squat before standing all the way up.

Clean Pulls

Clean Pulls Hip Speed Exercise for golf
Click the image above for a full video tutorial
The clean pull is an exercise olympic lifters use to develop hip drive. We love to program these for our athletes to do the same. But before we assign these, athletes must have great deadlift form.

  • Set up as you would a deadlift with barbell over the mid part of the foot. Grip is just outside the hips, shoulders slightly in front of the bar and back nice and flat.
  • Perform a deadlift with the hips and shoulders rising together.
  • You want to feel as if you are “pushing the floor away.”
  • As you pass the knees you want to feel as if you are driving or “jumping the barbell up with your legs and hip drive. 
  • The body and barbell should remain as close to each other as possible. 
  • Feel as if you are driving the weight with the legs and not pulling with the arms. 
  • This will take some time so start light and be patient. 
  • Watch the tutorial video.

Next, some dumbbell and kettlebell hip exercises that increase club head speed.

Dumbbell Power Snatch

Dumbbell Power Snatch
Click the image above for a full video tutorial
A good hip drive here is what gets the weight moving so we include it in this section.

  • Set up with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
  • Place the dumbbell between your feet and grip the center of the dumbbell.
  • Keep the back flat throughout the movement.
  • To begin, drive with the legs keeping the hips and shoulders rising together.
  • As the weight moves above the knees, extend the hips rapidly by squeezing the quads and glutes. 
  • The dumbbell will feel “weightless” for a moment. That is when you want to shrug the shoulders followed by a pull underneath with the arms. 
  • Catch the weight in a partial squat. 
  • Standing all the way up with hips, knees, and arms locked out.
  • Lower the weight back down to the ground and switch sides.

American Kettlebell Swings

American Kettlebell Swings
Click the image above for a full video tutorial
We could have included the American Kettlebell Swing in any of the other exercises to increase club head speed but we include it here because the hip drive is really what gets the weight moving. 

  • Use a full grip on the kettlebell with it resting in the hang position between your legs.
  • Set your feet apart at shoulder width or slightly wider.
  • The hips will descend down and back as if to perform a mini squat.
  • Shoulder blades stay back and keep a flat back throughout.
  • To drive the kettlebell up, squeeze the glutes and quads rapidly driving the kettlebell overhead with the hips.
  • The finish position of the American kettlebell swing is with the weight overhead and in line with the hips, shoulders, and feet.
  • Avoid hyperextension in the low back. This can be quite common.
  • To return send the hips back into a partial squat as the kettlebell returns to perform the next rep.

Banded Kettlebell Swings

Banded Kettlebell Swings
Click the image above for a full video tutorial
When performed correctly you will really feel how it develops hip speed and explosiveness. WARNING! Make sure you are comfortable performing regular swings before trying these and do not go above eye level when performing. See the video!

  • 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.
  • You will notice that an explosive hip drive is required to get the weight moving.

Seated Dynamic Box Jumps

Seated Dynamic Box Jumps
Click the image above for a full video tutorial
The seated dynamic box jump is great for developing explosiveness in the hips and legs.

  • For the seated dynamic box jump you will need a box or bench to sit on.
  • Bring your feet off the ground before forcefully bringing the feet back to the ground to initiate the jump onto a plyo box.
  • Make sure to reset on every rep.

Chapter 4

Exercises for the glutes and single leg work that will help boost club head speed.

Glute activation became a punch line since the 2015 Tiger Woods “Glute-Gate”.

But a major force in creating club head speed does revolve around the glutes.

We give you some glute specific as well as single leg exercises that will target your toosh to add some swing speed. 

Exercises for the glutes that will help boost club head speed.

First, some glute exercises that increase club head speed using resistance bands.

X-band Walks

x band walk
Click the image above for a full video tutorial
  • Place your feet shoulder width apart and step into the band.
  • Next, form an “X” with the band holding it at your hips.
  • Send the hips back slightly as if you were about to perform an air squat.
  • Keep the knees bent and pushed out over the toes the entire time.
  • Then begin to walk laterally switching up directions every 10-12 steps or so.
  • Try to keep the steps chopy and wide.

Banded Leg Extensions

Banded Leg Extension
Click the image above for a full video tutorial
Banded leg extensions are a cheaper version of the machine version. You will simply just need a resistance band and a bench.

  • Loop the band around a stable structure. 
  • Sit on the bench with your back to the structure and place your ankles through the band.
  • Then simply extend the bands until your legs are fully locked out. 
  • We typically program these at higher reps for our golfing clients.

Next, some glute exercises that increase swing speed using a GHD machine (if you have one).

Glute Ham Raises

Glute Ham Raise
Click the image above for a full video tutorial
To perform the glute ham raise you will need a GHD/hip extension or hyper-back extension machine.

  • Setup with your chest perpendicular to the floor.
  • Press your heels into the footrest.
  • Lower yourself until you are parallel to the floor.
  • Squeeze the glutes and hamstrings to return to the starting position. 
  • The rep is complete when your chest is perpendicular to the floor again.

Hip Extensions

Hip Extensions
Click the image above for a full video tutorial
  • Setup with your heels pressing into the foot rest.
  • The pads should be against your upper heels but below your hips.
  • For these, your body will be parallel to the floor.
  • Lower yourself by bending at the hips.
  • Maintain a flat back as far down as possible.
  • Return to the start position by contracting the glutes and bending at the hips.

Finally, some single leg exercises that increase club head speed.

Single Leg Romanian Deadlifts

Single Leg Romanian Deadlifts
Click the image above for a full video tutorial
  • 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.

Single Leg Box Jumps

Single Leg Box Jump
Click the image above for a full video tutorial
  • Stand upright in front of the box.
  • Feet are set shoulder width apart about 12-24 inches from the box.
  • Lift one foot off the ground.
  • Keeping the torso upright.
  • Using a runner stance, jump off one leg onto the box.
  • Try to land softly on the box with both feet. 
  • Reset on top of the box before stepping back down.
  • Perform an equal amount on both sides.

Dynamic Lateral Box Step Ups

Dynamic Lateral Box Step Ups
Click the image above for a full video tutorial
Dynamic Lateral Step-Ups are an awesome exercise for increasing club head speed.

  • Stand to the side of a knee high box holding dumbbells in each hand.
  • Place one foot on the box. 
  • Begin the movement by stomping on the box immediately followed by a dynamic extension of the hip and knee.
  • Immediately squeeze the quad and glute that are on the box to drive up onto the box.
  • Keep the torso upright the entire time. 
  • This mimics the extension that is created by the lead leg during a golf swing.

Rotational Box Jumps

Rotational Box Jumps
Click the image above for a full video tutorial
Now it’s time to combine the explosiveness of a box jump with some dynamic rotational work to really add some club head speed.

  • Stand to the side of a box.
  • Begin by rotating with your torso and arms to the side that is furthest from the box.
  • Add a slight squat to the movement as well. 
  • From here we want to mimic a golf swing.
  • Rotate towards the box by shifting your weight to the lead leg.
  • Then rotate the torso and arms towards the box. 
  • Jump up onto the box by using the quads and hips.
  • Land on the box with both feet.
  • Reset and step down.
  • Don’t forget to perform an equal amount on both sides.

Dumbbell Box Step Ups

Weighted Box Step Ups
Click the image above for a full video tutorial
This movement really works the glutes, legs and hamstrings. You can use a pair of dumbbells or kettlebells.

  • Grip the weights on each side of the body. 
  • Step one foot on top of the box keeping the knee over your foot. 
  • Press through your forward heel and stand all the way on top of the box.
  • The chest remains tall the entire time.
  • Place both feet on top of the box as you reset. 
  • Step down and unless otherwise stated, alternate feet each side.

Single Leg Bulgarian Split Squats

Single Leg Bulgarian Split Squat
Click the image above for a full video tutorial
The single leg bulgarian split squat is in our list of single leg exercises to increase club head speed because it is great for developing unilateral balance and strength.

  • To set up, find a step, bench or pad to rest a foot on.
  • Begin in a forward lunge position with the torso upright.
  • Brace your core with the hips square. 
  • The back foot is elevated on the bench.
  • Lower yourself until the front thigh is almost horizontal or parallel with the floor. 
  • Keep the forward knee in line with the toe and don’t let it pass the toes.
  • Drive through the forward heel back to the starting position.

Single Leg Glute Bridges

single leg glute bridge
Click the image above for a full video tutorial
You can do this golf exercise at home or as a warm-up before you head out to the course to “fire the glutes.”

  • Lay face-up on the floor.
  • One leg will be extended and one planted on the ground.
  • Aim to keep the shoulders, hips & legs and feet in one straight line as depicted in the video. 
  • Really focus on squeezing the glutes. 
  •  Hold for a 1-2 second count per rep.

Chapter 5

Upper body exercises to increase clubhead speed.

As we saw with the data above, the upper body is not as crucial in setting the club high at the top to create swing speed.

As you start to generate more power with your legs, core, hips and glutes the upper body is the mechanism in which such power gets transferred to the golf club and finally the ball.

Don’t worry, you aren’t going to turn into an inflexible meat head.

Let’s review.

Upper body exercises to increase clubhead speed for the chest, shoulders and arms.

Let’s start off with some chest and shoulder exercises to increase clubhead speed.

Single Arm Dumbbell Overhead Carry

Single Arm Dumbbell OH Carry
Click the image above for a full video tutorial
  • Grab the dumbbell with a full grip.
  • Press it overhead, keeping it stacked over your hips and shoulders
  • Avoid hyperextending your back.
  • From here walk for a set amount of distance before switching sides.
  • You may find it helpful to hold one arm out to the side for balance.

Split Stance Strict Press

Split Stance Strict Press
Click the image above for a full video tutorial
  • Place one foot forward and another foot back in a split stance.
  • Keep your core tight and press the dumbbell overhead.
  • Make sure you are not hyperextending the lower back.
  • This will test your balance as well.

Single Arm Dumbbell Push Press

Single Arm Dumbbell Push Press
Click the image above for a full video tutorial
  • Place your feet hip width apart.
  • The dumbbell will rest one one shoulder shoulders.
  • Elbow are slightly in front of the body.
  • Maintain an upright torso as you dip down 2-3″.
  • Extend the hips and legs before pressing the weight overhead.
  • The rep is complete when the elbows, legs, and shoulders are fully locked out.

Half Kneeling One Arm Press

Half Kneeling One Arm Press
Click the image above for a full video tutorial
  • This shoulder exercise is similar to the previous but you will be in a lunge or kneeling position.
  • If your left foot is forward, you want to be pressing wtih your right arm and vice versa.
  • Same principles apply apply as the previous movements.

Banded Shoulder External Rotation Exercise

Banded Shoulder Internal Rotation
Click the image above for a full video tutorial
  • Loop the band around a support structure or squat rack.
  • Grab the band with the arm that is nearest to the anchoring point.
  • Keeping the elbow in tight, rotate the band toward your midline.
  • Return to the start position in a contolled manner.

Banded Shoulder External Rotation Exercise

Banded Shoulder External Rotation
Click the image above for a full video tutorial
  • Loop the band around a support structure or squat rack.
  • Grab the band with the arm that is furthest from your anchoring point.
  • Keeping the elbow in tight, rotate the band away from your midline.
  • Return to the start position in a contolled manner.

Cuban Press

Cuban Press
Click the image above for a full video tutorial
  • You can perform these with a light barbell, PVC or a light pair of dumbbells.
  • They are great for long term shoulder health.
  • Grab the weight and with them in front of you, you will will them up keeping the weight close as your elbows travel up and out.
  • When your upper arm is parallel to the ground, rotate the weight so that it is now above your elbows.
  • From here press the weight overhead.
  • See the tutorial for a visual explanation.

One Arm High Pull

One Arm High Pulls
Click the image above for a full video tutorial
  • Grasp dumbbell or kettlebell with the weight in front of you.
  • Keep the weight close as you pull the weight up.
  • Keep your elbow above the weight.
  • Lower the weight back at a slower pace than when you pulled it up.

Barbell Strict Press

Barbell Strict Press
Click the image above for a full video tutorial
  • Grab the barbell with a full grip.
  • It should be resting on your collar bone and shoulders.
  • Your hands will be just outside the shoulders with elbows slightly in front of the bar. 
  • Place your feet hip width apart
  • Focus on keeping your spine in a neutral position avoiding any hyperextension. 
  • Legs stay locked out the entire time.
  • Press the barbell up overhead striving to keep it moving over the middle of the foot.
  • The rep is complete at full arm extension.

Barbell Push Press

Barbell Push Press
Click the image above for a full video tutorial
The barbell push press really is a full body exercise. It’s primary focus for golfers is the shoulders and triceps. But we will be using the legs and hips as well to get the barbell moving.

  • Set your feet about hip width apart.
  • The barbell will rest across your collar bone and shoulders. 
  • Elbows are slightly in front of the body.
  • Maintain an upright torso as you dip down 2-3″.
  • Extend the hips and legs before pressing the weight overhead.
  • In the barbell push press you want to keep the barbell moving over your foot, hips and shoulders.
  • The rep is complete when the elbows, legs, and shoulders are fully locked out.

Barbell Bench Press

Barbell Bench Press
Click the image above for a full video tutorial
  • Start with a grip that is slightly wider than shoulder width.
  • Arms begin fully extended with the bar over your chest.
  • Shoulders will remain in contact with the bench the entire time.
  • As the barbell descends to the chest, feel as if your elbows move closer to the hips than your shoulders.
  • Avoid having the elbows move outward.
  • Lower the barbell down to the lower part of the chest.
  • Forearms remain perpendicular to the ground.
  • Complete the rep by pressing the barbell up to full extension of the arms.

Dual Dumbbell Bench Press

Dual Dumbbell Bench Press
Click the image above for a full video tutorial
You will need a bench and a pair of dumbbells.

  • Start with a full grip on the dumbbells.
  • The dumbbells will start just outside your chest.
  • Shoulders will remain in contact with the bench the entire time.
  • Press the weight straight up to lockout.
  • Lower the weight down to the lower part of the chest keeping the elbow in tight.
  • Strive to keep the forearms perpendicular to the ground.

Dumbbell Lateral Raise

Dumbbell Lateral Raise
Click the image above for a full video tutorial
The dumbbell lateral raise can be done a number of ways. You will see versions that are a bit more strict where the dumbbells are more to your side. Other variations will have a bit more bend at the elbow. Either way the following standards on form should remain.

  • Maintain good posture with a full grip on the dumbbells.
  • Raise the dumbbells out to your side until they are at about shoulder to eye level.
  • These are typically programmed at higher rep ranges as well.

Dumbbell Push Press

Dumbbell Push Press
Click the image above for a full video tutorial
Similar to the barbell version, you will be using a little bit of leg drive to get the barbell moving in this one.

  • Set up with the feet in a hip width stance.
  • The dumbbells will rest on the shoulders with your elbows slightly in front of the body.
  • Maintain an upright torso and dip down 2-3″. 
  • Extend the hips and legs before pressing the weight overhead. 
  • Keep the dumbbells moving over your foot, hips and shoulders.
  • The rep is complete when the elbows, legs, and shoulders are fully locked out.

Single Arm Dumbbell Bench Press

Single Arm DB Bench Press
Click the image above for a full video tutorial
I like this upper body exercise for golfers because it places an emphasis on your core and abdominal muscles due to the balance element that is required. You will be using one dumbbell and a bench.

  • Lie on the bench with a full grip on one dumbbell rest the off hand on your abs.
  • Place the dumbbell just outside your chest and keep the shoulders in contact with the bench.
  • Press the weight straight up to lockout.
  • Strive to not let the body sway from side to side.
  • Lower the weight back down to the chest keeping the elbow in tight rather than letting it flare out.

Push Up

Push Up
Click the image above for a full video tutorial
The pushup is one of the best exercises you can do to strengthen the chest, shoulders, arms and even the core.

  • Start in a plank position with arms locked out and hands just outside the shoulders. 
  • To begin the movement, lower your chest and thighs to the ground.
  • Return to the start position by pressing through the hands. 
  • Focus on keeping the elbows in tight and moving closer to your hips than outward to the side. This protects your shoulder. 
  • Keep the core tight, not letting the hips sag.
  • The rep is complete at full arm extension.

Now for some Upper back strengthening exercises for more clubhead speed.

Bar Hangs

Bar Hangs
Click the image above for a full video tutorial
  • You will need access to a pull up bar for this shoulder stretch for golf. 
  • Place your hands about shoulder width or slightly wider on the pull up bar.
  • You can use an overhand or underhand grip.
  • Grasp the pull up bar and let gravity stretch you. 
  • If that is too intense, you can gently place your feet or toes on the floor. 
  • You will feel this stretch in your shoulders, upper back, chest and forearms.

The Pull Up

Pull Up Tutorial
Click the image above for a full video tutorial
One of the best exercises for the upper back to increase club head speed is the basic pull up. And we showed above that pull up strength had a higher correlation to club head speed than most exercises. We are going to review the full range of motion.

  • 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.
  • You will start with arms fully extended.
  • Pull with the arms and upper back, retracting your elbows down.
  • The rep is complete when the chin is over the bar. 
  • Lower yourself returning back to arms fully extended.
  • Many will not have the requisite strength so our post on back exercises for golfers has some scales such as the banded pull up below.

Banded Pull Up

Banded Pull Up
Click the image above for a full video tutorial
If you dont quite have the requisite strength to perform a regular pull up this is a great alternative.

  • To set up loop a band around a pull up bar.
  • If you need more assistance use a thicker band.
  • Step one foot into the band
  • Grab the pull up bar slightly wider than shoulder width.
  • From here perform the points of performance of a regular pull up apply. 
  • One caveat. When you step out of the band. Make sure you have a secure footing on a box or bench before you take your other foot out of the band

Renegade Rows

Renegade Rows
Click the image above for a full video tutorial
  • You will begin in a plank position with a dumbbell in each hand.
  • Perform a single arm dumbbell row on each side.
  • Focus on keeping the core nice and tight.
  • You want to keep your body in as straight line as possible from your legs up through your shoulders and avoid the hips being too high.
  • Some versions you will see a push up added at the end of the rep.

Banded Bent Over Row

Banded Bent Over Rows
Click the image above for a full video tutorial
  • Fold a band in half and stand in the middle of it.
  • Grab one end in each hand.
  • Weight remains in the heels and back is nice and flat.
  • Pull the band towards your torso with your arms and back muscles.
  • Use as little body english as possible.

Banded Rows

Banded Rows
Click the image above for a full video tutorial
The banded row is similar to the bent over rows but you will be sitting on the ground for these. These can be done at home as well.

  • Set up by sitting on the floor with your legs together and straight in front of you.
  • Fold the band in half and place it under the arches of your feet.
  • Grab an end in each hand.
  • Your torso will be nice and upright with shoulder blades back.
  • Pull the bands to your torso using as little “body english” as possible.

Banded Pull Apart

Deadlifts with a band
Click the image above for a full video tutorial
  • 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 and 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.

Banded Lat Pull Downs

Deadlifts with a band
Click the image above for a full video tutorial
This is also a much cheaper alternative than the cable machine version. But if your gym has a lat pulldown machine then use that. In our version you will only need bands and a PVC pipe.

  • To get set up, loop the bands around a pull up bar placing the PVC in the bands.
  • Take a full grip on the bar just outside shoulder width.
  • Pull the bar down, using the arms and back to retract the shoulders back and down.
  • The rep is finished when the PVC is below the chin.
  • If you want to spice it up, pull the PVC pipe down to your chest.

Straight Arm Banded Pull Downs

Straight Arm Banded Lat Pull downs
Click the image above for a full video tutorial
  • To set up, loop the band around a pull up bar and place a PVC pipe in the.
  • Using an overhand grip place your hands shoulder width or slightly wider apart.
  • Keep your shoulders back with arms and back straight.
  • The PVC will begin at about eye level or slightly lower.
  • Feel as if you are doing a butterfly stroke and engage the back & lats to bring the PVC down to waist level.
  • Return back to the starting position.
  • Try not to lose tension in the band.

Double Dumbbell Rows

Double Dumbbell Row
Click the image above for a full video tutorial
The double dumbbell row is a nice isometric movement that strengthen the upper back.

  • Begin with a dumbbell in each hand.
  • The arms will start fully extended.
  • Bend at the hips
  • Keep 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.

Single Arm Bent Over Rows

Single Arm Bent Over Rows
Click the image above for a full video tutorial
  • You want to set up by forming a nice tripod with one knee on the bench, one arm holding yourself out in front and the other foot planted on the ground.
  • Try to have your back parallel to the floor and as flat as possible like a table top.
  • The single arm row begins with the arm fully extended.
  • Pull the dumbbells up to your chest holding for a half second.
  • Return to the start position by lowering the weight back down.

Inverted Barbell Row

Inverted Barbell Row
Click the image above for a full video tutorial
We use this movement with our clients quite a bit to build upper body strength in the back and arms. You will need a barbell and a squat rack.

  • Set the barbell in the rack so that you are pulling the bar into the rack.
  • The difficulty level will depend on the height of the bar as well as the position of your feet.
  • The more horizontal your body position is, the harder the movement will be.
  • Grip the bar slightly wider than shoulder width apart. 
  • You can use an underhand or overhand grip. Mix things up from time to time. 
  • Keep your torso nice and straight. 
  • Heels remain on the ground. Feel free to use some weights as a foot rest so you don’t slip. 
  • Pull with the arms and back until the the bar hits the bottom of the chest before returning to the start position.

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Holy cow that was a long list!

Let me hear what you think!

Are there some exercises to increase club head speed that we missed?

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