Although golf does not involve jumping, running or physical contact like other sports, it is still physically demanding. The muscles of your upper and lower body as well as your core help drive the ball down the course, so training these muscles as part of a workout program can help you improve your performance. Before starting any workout program, consult your doctor to see if there are any limits you need to take into account.
Among the muscles most active during a golf swing are those of your rotator cuff, located in your shoulder. These muscles act by rotating your arm, which is integral in the motion of hitting the golf ball. The more force these muscles can produce, the farther your shots will go. To strengthen your shoulder muscles, perform lateral raises and shoulder presses with dumbbells.
Your chest muscles also help produce force for your golf swing, so strengthening them can improve your game. Effective exercises to work your chest muscles include chest dips, the bench press, the chest press, lying flyes and pushups. These exercises also help strengthen your shoulders, making them highly effective for golf workouts.
The latissimus dorsi are large muscles located in your back, and they help raise and lower your arms. Also known as lats, the latissimus dorsi are very large and a potential source of a lot of power. Performing lat pulldowns, barbell rows and pull-ups can help strengthen your latissimus dorsi.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, the lumbar spine is the area golfers are most likely to injure due to the repetitive nature of the sport. To protect this area of your back from injury, it's important to have a strong core. Exercises such as planks, weighted crunches and leg raises can help strengthen your core muscles.
Muscles in your legs -- including your quadriceps, glutes and calf muscles -- help provide power for your swing, so leg exercises are crucial for an effective golf workout. Performing squats, leg extensions and leg presses can help you strengthen your leg muscles and encourage longer, stronger drives.
Being flexible is another factor that can help you avoid injuries. Start and end your weight-training sessions by performing stretches for the muscles targeted in the workout. This will encourage improved flexibility and looser muscles.
- Dynamic Chiropractic: Shoulder Muscle Dysfunction and the Golf Swing: Important Treatment and Educational Considerations
- American Council on Exercise: Shoulder Exercises
- ExRx.net: Chest Exercise Menu
- American Council on Exercise: Back Exercises
- Cleveland Clinic: Golf: Improving Core Strength and Flexibility
- PGATour.com: The Golf-Gym Workout
Brian Willett began writing in 2005. He has been published in the "Buffalo News," the "Daytona Times" and "Natural Muscle Magazine." Willett also writes for Bloginity.com and Bodybuilding.com. He is an American Council on Exercise-certified personal trainer and earned a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of North Carolina.