As a junior golfer, one of the most important things you can do to master your golf swing is to use functional exercises that build up the foundation of your golf swing. The goal is not to load up on weights and get as strong as possible, but instead work on doing body weight exercises with perfect form.
Adding exercises to your routine can help you hit a longer ball, and be more athletic during your golf swing.
Here are 3 of our top exercises for junior golfers:
Flexibility Warm Up: Swiss Ball Russian Twist
Mobility and flexibility are both very important for the golf swing; a good rotation is one of the pillars of the golf swing. Using a quick flexibility warm up during a golf workout can keep your body mobile and loose for when you step up to the tee box.
The swiss ball russian twist is a really useful rotation exercise that helps you rotate your shoulders, hips and spin for a tight and powerful coil. For obvious reasons, this is a great mobility exercise for golfers to be able to generate a more powerful turn.
How to Do It:
- Start by laying with your head and shoulder blades on a swiss ball, keeping your body parallel to the ground with your feet firmly on the ground.
- Raise your arms straight out in front of you fully extended, and hold your hands together.
- Slowly rotate in one direction starting with your shoulders, until your arms are parallel to the ground. Hold this position for a brief pause.
- Return to the starting position, and rotate in the other direction until your arms are parallel to the floor. This is one full rep.
- Repeat this exercise in 1-2 sets of 10-15 reps
Here’s a great video demonstration showing how to do this move:
For Core Stability: Medicine Ball Slams
This exercise is about generating explosive movement, while stabilizing your core and your hips. Holding your core and hips stable while doing these powerful slams helps you generate more power from your upper body, which translates well on the golf course. Medicine ball slams have many variations, but for stabilization, it’s best to do this move from a kneeling position.
How to Do it:
- Start by kneeling on both knees. Keep your upper body tall, with a medicine ball in hand (make sure it’s not too heavy, it shouldn’t be a struggle to slam the ball and pick it up a few times in a row).
- Raise the medicine ball over your head with your arms fully extended.
- Keeping your posture, tighten your core and glutes and slam the ball to the ground as hard as you can.
- In your finishing position, your shoulders and arms should be fully down, with your hands to your sides post-slam.
- Repeat this move as many times as you can for 30 seconds for 1 set. Do 3-5 sets.
Here’s another good video to refer to:
For Lower Body Strength and Stability: Pistol Squats
Pistol Squats are a challenging variation of the standard squat, and engages all of your lower body and stabilizer muscles. This is a muscular conditioning exercise that helps prepare your legs for any sport, helping build strength and endurance in your legs. This is a good exercise to keep your legs feeling strong through an 18 hole match.
This is not an easy move, and you will have to progress toward being able to do it fully. This is a move used by top athletes across many sports.
How to Do it:
On one leg, squat all the way down keeping the opposite leg straight. Put your arms out in front of you for balance. Press up from the bottom to return to your starting position. This is the full move. If you’re not able to do this at first, try these steps to progress toward the full pistol squat.
- To be able to do this move, make sure you’re first able to do a full squat on both legs.
- If you’ve got a squat mastered, practice lowering yourself on one leg into a chair, keeping the other leg out in front of you. Using this chair helps you make sure you have the balance for the full move, without fear of falling.
- Once you’ve mastered the move with a chair, try doing the move with minimal support in front of you; use a railing to hold onto, or something similar.
- The last step before being able to fully perform a pistol squat is doing it from an elevated surface.
This video does a great job showing how you can progress to a pistol squat:
Try these exercises to improve your performance on the golf course. Flexibility, stability and lower body strength are all fundamentals that can help you be more athletic and have a better golf swing.
Brandon runs a golf website called Fairway Approach, focused on helping golfers take a smarter approach to golf by offering game improvement guides and equipment reviews. He’s been playing amateur golf for over 15 years, and is originally from Syracuse, NY. During the day he’s a technical recruiter within the financial industry, helping software engineers land jobs.