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How to build a golf fitness programme

Don’t let the perceived “slow” nature of golf fool you — it’s a great sport to complement a fit and active lifestyle. In fact, making it around all 18 holes is a test of mental agility, endurance and your ability to adapt to the challenges the course will throw at you.  

If you want to work out in a way that enhances your golf game, take inspiration from the pros who bring a more physical aspect to the sport. Rory McIlroy’s social media, for instance, reveals a fitness routine covering everything from powerlifting to cardio to plyometric exercises. Even if you don’t push yourself to the same lengths as Rory, it’s easy to build a fitness programme to improve your performance on the course. Here’s how. 

The benefits of fitness training for golf

Whether you want to focus on boosting power, enhancing your ability to control the ball, or building your on-course stamina, a golf-oriented fitness routine can help you: 

  1. Control your swing 

A holistic approach to training gives you more control and stability within each muscle group, helping you to improve coordination and maintain good posture when you swing. 

  1. Drive further with more power 

Training to improve your strength and flexibility boosts power and speed for shots that travel a serious distance down the fairway. Plyometric exercises and heavy compound lifts can be a great way to get stronger and boost your power – just ask Bryson DeChambeau. 

  1. Last the course 

Building cardio and mobility training into your fitness plan gives you the stamina to swing solidly and accurately throughout the game (not to mention walk up and down hilly terrains). Being physically fit will also help to increase your mental stamina, which is vital as you plot your way around 18 holes. 

  1. Prevent game-ruining injuries 

Fitness training can help improve your flexibility and make you more aware of your body’s limits. Incorporating a stretching routine before you play golf can help you feel more lithe and athletic, giving you more freedom to swing and reducing the risk of injury.  

Choose exercises for how you play golf

Building a golf fitness routine requires a fair amount of strategy. Smartly targeting muscle groups and the movements at the core of your swing is a great place to start. Here’s what to think about when designing your programme: 


Why it matters

You put power into your swing through rotation in the hips, upper back and shoulders and you transfer this momentum directly to the golf ball when you strike. Good posture and a wider range of movement will help you swing more efficiently and effectively. The golf swing can put a lot of strain on the back muscles so it’s important to ensure they’re strong enough to cope. 

Exercises you can try

  • Seated rotations: Test your flexibility with this stretching exercise focusing on muscles all around your torso. Rotations also improve overall mobility. 
  • Glute bridges: Strengthen glutes and lower back muscles to improve your upright posture — which means they’re also a great exercise for alleviating back pain.  
  • Planks: Whether you keep it basic or add movements to increase the challenge, planking engages the core muscles that stabilise the spine.

Lower Body

Why it matters

Your hip movement is a crucial element of the golf swing, while your legs help you drive through the golf ball and keep you stable through your strike.  

Exercises you can try

  • Squats: A classic lower body exercise, squats target leg muscles including glutes, hip flexors, quads, hamstrings and calves, giving you more power and stability. 
  • Box jumps: This is a brilliant plyometric exercise that will help give you more explosive power by strengthening glutes, hamstrings and quads. Start low and build up to a taller box as you get comfortable with the exercise.
  • Lunges: Combine leg strength training with the balance and endurance you need to complete each rep. 


Why it matters

Think of your core as your command centre for posture and a solid address position. Strengthening your core also protects your back and helps you to stay in control as you swing. 

Exercises you can try

  • Dead bugs: Stabilise your abs, hips and lower back and engage overall coordination by moving opposite limbs at the same time. 
  • Bird dogs: An all-round in strength, balance and coordination, bird dogs engage abdominal muscles as you extend your body rep after rep.  
  • Bicycle crunches: Build dynamic movement into your core exercise, and target lower and side abdominals that power your rotations as you swing the golf club.

Personal Training for Golf

Want to get more from your workout? Then it may be time to seek out the one-on-one guidance of a Personal Trainer. There are plenty of benefits to working with the Personal Trainers at David Lloyd Clubs, each of whom has the professional knowledge to help you make serious strides towards your golfing goals.

Working with a David Lloyd Clubs Personal Trainer means you’ll learn how to focus your workouts and time in the gym to help you when you’re out on the course. Your Personal Trainer will also help you track your progress, so you can adjust your training plan to meet new goals. 

Visit David Lloyd Clubs for your next round of golf 

Once you’re primed to play a round, remember that David Lloyd Clubs has two stunning courses where you can put your skills to the test. If you’re nearby, both Hampton Golf Club and Glasgow Rouken Glen Golf Club offer a challenge for golfers of all abilities. They’re also home to expert PGA Professional instructors, who know a thing or two about helping you to hit more fairways and hole more putts. 

Even when you can’t make it out to the course, your local David Lloyd Club is ready with the latest equipment you need to be prepared for your next game. Enjoy a session in the gym, try out a group exercise class, and don’t forget to take advantage of our swim and spa facilities for a low-impact workout and some recovery. Choose how you stay course-ready and find your closest David Lloyd Club to discover new ways to reach your fitness goals. 

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