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Golfers often overlook the importance of a strong back in their sport.
Many think that a strong grip and perfect swing are all one needs to be successful on the course.
However, neglecting your back muscles can lead to fatigue, loss of power, and even injury.
Fortunately, there are plenty of ways you can strengthen your back and improve your golf performance.
In this article, we’ll look at 13 of the best back exercises for golf and how they can help you up your game.
From stretching routines to strengthening workouts, these exercises will get you ready for any round with improved strength and endurance.
Table of Contents
Why Back Exercises Are Important for Golfers
Lower-back pain is an extremely common golf injury typically caused by an underdeveloped back or by a lack of flexibility.
Doing back exercises on a regular basis can prevent these injuries and improve overall physical comfort while playing the sport.
Additionally, having a strong back increases your range of motion, allowing for a fuller swing and greater power.
This can result in increased distance off the tee or on approach shots.
It can also help improve posture and stability, which can help prevent injuries to the lumbar spine.
In addition, strengthening the anterior trunk muscles helps create a stable base for other parts of the body to move properly during the golf swing.
Regular practice of these moves will help you stay in top form on the course.
Not only that, it can help you maintain your well-being outside of the course as well.
This way you can keep enjoying the sport for years to come.
13 Exercises To Enhance Physical Conditioning for Golf
1. Reverse Pattern
This stretch utilizes a stability ball to open up the chest and extend the thoracic spine.
Stretching these areas helps to maintain good form and posture while swinging, allowing you to achieve greater control and power.
Good posture also increases efficiency when transferring energy from the backswing to the downswing, resulting in a more powerful shot.
- Lay on your back on the stability ball with your feet flat on the floor.
- Lower your hips into the ball and keep the back of your head flat against it, while looking towards the ceiling.
- Extend your arms and rotate them over your shoulders, towards the ground.
- Relax and hold the stretch for 10-30 seconds.
2. Golf Club T-Spine Rotation
This exercise is a great way to get warmed up and focused before hitting the links.
It combines a T-spine twist with a long stick or golf club, working on both shoulder and thoracic rotation.
Adding the use of a stick takes the movement one step further in activating the muscles beyond just a simple rotation.
This will help promote proper rotation in the swing for any golfer.
- Grab a mobility stick or club with an overhand grip with hands shoulder-width apart.
- Assume a wide neutral stance and hinge your hips back.
- Slightly lean your upper body toward the ground while maintaining a neutral neck and back.
- Straighten your arms downwards so that the stick is touching your knees.
- Rotate the stick to the left as far as you can by pulling it with your left hand.
- Breathe in and out, and pull the stick further.
- Repeat steps 5 and 6 one or two more times in this direction until you feel slight hip rotation.
- Then exhale again, and push the stick upwards with your right hand.
- Slowly release to the starting position before repeating the sequence on your right side.
3. Back Extension
This stretch, which is commonly used by physiotherapists, helps to relieve pressure on bulged discs in the lower back.
However, it should be noted that this stretch is not recommended for all forms of back pain and should be used under the advice of a qualified medical professional.
- Lay flat on your stomach in a starting push-up position.
- Place your hands flat on the ground in front of you, slightly wider than shoulder width.
- From here, push your chest off the ground to create an arch in your lower back.
- Go as high as you can comfortably go, exhale, and hold for a few seconds before lowering your chest back to the floor.
- Repeat for 5-10 reps.
- Be sure to keep your hips on the floor the entire time.
4. Kneeled T-Spine Rotation
The kneeled T-spine rotation differs from the standing version because it does not require the use of a stick or golf club to rotate.
Yet, it still focuses on increasing shoulder and thoracic spine mobility, allowing golfers to generate more power and accuracy in their shots.
With regular practice, this stretch can make a huge difference in improving swing mechanics and ultimately, game performance.
- Assume a tabletop pose and grab the back of your neck with your left hand.
- Rotate upwards to the right as far as you can to feel a nice stretch.
- Then, reverse the motion downwards and to the left as far as you can go.
- Perform 5-10 reps and switch to the right hand.
5. Glute Bridges
The Glute Bridge exercise is an effective and simple way to strengthen the hamstrings, glutes, and lower back.
These muscles are vital for golfers to increase stability and power, making it easier to hit shots further with accuracy and precision.
It can help improve physical performance while providing injury prevention as well.
- Lay flat on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the ground at shoulder width apart.
- Pull your core inwards to get your lower back tight to the floor.
- Flex your glutes and raise your buttocks towards the ceiling.
- Stop once your thighs are in a straight line with your upper body.
- Hold it for 2-3 seconds and reverse back down.
- Repeat the entire sequence for 6-12 more reps.
6. Lying Thoracic Twist
The Lying Thoracic Twist is a great exercise for golfers to improve their mobility and range of motion.
This move focuses on the thoracic spine, chest, and hip flexors to help promote strength and flexibility in these areas.
To add extra resistance, hold a dumbbell while performing the twist.
- Lay on your side with your knees bent.
- Grab onto your top knee with your bottom hand.
- Extend your top arm backward and slowly turn your upper body in the opposite direction of your knees.
- Then, rotate the other way.
- Repeat for 5-10 reps and switch to the other side.
7. Side Bridge
This exercise strengthens both the hamstrings and obliques through a dynamic movement that requires balance and stability.
When done properly, it helps promote posture.
- Lay on your side with your knees bent and your bottom elbow propped up under your shoulder.
- Hold the back of your thigh with the top hand.
- Brace your core and push your hips forward.
- Maintain this position for 10 seconds.
- Slowly lower yourself back to the start and repeat for reps.
8. Lat Pulldowns
The lat pulldown exercise is a popular one among fitness enthusiasts.
It helps to target and strengthen the muscles in the back and arms, specifically the lats, rear delts, and biceps.
This exercise can be done on a cable machine or with a band, allowing for versatility and convenience.
- Adjust the leg pads to a snug position.
- Grab the lat bar with an overhand grip about shoulder-width apart.
- With your head straight and chest up, pull the bar down to your chest.
- Move the bar back up in a controlled manner, allowing your lats to stretch at the top.
- Repeat for 2-4 sets of 10-15 reps.
9. Bird Dog
The bird dog is an excellent exercise for golfers to help improve muscle strength and coordination.
It involves balancing on all fours, while simultaneously raising one arm out in front and the opposite leg behind you.
This targets the spinal erectors, rectus abdominis, glutes, and hamstrings, while also helping to improve shoulder mobility.
- Assume a tabletop position with a neutral spine and head facing the ground.
- Raise your right arm straight out until it reaches the side of your head.
- At the same time, you want to extend your left leg straight back until your foot is slightly higher than your buttocks.
- Hold it for 1-3 seconds, before resetting.
- Repeat this motion for 5-10 reps on each side.
Pull-ups work a range of muscles.
The most important are the lats, core, shoulders, and biceps.
With improved strength, they can provide golfers with more power in their swing.
They also help build stability and control which is essential to hitting accurate shots, particularly off the tee.
All these benefits make pull-ups one of the best movements for golfers to build strength, power, accuracy, and control.
- Grab the pull-up bar with an overhand grip 1.5x the width of your shoulders.
- You can either keep your legs extended towards the floor or cross one leg over the other.
- Starting from a dead hang position, squeeze your glutes, and retract your shoulder blades so that your chest is up.
- Now, pull yourself up until your chin is over the bar.
- Reverse down so that your arms are straight.
- Perform 1-2 sets until failure.
11. Bent-Over Dumbbell Rows
Bent-Over Dumbbell Rows are an effective unilateral exercise to improve muscle balance and strengthen the back, biceps, rear delts, and traps.
Performing this move on one side of the body at a time helps ensure stabilization and allows for deeper muscle contraction while still staying safe.
A quick tip for this one is to start with your weaker side first and do an equal amount of reps and sets with each arm.
- Stand facing the side of a bench in a neutral position.
- Hinge your hips back and lean over the bench.
- Grab the dumbbell with a neutral grip and place your opposite arm on the bench for support.
- Tighten your core and look straight down.
- Retract your shoulder blade.
- Then, row the dumbbell up using your elbow to move the weight.
- Stop once the dumbbell is even with your side and then go back down.
- Repeat the dumbbell row for 2-3 sets of 12-15 reps with each arm.
12. Resistance Band Heel Taps
This is a simple yet effective exercise that involves lying on the ground and holding a band with both hands.
The user then taps their heels alternately, which helps practice trunk bracing.
In turn, improving hip and core strength to stabilize the spine.
- Anchor a resistance band to a secure post.
- Lay flat on your back with your feet flat on the ground.
- Grab the band with both hands facing each other and pull it over your chest while keeping your arms straight.
- With your core tight, breathe in and out.
- Lift your lower body off the ground so that your legs are bent at 90 degrees in the air.
- Then tap the heel of one foot to the ground.
- Move it back up and repeat with the other leg.
- Repeat this motion for 5-10 reps with each leg.
13. Elevated Bridge With Leg Raises
The Elevated Bridge with Leg Raises strengthens the glutes, core, and low back while also stretching the hip flexors.
It’s a great way to improve swing mechanics and can be done anywhere with just a raised surface and a sturdy set of legs.
- Rest your head and upper back perpendicularly on a bench.
- Hold yourself in a reverse tabletop position.
- Squeeze your glutes and core and raise your left leg up off the ground while keeping a 90-degree bend.
- Your left knee should be pointed to the ceiling at this point.
- Return it to the ground and switch sides.
Common Causes of Golf-Related Lower Back Pain
One of the most common causes of Lumbago (low back pain) is poor posture or form.
Golfers may be unaware that their posture and form are incorrect, as this can go unnoticed until the golf ball is struck.
This repetitive motion will take its toll over time.
When swinging a club, you should maintain a neutral spine angle while keeping your head steady and your core engaged throughout the motion.
Doing so will help to reduce strain on the lower back muscles and joints, preventing any discomfort.
Prolonged sitting in a golf cart can also put unnecessary strain on the spine.
Taking regular breaks from using golf carts and walking the course may be a good solution.
Just be sure to wear comfortable walking shoes.
Another cause is an improper grip.
If the grip is too tight, this can put too much stress on the fingers, wrists, arms, and shoulders which will then cause Lumbago.
Conversely, if the grip is too loose or weak, this can limit a golfer’s ability to control their club, leading to an improper swing and additional discomfort.
Finally, a lack of flexibility can lead to Lumbago in golfers.
As hip mobility declines, it can be difficult to maintain posture throughout the swing.
As a result, you may begin to experience pain in your lower back.
Building flexibility through stretching or yoga can help to reduce tension in the lower back and increase mobility.
FAQs Related to Back Exercises for Golfers
How Do I Strengthen My Back for Golf?
Back strengthening exercises should focus on working the core muscles that support the spine, while also stretching and improving flexibility.
Core exercises such as planks, hyperextensions, crunches, and bridge poses can help build strength and endurance in the back muscles.
Other exercises like the supine twist, cobra pose, and triangle pose can help improve flexibility in your back.
How Do I Stop My Back From Hurting When I Play Golf?
To prevent back pain when playing golf, make sure to use proper form during the swing.
Keep your weight balanced and keep your spine straight throughout the movement.
Consider wearing a golf belt or other supportive device to help keep your back in a healthy position.
Additionally, warming up before and stretching after playing can help reduce tightness and discomfort.
What Workouts Help Golf Swing?
Stretching and strengthening your core, shoulder, back, and hip muscles can all help with improving your golf swing.
Core exercises such as bird dogs, shoulder drills like rotator cuff rotations, and hip and back movements like thoracic twists are all great options.
Summary: Dominate the Golf Course With These Exercises!
Overall, having a strong and flexible back is essential for golfers of all levels.
The thirteen golf exercises I’ve discussed here are some great options to get you started on your journey toward improving your game.
Choose one or two to focus on during each workout session or mix them up throughout the week.
This will help build strength in your core and improve flexibility in your spine.
Both are important factors when it comes to maximizing power off the tee box.
With regular practice and dedication, you will be able to see improvements in not only your physical ability but also in how well you play overall.
So what are you waiting for?
Start incorporating these moves into your routine today!