Best 3 Golf Conditioning Exercises

Exercises to keep golfers in tip-top shape

golfer stretching

Contributor: Timothy Ertle, MPT

During the warm weather months, serious golfers tend to want to use their free time golfing and put less time into exercise. In cooler climates, both winter and spring are the perfect time for golfers to increase their fitness by improving their strength and flexibility specific to the game. It is also a time to give their bodies a break and allow time for healing from the repetitive stress that golfers’ joints and tendons endure during a typical golf season.

If you’re the average golfer, you probably take about 9,000 swings per year, including range balls. Even with sound mechanics, natural strength and flexibility, the high number of repetitions is a recipe for injury. In fact, 82 percent of golf injuries are related to the repetitive nature of the sport.

Three components for conditioning

Conditioning for golf should include three components:

• cardiovascular exercise
• flexibility/mobility exercises
• strength training

3 exercises to try

The selection of exercises all depends on your current fitness level. Common areas that golfers need to address include:

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• Flexibility
• Lead shoulder rotation in the backswing
• Thoracic (chest) rotation
• Hip mobility

1. Thoracic rotation

Purpose: to improve shoulder turn for the golfer’s back swing
Do: 5-10 repetitions holding for 20 seconds
Strength: Rotator cuff strength with a resistance band


2. Shoulder external rotation

Purpose: to improve shoulder strength, stability and endurance
Do: A light enough resistance to be able to perform 3 sets of 15-25 reps

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 3. Standing trunk rotation with a resistance band

Purpose: to improve hip strength and coordination
Do: A light enough resistance to be able to perform 3 sets of 15-25 reps


Having an evaluation by a Cleveland Clinic Golf Smart Physical Therapist who has knowledge about the fundamentals of the golf swing, can help you find specific exercises tailored to meet your problem areas and achieve your goals.

Timothy Ertle, MPT, is with the Golf Smart Performance Program. To schedule an appointment with Timothy or any of our golf specialists, please call 216.444.6262.

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