67 Exercises to Increase Club Head Speed
(and the research behind why they work)
In this post we will discuss over 60 exercises to increase club head speed and why they work.
Many of these are used in our 12 Week Golf Workout Program.
Most posts on exercises designed to help you increase your club head speed only give you a handful of movements.
I don’t know about you, but to me that gets boring!
In addition we include research on why these will work.
Not a data nerd like me? That’s OK, just skip past Chapter 1.
P.S. (Shhhhh!) In the bonus section, you can download 7 days worth of workouts that incorporate many of these movements…FOR FREE!
But if you are like me and need more than 7 days, check out our structured Golf Workout Program (CLICK HERE)
OK let’s get you some extra MPHs!
Chapter 1: The research behind why these exercises are the best at increasing club head speed.
Chapter 2: Exercises for the glutes that will help boost club head speed.
Chapter 3: Exercises that increase hip speed for your golf game.
Chapter 4: Single leg exercises to increase club head speed.
Chapter 5: Exercises for the legs that will help boost club head speed.
Chapter 6: Upper body exercises to increase club head speed.
Chapter 7: Upper back strengthening exercises for more club head speed.
Chapter 8: Core exercises to increase club head speed.
Bonus: Download 7 days of workouts designed to increase club head speed FOR FREE!
The research behind why these
exercises are the best at increasing club head speed.
Let’s kick this off by giving you our opinion on why these exercises will help you increase swing and club head speed.
And that starts with a brief analysis of what muscle groups are responsible for generating power in the golf swing.
Not a data nerd like me and just want to get to the exercises?
That’s OK skip right to Chapter 2.
But for the others, let’s review!
Now I can’t make your swing look like Adam Scott.
Or give you the ball striking skills of Tiger Woods.
And you wont have the effortless driver swing of Rory McIlroy after reading this post.
That’s what instructors like mine (Ted Sheftic, PGA) are here for.
But I can give you some of my favorite exercises to increase club head speed that I have used over the years.
A 2005 study titled “Work and Power Analysis of the Golf Swing” found that over 70% of the “work” generated during a golfer’s downswing comes from the major joints around the back, core and hips!
This is true for both scratch golfers and double digit handicap recreational golfers!
So to generate more distance, we have to focus on the exercises to strengthen the hips, back and core?
Well yes and no.
According to a study by Davies & DiSaia we can see that the major muscles involved in creating speed around those joints is as follows:
- Muscles in your armpit area such as the Teres Minor & Teres Major.
- Upper Back Muscles such as the Infraspinatus, Rhomboid Major and Latissimus Dorsi.
- Muscles of the Abs and Obliques.
- Muscles in the legs including the Adductor Longes Quadriceps and Gastrocnemius.
- Chest Muscles such as the Pectoralis Major.
- And finally muscles in your butt including the Gluteus Maximus and Gluteus Medius.
OK so the exercises to increase club head speed will utilize pretty much every muscle in your body, right?
Yup pretty much looks that way.
But interesting enough a bunch of smart scientists in a 2015 study titled, “The Effects of Power Type Resistance Training on Golf Driver Club Head Speed” found that the following movements tended to have a higher correlation with club head speed.
These were some of the major findings:
- Chest, back and leg strength were found to have strong to moderate correlations with higher club head speeds.
- Single leg strength and explosiveness was found to have a very strong correlation with club head speed.
- Rotational work done with cable machines was found to have a higher correlation with club head speed
If I could add one caveat. The exercises that were used in the 2015 study are very limited.
I would have loved to seen the correlation between more compound and functional movements such as kettlebell movements, thrusters, and various deadlifting movements.
For time sake, the vasy array of exercises was probably not explored.
I personally believe that Olympic style lifts like the snatch and clean and jerk can develop tons of leg, hip, glute and core strength.
They also require a ton of flexibility and speed…Sound familiar to a golf swing?
So to sum it all up here is what we have found:
- Exercises for the glutes will help boost club head speed.
- Stronger legs will help boost club head speed.
- Upper body exercises for the chest, shoulders and arms can increase club head speed.
- Upper back strengthening exercises have an effect on club head speed.
- Core exercises are beneficial to increasing club head speed.
- You must also train using exercises movement that will increase hip speed to generate more club head speed.
- And finally single leg exercises will improve your club head speed.
So we break down our list accordingly.
Let’s dive right in.
Exercises for the glutes that will help boost club head speed
Glute activation became a punch line since the 2015 Tiger Woods “Glute-Gate”.
But a major force in creating club head speed does revolve around the glute and hip joints as we showed above.
So with that let’s dive into the booty…I mean, glute exercises that will add a few mph’s to your swing.
1) X-band Walks
X-Band walks are a great exercise to start out with. I once did 3 minutes straight of x band walks and my glutes were on fire after 30 seconds. Don’t be a hero, start with a light band.
- Place your feet shoulder width apart and step into the band.
- Next, form an “X” with the band holding it at your hips.
- Send the hips back slightly as if you were about to perform an air squat.
- Keep the knees bent and pushed out over the toes the entire time.
- Then begin to walk laterally switching up directions every 10-12 steps or so.
- Try to keep the steps chopy and wide.
2) Banded Good Mornings
I use banded good mornings as a nice warm up piece as well as a cool down. But this is a good one if you are just starting out.
- Set your feet shoulder width apart or slightly wider.
- Stand inside the band.
- Bend down and carefully place the band on your traps.
- To perform the banded good morning, hinge at the hips moving them back while also dropping the chest to the floor.
- Maintain a nice flat lower back throughout
- Squeeze the glutes and hamstrings to return to a standing position.
3) Deadlifts with a Band
As with any deadlift movement you want to make sure you are keeping your lower back nice and flat throughout the movement.
- Fold the band in half and lay it on the floor.
- Step on the band so that it’s underneath the arches of your feet.
- Your stance should be hip width or slightly narrower.
- Bend at the hips and knees keeping your back nice and flat.
- Head is neutral (don’t hyper-extend upwards)
- Grab one end of the band in each hand.
- Push with the legs so that your hips and shoulders rise together.
- Keep your body weight in your heels the entire time.
- The rep is finished when the hips, knees and shoulders are fully locked out.
4) Kettlebell & Dumbbell Romanian Deadlifts
I find this to be a bit harder to perform than the barbell version due to the imbalance created by the separate objects.
- To set up place your feet hip width apart with a kettlebell or dumbbell on the outside of your stance.
- Get a full grip on the weights.
- Lift the weights, pushing through your heels keeping the lower back flat the entire time.
- The hips and shoulders will rise at the same rate.
- The rep is finished when your knees, hips and shoulders are locked out and over each other as you stand tall.
- To return to the ground, keep the knees back and lower the weights down as far as possible while maintaining a nice flat back.
5) Conventional Deadlift
The conventional deadlift is one of the best exercises you can do to boost club head speed. In fact it is a staple in our golf training program. No only will this movement improve your glute strength but it hits the back, hamstrings and legs.
- Set up with a hip width stance.
- Your hands will be about shoulder width apart, gripping the barbell just outside your hips.
- When viewed from the side, the shoulders will be slightly in front of the bar.
- Lower back is nice and flat the entire time.
- Head is neutral to keep pressure off the upper spine area.
- Hips and shoulders come off the floor at the same rate.
- Weight stay in the heels.
- Rep is finished when hips, knees and shoulders are locked out and in one straight line as you stand tall.
- To return to the floor, send the hips back first putting your weight in the heels.
- Then send hips and shoulders down at the same rate.
6) Dimmel Deadlift
This one is a smaller version of the conventional deadlift. In fact we use this version to teach clients who are just starting out. For the more experienced lifter, it is great for the glutes and typically performed at higher rep ranges.
- You can take the bar out of a rack or pick it up off the floor.
- If picking it up off the floor, the same cues apply as the conventional deadlift.
- The dimmels deadlift begins with the bar at hip level.
- Send the hips back keeping you weight in your heels and lower the bar until it is just above your knees.
- The lower back stays nice and flat.
- To return to the top, focus on squeezing the glutes.
- We typically program these at higher rep ranges (15+ per set) but lighter weights.
7) Romanian Deadlift
You hear all the time, “lift with your legs, not your back” Yes, that is true but it is not entirely incorrect. The Romanian deadlift uses little help from the legs and really recruits muscles in the glutes, lower back and hamstrings. It is not “incorrect” it is just a different version of the deadlift. That being said, it is a more advanced movement so you will want to start out light.
- Set up is the same as with all our deadlifting movements.
- Hip width stance, flat back, weight in the heels.
- Hands gripping the bar just outside the hips.
- But for these the hips will be slightly higher than normal.
- You will feel as if you are only hinging at the hips using your glutes, hamstrings and lower back to lift the weight as opposed to the legs.
- Make sure to not have your weight shift into your toes and let the back round.
- The lower back is nice and flat throughout.
- The rep is complete with knees, hips and shoulders locked out in one line.
- To return to the floor, send the hips back keeping the weight in the heels.
- Hinge at the hips.
- If you are just starting out, build the bar up off the floor by placing it on some weights.
8) Barbell Good Mornings
Good mornings with a barbell will strengthen the lower back as well as the muscles in your hamstrings and glutes. The latter of which are vital in creating hip and club head speed.
- To set up, stand upright with the barbell resting on your traps.
- Unlock the knees slightly and have a slight flex in the knees.
- Send the hips back as you lower your chest to the floor
- Always keep your lower back nice and flat
- The degree to which you can lower yourself will depend on your flexibility and ability to maintain a nice flat lower back.
- Only go down as far as you can maintain a flat back
- Return to the starting position by squeezing the glutes and lower back.
9) Glute Ham Raises
To perform the glute ham raise you will need a GHD/hip extension or hyper-back extension machine.
- Setup with your chest perpendicular to the floor.
- Press your heels into the footrest.
- Lower yourself until you are parallel to the floor.
- Squeeze the glutes and hamstrings to return to the starting position.
- The rep is complete when your chest is perpendicular to the floor again.
10) Hip Extensions
Hip extensions are a bit of a scale down version of the glute ham raise. These will focus more on the lower back. But you will still feel it in the glutes. You will need a GHD/hip extension or hyper-back extension machine.
- Setup with your heels pressing into the foot rest.
- The pads should be against your upper heels but below your hips.
- For these, your body will be parallel to the floor.
- Lower yourself by bending at the hips.
- Maintain a flat back as far down as possible.
- Return to the start position by contracting the glutes and bending at the hips.
Exercises that increase hip speed for your golf game.
As we saw in the research of Chapter 1, the hip joints are vital in creating club head speed.
So we want to focus on exercises that will teach us how to dynamically “drive” the hips.
In this section we will show you a few of our favorite exercises that do just that.
11) Barbell Glute Hip Thrusts
The barbell glute hip thrust not only works the glutes but also develops explosiveness, extension and hip drive, all of which are vital in creating club head speed. The equipment you will need is a bench, a barbell and weights as well as a pad or towel.
- Place your shoulders against the bench.
- Your feet will be flat on the floor in a position where your shins are perpendicular to the floor.
- Place the barbell in your hip crease.
- Add a pad or towel between the barbell and hips for comfort.
- To begin the movement, drive the weight up by really squeezzing the glutes.
- You will feel this in your butt, lower back and hamstrings.
- Hold the top of the reps for a half second.
12) Dumbbell Power Snatch
The dumbbell power snatch recruits all the major muscles in the back, legs, arms and shoulders. I love its focus on core-to-extremity (use big muscles before the little muscles) and has great carryover to the golf swing. A good hip drive here is what gets the weight moving so we include it in this section.
- Set up with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart.
- Place the dumbbell between your feet and grip the center of the dumbbell.
- Keep the back flat throughout the movement.
- To begin, drive with the legs keeping the hips and shoulders rising together.
- As the weight moves above the knees, extend the hips rapidly by squeezing the quads and glutes.
- The dumbbell will feel “weightless” for a moment. That is when you want to shrug the shoulders followed by a pull underneath with the arms.
- Catch the weight in a partial squat.
- Standing all the way up with hips, knees and arms locked out.
- Lower the weight back down to the ground and switch sides.
13) Banded Deadlift
This is one of the few exercises to increase club head speed that we included on this list that uses a barbell and band to provide accommodative resistance. It really helps develops hip explosiveness. Your band width will depend upon your strength levels. Start out light and build up as you progress.
- Place the band over the bar making sure it is evenly spaced.
- The arches of the feet are standing on the band about hip width apart.
- From here set up is the same as the regular deadlift; flat back, shoulders slightly in front of the bar, bar close to the shins.
- Activate your core by pressing out as if you were about to get punched in the stomach.
- From here perform similar to a conventional deadlift.
- Weight in the heels as you drive with the legs keeping the hips and shoulders rising at the same rate.
- When the barbell gets above the knees you will really start to feel the resistance of the band.
- Really try to explode at this point by squeezing the hips and glutes.
- Stand to full extension.
- It is helpful to watch our demo video.
14) American Kettlebell Swings
We could have included the American Kettlebell Swing in any of the other exercises to increase club head speed because it really does work the entire body. But we include it here because the hip drive is really what gets the weight moving. You can also perform these using a dumbbell (click here to see how).
- Use a full grip on the kettlebell with it resting in the hang position between your legs.
- Set your feet apart at shoulder width or slightly wider.
- The hips will descend down and back as if to perform a mini squat.
- Shoulder blades stay back and keep a flat back throughout.
- To drive the kettlebell up, squeeze the glutes and quads rapidly driving the kettlebell overhead with the hips.
- The finish position of the american kettlebell swing is with the weight overhead and in line with the hips, shoulders and feet.
- Avoid hyperextension in the low back. This can be quite common.
- To return send the hips back into a partial squat as the kettlebell returns to perform the next rep.
15) Banded Kettlebell Swings
Banded kettlebell swings are another advanced exercise to increase club head speed due to the accommodative resistance that is created by the band. When performed correctly you will really feel how it develops hip speed and explosiveness. WARNING! Make sure you are comfortable performing regular swings before trying these and do not go above eye level when performing. See the video!
- Loop the band around the handle of the kettlebell.
- Place your feet in the bands anchoring it to the floor.
- Feet are set slightly wider than shoulder width.
- From here perform as a regular Russian kettlebell swing only swinging up to eye level.
- We highly advise that you do not go overhead with these.
- You will notice that an explosive hip drive is required to get the weight moving.
16) Hang Power Cleans
The hang power clean may be the most difficult movement on this list. It is a very dynamic movement that recruits the legs, back and even arms. It is similar to the golf swing in that the power will come from the hips and legs first before finishing off with the arms. And similar to the golf swing, an early arm pull will result in a loss of power.
- Set up so your feet start hip to shoulder width apart.
- Hands are about one thumbs distance from the hips.
- Lower the bar to just above the knees while maintaining a flat lower back.
- Heels remain down with straight arms.
- Your torso will then rotate to a vertical position before “exploding” with the legs and hips.
- The shoulders will then shrug, followed by a pull of the arms to get the barbell to land on the collar bone.
- Turn the belows around the bar quickly.
- Catch the barbell in a partial squat before standing all the way up.
17) Clean Pulls
The clean pull is an exercise olympic lifters use to develop hip drive. We love to program these for our athletes to do the same. But before we assign these, athletes must have great deadlift form.
- Set up as you would a deadlift with barbell over the mid part of the foot. Grip is just outside the hips, shoulders slightly in front of the bar and back nice and flat.
- Perform a deadlift with the hips and shoulders rising together.
- You want to feel as if you are “pushing the floor away.”
- As you pass the knees you want to feel as if you are driving or “jumping the barbell up with your legs and hip drive.
- The body and barbell should remain as close to each other as possible.
- Feel as if you are driving the weight with the legs and not pulling with the arms.
- This will take some time so start light and be patient.
- Watch the tutorial video.
18) Seated Dynamic Box Jumps
The seated dynamic box jump is great for developing explosiveness in the hips and legs.
- For the seated dynamic box jump you will need a box or bench to sit on.
- Bring your feet off the ground before forcefully bringing the feet back to the ground to initiate the jump onto a plyo box.
- Make sure to reset on every rep.
Single leg exercises to increase club head speed.
Ok now it’s time to get into the single leg exercises to increase club head speed.
As we saw in the research we gathered single leg strength has a high correlation to club head speed.
Caution! I am putting the cart before the horse here.
I recommend that someone learns and builds on basic squat strength and exercises before they start to add on single leg work.
We cover a few of those in the next chapter.
But for now, let’s review.
19) Single Leg Romanian Deadlifts
The single leg Romanian deadlift strengthens the hamstrings, spinal erectors, glutes and lower back. It can be done with a barbell but probably best to start off doing with a dumbbell or kettlebell. It is an advanced movement so start light and you may want to hold onto something for support.
- Begin by standing tall with one dumbbell in one hand.
- The dumbbell or kettlebell is lowered down to about mid shin or just below the knee.
- Focus on keeping the weight close to your body, with your balance back towards the heels. Maintain your lumbar curve throughout.
- Then squeeze the glutes standing back up to finish the movement.
20) Single Leg Box Jumps
The single-legged box jump is performed by jumping off one foot but landing with both feet on the box. Make sure to train both legs equally and begin with a height you are comfortable with.
- Stand upright in front of the box.
- Feet are set shoulder width apart about 12-24 inches from the box.
- Lift one foot off the ground.
- Keeping the torso upright.
- Using a runner stance, jump off one leg onto the box.
- Try to land softly on the box with both feet.
- Reset on top of the box before stepping back down.
- Perform an equal amount on both sides.
21) Dynamic Lateral Box Step Ups
Dynamic Lateral Step-Ups are an awesome exercise for increasing club head speed.
- Stand to the side of a knee high box holding dumbbells in each hand.
- Place one foot on the box.
- Begin the movement by stomping on the box immediately followed by a dynamic extension of the hip and knee.
- Immediately squeeze the quad and glute that are on the box to drive up onto the box.
- Keep the torso upright the entire time.
- This mimics the extension that is created by the lead leg during a golf swing.
22) Rotational Box Jumps
Now it’s time to combine the explosiveness of a box jump with some dynamic rotational work to really add some club head speed.
- Stand to the side of a box.
- Begin by rotating with your torso and arms to the side that is furthest from the box.
- Add a slight squat to the movement as well.
- From here we want to mimic a golf swing.
- Rotate towards the box by shifting your weight to the lead leg.
- Then rotate the torso and arms towards the box.
- Jump up onto the box by using the quads and hips.
- Land on the box with both feet.
- Reset and step down.
- Don’t forget to perform an equal amount on both sides.
23) Single Arm & Single Leg Ring Row
This is an advanced movement that requires a lot of balance. We are going to get the upper body involved as well. You will need a gymnastics ring or TRX band or other anoter alternative.
- Begin at the bottom of a single leg squat with one foot on the ground and one foot extended. In our example the left foot will be on the ground with the right leg extended.
- The opposite arm (i.e. right arm) will be extended and grasping the ring/TRX band.
- From here, stand by pushing through the floor with your foot that is planted.
- As you are standing up, pull the ring/TRX band towards your mid torso.
- To develop as much single leg strength out of this movement avoiding using too much of the upperbody.
24) Dumbbell Box Step Ups
This movement really works the glutes, legs and hamstrings. You can use a pair of dumbbells or kettlebells.
- Grip the weights on each side of the body.
- Step one foot on top of the box keeping the knee over your foot.
- Press through your forward heel and stand all the way on top of the box.
- The chest remains tall the entire time.
- Place both feet on top of the box as you reset.
- Step down and unless otherwise stated, alternate feet each side.
25) Single Leg Bulgarian Split Squats
The single leg bulgarian split squat is in our list of single leg exercises to increase club head speed because it is great for developing unilateral balance and strength.
- To set up, find a step, bench or pad to rest a foot on.
- Begin in a forward lunge position with the torso upright.
- Brace your core with the hips square.
- The back foot is elevated on the bench.
- Lower yourself until the front thigh is almost horizontal or parallel with the floor.
- Keep the forward knee in line with the toe and don’t let it pass the toes.
- Drive through the forward heel back to the starting position.
26) Single Leg Glute Bridges
You can do the single leg glute bridge at home or as a warm up before you head out to the course to “fire the glutes.”
- Lay face up on the floor.
- One leg will be extended and one planted on the ground.
- Aim to keep the shoulders, hips & legs and feet in one straight line as depicted in the video.
- Really focus on squeezing the glutes.
- Hold for a 1-2 second count per rep.
Exercises for the legs that will help boost club head speed.
The legs generate the force and speed that is transfered through the core into the arms and finally the club head and ball.
This chapter could have been a lot longer if we wanted it to but we put a lot of single leg exercises to increase club head speed in the previous chapter.
As stated previously it is also important to develop basic level squat strength.
In fact, we build up your back squat strength in our 12 week golf strength training program.
27) Air Squat
We begin with the air squat because it is a foundational movement in developing leg strength for creating more club head speed. Plus we will build off this over the next few movements as we add loading.
- Set up with your feet shoulder width apart or slightly wider.
- Hands can be out in front.
- Unhinge at the hips sending them back slightly
- The hips and shoulders will move down at the same rate until your hip crease is below the knee.
- It is important that your knees point in the same direction as the toes. For many you will need to feel as if you are pushing your knees out to engage your glutes to accomplish this.
- Chest remains nice & tall.
- Lower back remains as flat as possible
- Avoid letting your weight get into the balls of your feet or your toes.
- To return to the start position, push through the ground so your hips and shoulders rise at the same rate.
- The air squat is complete when hips and knees are fully locked out and in a straight line with the shoulders.
28) Goblet Squat
When an athlete first starts out with me and can show me they can perform a proper air squat then it’s time to add some loading. But I like to add a simple dumbbell or kettlebell before adding a barbell. I like to do that in the form of goblet squats.
- The same points of performance apply as above so I won’t repeat.
- But you will be holding a dumbbell or kettlebell in front of you.
- You can hold it any way but focus on keeping the weight close to your chest.
- With weight in the frontal plane really focus on keeping your weight in your heels and not tipping forward.
29) Back Squat
The back squat gets a bad wrap by pundits that in my opinion, just don’t know about proper technique. You will be adding weight on your back so this will also recruit the muscles in your lower and upper back as well as hamstrings.
- The bar will rest on your traps.
- Use a shoulder width or slightly wider stance. Most people will turn out the toes slightly. This is a matter of preference.
- Full grip on the bar with elbows pointed back and down.
- To begin the movement, the hips descend back and then down.
- Knees will always remain in line with toes. This recruits the glute muscles.
- Keep the back flat and the chest tall.
- Descend until the hip crease is below the knee. YES! You should use the full range of motion!
- Hips & shoulder will both descend and rise at the same rate.
- Finish fully standing with the hips & knees fully locked out.
30) Front Squat
Whereas the back squat recruits more muscles in the posterior chain, the front squat involves the quads and abdominals a lot more. So it is also a core strengthening exercise for us golfers. Similar to the goblet squat, we will be adding weight in the frontal plane but in the form of a barbell which will require more upper back, shoulder and forearm flexibility. All of which are beneficial to the golfing community.
- Set up is the same as other squats but the bar will rest on your collar bone.
- Hands will be outside the shoulders resting in the fingertips.
- Fight to keep the elbows high so that the triceps are parallel to ground.
- Really focus on filling your midsection with mass as if you were going to get punched in the stomach.
- From here all other points of performance remain the same.
31) Front Squat to a Box
Front squats to a box recruit the glutes more than a regular front squat. And because you will be standing from a dead stop it teaches you to also be explosive with the legs, similar to when you need to generate some extra club head speed for the course. You will need a bench or even a plyo box to sit to. But in the video tutorial we use mats which I find are more comfortable.
- All points of performance of the front squat apply.
- Set up the box so that it is right behind you. Be careful when first performing these.
- Send you hips back and then down as you sit to the box/bench/mats.
- Pause on the box/bench/mats for 1-2 seconds.
- Lean forward ever so slightly before contract the your glutes and hamstrings to initiate the movement off the bench.
- Drive your hips forward at the top and squeeze your glutes hard.
32) Banded Leg Extensions
Banded leg extensions are a cheaper version of the machine version. You will simply just need a resistance band and a bench.
- Loop the band around a stable structure.
- Sit on the bench with your back to the structure and place your ankles through the band.
- Then simply extend the bands until your legs are fully locked out.
- We typically program these at higher reps for our golfing clients.
Upper body exercises to increase clubhead speed.
As we saw with the data above, the upper body is not as crucial in generating club head speed as the lower body.
But you still need upper body exercises to increase club head speed.
As you start to generate more power with your legs, core, hips and glutes the upper body is the mechanism in which such power gets transferred to the golf club and finally the ball.
Don’t worry, you aren’t going to turn into an inflexible meat head.
33) Banded Push Downs
The banded push down focuses on the muscles in your triceps. These are typically performed for higher volume and repetitions.
- The banded push down focuses on the muscles in your triceps. These are typically performed for higher volume and repetitions.
- You can use a neutral, supinated or pronated grip for these. Mix them up because they work the tricep muscles in different ways.
- Loop the band overhead on a pull up bar or other stable object.
- The elbows will stay tight to the body not letting the arms sway.
- To perform the movement push the band down until your arms are at full extensions feeling the contraction in the tricep.
- At the bottom of the rep spread the band apart as shown in the tutorial video.
34) Barbell Bench Press
If you have ever been to the gym, you will be familiar with this one. In fact it happens to be very popular on Mondays when most people are at the gym and Fridays when most lunk heads like me want to get “a pump” before the weekend. Jokes aside here are the points of performance.
- Start with a grip that is slightly wider than shoulder width.
- Arms begin fully extended with the bar over your chest.
- Shoulders will remain in contact with the bench the entire time.
- As the barbell descends to the chest, feel as if your elbows move closer to the hips than your shoulders.
- Avoid having the elbows move outward.
- Lower the barbell down to the lower part of the chest.
- Forearms remain perpendicular to the ground.
- Complete the rep by pressing the barbell up to full extension of the arms.
35) Barbell Strict Press
The barbell strict press is an awesome exercise for the shoulders and triceps. In fact we use it regularly in our golf workout program.
- Grab the barbell with a full grip.
- It should be resting on your collar bone and shoulders.
- Your hands will be just outside the shoulders with elbows slightly in front of the bar.
- Place your feet hip width apart
- Focus on keeping your spine in a neutral position avoiding any hyperextension.
- Legs stay locked out the entire time.
- Press the barbell up overhead striving to keep it moving over the middle of the foot.
- The rep is complete at full arm extension.
36) Barbell Push Press
The barbell push press really is a full body exercise. It’s primary focus for golfers is the shoulders and triceps. But we will be using the legs and hips as well to get the barbell moving.
- Set your feet about hip width apart.
- The barbell will rest across your collar bone and shoulders.
- Elbows are slightly in front of the body.
- Maintain an upright torso as you dip down 2-3″.
- Extend the hips and legs before pressing the weight overhead.
- In the barbell push press you want to keep the barbell moving over your foot, hips and shoulders.
- The rep is complete when the elbows, legs, and shoulders are fully locked out.
37) Dual Dumbbell Bench Press
The dual dumbbell bench press strengthens the muscles in the chest, shoulders and triceps. You will need a bench and a pair of dumbbells.
- Start with a full grip on the dumbbells.
- The dumbbells will start just outside your chest.
- Shoulders will remain in contact with the bench the entire time.
- Press the weight straight up to lockout.
- Lower the weight down to the lower part of the chest keeping the elbow in tight.
- Strive to keep the forearms perpendicular to the ground.
38) Dumbbell Bicep Curls
The dumbbell bicep curl strengthens the muscles in the biceps. Nothing too complicated here.
- Keep your elbows in tight squeeze the bicep bringing the weight up to shoulder or eye level.
- Use as little body english as possible.
- These will typically be performed at higher rep volumes.
39) Dumbbell Lateral Raise
The dumbbell lateral raise can be done a number of ways. You will see versions that are a bit more strict where the dumbbells are more to your side. Other variations will have a bit more bend at the elbow. Either way the following standards on form should remain.
- Maintain good posture with a full grip on the dumbbells.
- Raise the dumbbells out to your side until they are at about shoulder to eye level.
- These are typically programmed at higher rep ranges as well.
40) Dumbbell Push Press
Similar to the barbell version, you will be using a little bit of leg drive to get the barbell moving in this one.
- Set up with the feet in a hip width stance.
- The dumbbells will rest on the shoulders with your elbows slightly in front of the body.
- Maintain an upright torso and dip down 2-3″.
- Extend the hips and legs before pressing the weight overhead.
- Keep the dumbbells moving over your foot, hips and shoulders.
- The rep is complete when the elbows, legs, and shoulders are fully locked out.
41) Dumbbell Skull Crushers
The dumbbell skull crusher strengthens the muscles in the triceps and is a great accessory movement that we use in our golf strength training pdf. You will need a pair of dumbbells and a bench.
- Lie down on the bench with the dumbbells above your head and arms locked out.
- Hinge at the elbows lowering the dumbbells to the side of your face before squeezing the triceps to return to the starting position.
- Focus on keeping your elbow steady as if they were a lever rather than letting them sway too much.
42) Single Arm Dumbbell Bench Press
I like this upper body exercise for golfers because it places an emphasis on your core and abdominal muscles due to the balance element that is required. You will be using one dumbbell and a bench.
- Lie on the bench with a full grip on one dumbbell rest the off hand on your abs.
- Place the dumbbell just outside your chest and keep the shoulders in contact with the bench.
- Press the weight straight up to lockout.
- Strive to not let the body sway from side to side.
- Lower the weight back down to the chest keeping the elbow in tight rather than letting it flare out.
43) Push Up
The pushup is one of the best exercises you can do to strengthen the chest, shoulders, arms and even the core.
- Start in a plank position with arms locked out and hands just outside the shoulders.
- To begin the movement, lower your chest and thighs to the ground.
- Return to the start position by pressing through the hands.
- Focus on keeping the elbows in tight and moving closer to your hips than outward to the side. This protects your shoulder.
- Keep the core tight, not letting the hips sag.
- The rep is complete at full arm extension.
Upper back strengthening exercises for more club head speed.
Some of these can be found in our post on back exercises for golfers but we included a few new ones here.
In chapter 1, we showed upper back exercises such as pull ups have a higher correlation to club head speed than most other exercises.
This chapter many other upper back exercises to increase club head speed and swing speed.
44) Pull Up
One of the best exercises for the upper back to increase club head speed is the basic pull up. And we showed above that pull up strength had a higher correlation to club head speed than most exercises. We are going to review the full range of motion.
- Begin by gripping a pullup bar with an overhand grip.
- Your grip should be shoulder width or slightly wider.
- Your legs will be straight and knees locked out the entire time.
- You will start with arms fully extended.
- Pull with the arms and upper back, retracting your elbows down.
- The rep is complete when the chin is over the bar.
- Lower yourself returning back to arms fully extended.
- Many will not have the requisite strength so our post on back exercises for golfers has some scales such as the banded pull up below.
45) Banded Pull Up
Banded pull ups are an awesome movement to improve your upper back strength. We include them in the list because many people wont have the requisite strength to perform a regular pull up.
- To set up loop a band around a pull up bar.
- If you need more assistance use a thicker band.
- Step one foot into the band
- Grab the pull up bar slightly wider than shoulder width.
- From here perform the points of performance of a regular pull up apply.
- One caveat. When you step out of the band. Make sure you have a secure footing on a box or bench before you take your other foot out of the band
46) Renegade Rows
We could have included this in our list of upper body exercises because it also strengthens the chest, arms and core. But we put it here due to the pulling motion.
- You will begin in a plank position with a dumbbell in each hand.
- Perform a single arm dumbbell row on each side.
- Focus on keeping the core nice and tight.
- You want to keep your body in as straight line as possible from your legs up through your shoulders and avoid the hips being too high.
- Some versions you will see a push up added at the end of the rep.
47) Banded Bent Over Row
The banded bent over row will really isolate the upper and mid back areas.
- Fold a band in half and stand in the middle of it.
- Grab one end in each hand.
- Weight remains in the heels and back is nice and flat.
- Pull the band towards your torso with your arms and back muscles.
- Use as little body english as possible.
48) Banded Rows
The banded row is similar to the bent over rows but you will be sitting on the ground for these. These can be done at home as well.
- Set up by sitting on the floor with your legs together and straight in front of you.
- Fold the band in half and place it under the arches of your feet.
- Grab an end in each hand.
- Your torso will be nice and upright with shoulder blades back.
- Pull the bands to your torso using as little “body english” as possible.
49) Banded Pull Apart
The banded pull apart should be performed in a slow and controlled manner. It works the muscles in the upper back such as the rhomboids and traps as well as the real deltoids of the shoulders. You will need a light band for these.
- Make sure to keep constant tension on the band rather than losing tensions when the hands are closer together.
- The grip is set about shoulder width apart.
- Arms are straight out in front.
- Keeping the arms straight and pull the band apart.
- The band should touch your body right at the mid chest.
- Return to the starting position in a slow and controlled manner.
50) Banded Lat Pull Downs
Banded lat pull downs are a great exercise for the upper back and a nice movement to build up pull up strength as well. This is also a much cheaper alternative than the cable machine version. But if your gym has a lat pulldown machine then use that. In our version you will only need bands and a PVC pipe.
- To get set up, loop the bands around a pull up bar placing the PVC in the bands.
- Take a full grip on the bar just outside shoulder width.
- Pull the bar down, using the arms and back to retract the shoulders back and down.
- The rep is finished when the PVC is below the chin.
- If you want to spice it up, pull the PVC pipe down to your chest.
51) Straight Arm Banded Pull Downs
The straight arm banded pull down works the muscles in the upper back. We will be pulling for this one but the arms will remain straight the entire time. You will really feel this in your lats.
- To set up, loop the band around a pull up bar and place a PVC pipe in the.
- Using an overhand grip place your hands shoulder width or slightly wider apart.
- Keep your shoulders back with arms and back straight.
- The PVC will begin at about eye level or slightly lower.
- Feel as if you are doing a butterfly stroke and engage the back & lats to bring the PVC down to waist level.
- Return back to the starting position.
- Try not to lose tension in the band.
52) Double Dumbbell Rows
The double dumbbell row is a nice isometric movement that strengthen the upper back.
- Begin with a dumbbell in each hand.
- The arms will start fully extended.
- Bend at the hips
- Keep the lower back nice and flat.
- Your weight will remain in your heels.
- Pull the dumbbells to your torso using as little body english as possible.
53) Single Arm Bent Over Rows
You may need a bench to perform the single arm bent over row.. But you can also lean against the dumbbell rack. Try to stay super strict on these and only use your back and arms rather than swaying with the body.
- You want to set up by forming a nice tripod with one knee on the bench, one arm holding yourself out in front and the other foot planted on the ground.
- Try to have your back parallel to the floor and as flat as possible like a table top.
- The single arm row begins with the arm fully extended.
- Pull the dumbbells up to your chest holding for a half second.
- Return to the start position by lowering the weight back down.
54) Inverted Barbell Row
We use this movement with our clients quite a bit to build upper body strength in the back and arms. You will need a barbell and a squat rack. Set the barbell in the rack so that you are pulling the bar into the rack. The difficulty level will depend on the height of the bar as well as the position of your feet. The more horizontal your body position is, the harder the movement will be.
- Grip the bar slightly wider than shoulder width apart.
- You can use an underhand or overhand grip. Mix things up from time to time.
- Keep your torso nice and straight.
- Heels remain on the ground. Feel free to use some weights as a foot rest so you don’t slip.
- Pull with the arms and back until the the bar hits the bottom of the chest before returning to the start position.
Core exercises to increase club head speed.
Many of the exercises in this chapter are taken from our original post on core strengthening exercises for golfers.
We even added a few to it.
There is a high correlation between club head speed and rotational exercises that mimic the golf swing.
You don’t need an expensive cable machines to perform them.
We got you covered with some very good alternatives.
You can now spend that extra $$$ on some new Pro V’s!
Let’s get to it!
55) Abmat Situps
The abmat situp is a great place to start when building up some core strength to improve your swing speed. Use an abmat or a rolled up towel to fit between the floor and your lumbar curve.
- Sit on the floor.
- You can have your feet together or underneath a pair of dumbbells.
- I like to keep the arms extended in front of my body as shown in the video but some like to rest them across the chest.
- Brace your core and sit up until your shoulders are stacked over your hips.
- Lower yourself back down until your shoulder blades touch the ground.
56) Reverse Crunches
To perform the reverse crunch you will need a stable object such as a kettlebell or dumbbell to hold onto.
- Lay face up on the ground gripping the kettlebell that is behind your head.
- Extend the legs keeping them hovering off the ground.
- Make sure that when your legs are extended, you are also exhaling and the core is nice and tight.
- From here attempt to bring your knees to your elbows and in the process you will roll your lower back up slightly.
- Hold the top of the rep for a half second before returning to the start position.
57) Deadbugs + Reverse Crunch
We will be combining two movements here. The set up is the same as the reverse crunch so we won’t repeat.
- For this one you will only extend one leg at a time and alternate legs.
- So lying on the ground, extend one leg keeping the other knee tucked into your chest.
- Attempt to bring both knees to your elbows and in the process you will roll your lower back up slightly.
- Hold the top of the rep for a half second before alternating legs.
58) Abs with a Plate Switch
Abs with a plate switch will really test the stability of your core. It is a very dynamic movement that requires coordination and balance sowe love it for golfers looking to build on their core strength.
- Start by sitting on the floor with a small 2.5-5lbs plate in one hand.
- Start in a hollow body position which means your legs will be slightly extended and the plate is out to the side.
- Then we move into flexion by raising your torso up and tucking the knees.
- As you move into flexion, pass the plate underneath your knees to the other hand.
- Move back to a hollow body position with the weight plate in the other hand.
- This one can be difficult to explain via text so watch the video.
59) RKC Planks
Planks are one of the few static exercises to increase club head speed that we program for our golfers. It develops some basic core strength and balance that will benefit your golf swing.
- Setup with your forearms and toes in contact with the ground.
- Keep the core braced and your body in a straight line from toes to shoulders.
- You want to avoid the hips being too high or low. You want to maintain a straight line from shoulders to toes. You will hold for a set amount of time before resting and repeating.
60) Banded Low to High Rotations
OK now for some rotational work which as we showed is an exercise that has a very high correlation with club head speed.
- Setup up by looping a band around a support beam or column.
- Keep the core engaged the entire time.
- This movement is harder than it looks so be prepared.
- Use an overhand grip about shoulder width apart on the bands.
- Brace your core and extend the arms down to one hip.
- Rotate up and to your opposite side.
- Focus on using your core and not your arms to rotate.
- Exhale at the top of each rep.
- You can also switch this up going from a high to low position.
61) Landmine Rotations
We like these landmine rotations because there is a bit of a weighting component to strengthen the core and obliques which are vital to creating clubhead speed.
- Wedge a barbell into a stable corner making sure it is nice and secure.
- Keep the barbell in front of your torso as you rotate side to side.
- Keep the abs tight and the feet stable.
- You can pivot the feet in this one.
- Landmine rotations really challenge the core to move dynamically through the movement similar to the golf swing.
62) Banded Rotations
You have probably seen cable machine rotations from other posts but this version only requires a resistance band.
- Anchor your band to a stable object in your gym.
- Grip the open end with a double overhand grip about shoulder width apart.
- Keep your core engaged with your gaze to the horizon.
- Rotate the core with extended arms keeping it engaged the whole time.
- Repeat each side.
63) Russian Twists
You are probably familiar with these. Russian twists are a popular rotational exercises for golfers.
- Begin in a seated position with the chest and legs elevated.
- Your body should resemble a “V”.
- Holds a dumbbell or medicine ball or weight plate in your hands
- Twists your upper body and tap the weight to the ground as you rotate to each side.
- Repeat on the opposite side.
64) Russian Twist with Med Ball Toss
In this version we will be performing a Russian twist and tossing the the med ball against the wall. This is a great exercise to increase clubhead speed because of the weighted tossing component.
- Begin in a seated position next to a wall.
- The chest and legs are elevated in a hollow body position.
- You will need a medicine ball for this one.
- Perform a Russian twist tapping the weight ball to the ground but when you rotate towards the wall you will toss it against the wall.
- Catch the ball and repeat.
- Perform an equal amount on both sides.
65) Half Kneeling Rotational Throws
The half kneeling rotational throw is similar to the previous movement but you will be in a kneeling position next to the wall.
- Begin with one knee on the ground and the other foot is flat.
- You want the forward leg to be the one that is closest to the wall.
- From here grab your medicine ball and rotate away from the wall using your core rather than the arms.
- Rotate towards the wall and toss the medicine ball against the wall.
- Keep your core braced the entire time.
- To get the most out of these rotational exercises to increase clubhead speed make sure you perform them on both sides so you don’t create imbalances.
66) Rotational Med Ball Throws
Now we will be working from a standing position and tossing a medicine ball against a wall. We will be adding in a rotational component as well to help boost club head speed.
- Standing a few feet from the wall grasp a medicine ball in front of your chest.
- Brace your core and rotate towards the wall.
- As you rotate to the wall release the ball throwing it against the wall.
- Make sure that you are using your core rather than your arms to toss the ball.
67) Medicine Ball Rainbow Slams
The Medicine Ball Rainbow Slam challenges the core, arms and legs with one big movement. Most fitness levels are able to perform them, we just vary the weighting component. This also has the added benefit of being one of those exercises to increase clubhead speed that you can perform when you are frustrated with your putting. You will see what I mean in a moment.
- Grasp a medicine ball and stand with your feet a little wider than shoulder width apart.
- Extend the arms overhead while holding the ball.
- Quickly rotate your torso to one side (i.e. right) and slam the ball on the ground outside of your right foot without letting go of the ball.
- To do the movement correctly, squat down and use your hips and legs as much as possible.
- Avoid this movement becoming all arms.
- On the rebound, stand back up and take the ball back overhead.
- Without pausing at the top, keep going and slam the medicine ball outside your other foot (i.e. left foot).
- Remember to rotate your torso to the left and squat down again.
- Repeat back and forth forming a rainbow motion.
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Holy cow that was a long list!
Let me hear what you think!
Are there some exercises to increase club head speed that we missed?
Leave a comment below!