Fitness - Strength For Golf Pocketshots

Man lifting weights over his head with a black shirtRamsay was a world leader in the field of Golf Physiotherapy. As director of the Melbourne Golf Injury Clinic he gave golf specific programs to over 5,000 golfers. A consultant to individual players on every Tour in the world (11 Tours) and a consultant Physiotherapist to US, British, Irish, Australian and New Zealand PGAs amongst others. This is the first of two Pocketshot editions on getting fit for golf. In this edition he covers how to strengthen the correct muscles for better golf.



Man doing bicep curls in a black shirtIs your Gym work destroying your golf?
Many golfers are unaware of the muscle groups they should be training to enhance golf performance and in fact the great majority are actually using the wrong muscle groups and poor technique within the gym environment. These faults can not only cause injury but also can effect performance and can impair good swing biomechanics.
Most club golfers (and even a few professionals!) still think that they need to ‘bulk-up’ and build the big muscles of the upper body in order to have the strength necessary to belt the ball a long way. In fact, this couldn’t be further from the truth!

You do not need to be built like Arnold Schwarzenegger to hit the ball a long way!

‘Bulking-up’ using heavy resistance exercises can lead to hypertrophy and make achieving a decent swing position difficult.Man practising holding a golf club in a gym


Is your Gym work destroying your golf?

Bicep curls, chest press, pec deck and overhead weights are completely the wrong exercises for golf. You should avoid them at all costs. If the weights are too big and the body cannot handle the pressure, the muscles will make compensations to perform the movement, which will lead to a detrimental effect on the golf swing.


Ramsay’s tips

  •  Weight training using cables with resistance is beneficial. They work the muscles in different planes and you must ensure they don’t mimic the movements of the golf swing as this can have detrimental effects on the golf swing taught by a PGA pro!
  • More emphasis should be placed on working the triceps, rotator cuff and lower abdominals as these muscles are vital in a golf swing
  • Isometric (or holding) contractions have also been shown to be beneficial - this is where you tone the muscle groups up/tensing them and actively increasing their tone without moving.


    Many amateurs think doing sit-ups will strengthen their core muscles, and they either perform these incorrectly, in isolation or sometimes coupled with press-ups.

    My advice to golfers is not to perform sit-ups as they will develop the upper abdominals, which will increase the chances of a Kyphosis (rounded posture in the shoulders and upper back) developing in the thoracic region of the spine.  This can cause issues in address position as illustrated.

    If you enjoyed this Fitness Pocketshot, have a look at our Fitness - Get Fit For Golf Pocketshot.