Golfer’s Guide to Best Leg Exercises for Power

If you’ve been playing golf for quite a while now, you may know the importance of leg control. Legs are one of the largest muscle groups of the body and they are the primary source of force during a swing.

To improve your distance, control, and overall handicap, there’s no alternative to building strong legs. So, in this post, we’ve got some of the golf leg workouts. Some of them are done at the gym while others can be managed at home. Whatever your preference is, our goal was to make the most balanced workout list.

Resource: Step by Step Golf Practice Routines + Training System

Best Golf Leg Workouts

In this section, we’re going to look at the actual workouts. We’ll see what benefits they have and how you can perform them.

1. Romanian Deadlifts

These are still deadlifts, but with lighter weights. Powerlifters heavily rely on deadlift exercises to increase their overall power. And when you tweak it for golf, you get stronger legs. Otherwise known as Hip Hinges, this exercise can also target your hips and stabilize the movements, giving you a better shot at transferring the power to your golf club.

How to Perform:

  1. To perform Romanian Deadlift or RDL, get a barbell rod to begin with. The idea is to use a weight so that you can feel it hanging from your arms.
  2. In the starting position, keep your chest and shoulders open. Stand still by gripping the barbell bar in its neutral position. Your hands should be at shoulder width.
  3. Slowly bend your knees to drop the weight. Don’t go below the knee for the first rep as it can cause muscle soreness.
  4. Gradually increase the distance and go up to mid-shin. Always keep your back in its natural arch position.
  5. You can increase the weight gradually if you’re comfortable. This exercise is more about control rather than raw power.

2. Mini Band Walk Forward

This is a fun one. You can do it in your home or at the park or even at the gym. It’s truly your choice. You’re basically putting a mini resistance band around your ankles and walking. The band will restrict your motion of range, compelling you to use more power while walking.

While the action looks so simple, this exercise has many hidden benefits. For example, along with your strengthening your calf muscles, it also targets your glutes. And when you have to force your way into walking, you develop faster speeds in leg movement. It can be crucial when you’re shifting the weight from back foot to front during a swing.

How to Perform:

  1. Get a simple mini-band. Make sure that it’s suitable for your height. The band shouldn’t be too loose or too tight to walk.
  2. Put the bank around the ankles.
  3. Start walking.
  4. Over time, you can introduce another band and put it just over your keens to increase the stimulation.

Resource: Best Golf Fitness Program for Beginners

3. Box Jumps

You may have seen this exercise being performed hundreds of times. It’s a popular choice for a TV show or movie montages. Jokes apart, this is a seriously effective exercise for all athletes. The amount of agility it can offer is compared to none!

Box jumps target almost all major muscle groups in your body. Especially the glutes and the hamstrings fortify over time. The result is an explosive downswing. The resistance from the jumps compresses your spine and strengthens your core as well.

How to Perform:

  1. Get a box or an obstacle at least 12 inches high. It’s just the beginning height. You can increase it up to 36 inches depending on your experience, and confidence.
  2. Get into comfortable clothing. Skip anything that you might get tripped with. Baggy pants and loosely laced shoes are off limits!
  3. Start jumping. Get on top of the box with one jump. Get back down. Keep your knees soft during landing. Otherwise, you may hurt your joints!
  4. You can practice this exercise with one leg as well. Or, switch it up from time to time to build a more balanced lower body profile.
  5. Increase the reps as you build more strength and stamina.

4. Lateral Band Walks

Remember the mini-band walking exercise. Lateral band walks are very similar. The only difference is that you’ll be walking sideways instead of forward.

However, it targets a different set of muscles this time. Glutes medius and surrounding muscles to be precise. It looks very funny and easy until you try it. Believe us when we say this, you won’t see it coming!

How to Perform:

  1. Get a mini band following the same rules as before.
  2. Put the band around your ankles. We’re leaving the knee band out for this one. If you’re confident and strong enough, you can try it.
  3. Now, start walking. Put your hands on your waist and move sideways. Cover both sides with equal repetitions.
  4. Focus on the strain you put on your glutes and hips rather than how tiring it is. Remember, the focus is the way to go when it comes to any exercise.

5. Hip Crossovers

This is one of those exercises that you can do lying down on your bed. Although if you have a very soft mattress, you should consider getting a yoga mat.

Hip Crossovers target the rotation and the sync between your upper body and lower body. You’ll twist your body in both directions in a controlled manner. At the beginning of the exercise, it may feel like your core is burning. But you need to power through the moves.

How to Perform:

  1. Lie flat on a surface on your workout clothes.
  2. Fold your knees and place your feet flat on the ground. Put your hands on either side of your body as anchors.
  3. Life your feet slightly from the ground and twist. Twist on both sides but don’t give in the gravity. Stop the twist when you’re near the ground and turn to the other side. Increase the reps as you get comfortable.

Resource: Best Golf Fitness Program for Beginners

6. Inverted Hamstring Stretch

Hamstring exercises have always been deemed as an amazing accessory to core exercises although they’re not connected. But hamstrings help to fire the core muscles. That’s why strengthening yours is important for your downswing.

This stretching exercise is known among athletes who are serious about their posture. It’s a relatively difficult workout to perform, it can help retain your posture once mastered.

How to Perform:

  1. Stand straight and spread your hands on both sides of your body like wings.
  2. Lift one leg backward and fold your body from the waist forward. At the end of this posture, your back and your lifted leg should be in line.
  3. Repeat the same process with your other leg.
  4. It’s best to perform this exercise in sets. You can create your own combination for the right leg and the left leg.

7. Lateral Squat

Another very simple yet very effective exercise for the golfers out there. Athletes often include lateral squat in their workout routine because it helps you achieve balance in a way you never thought was possible.

It stretches the hip adductors, the hamstrings, the glutes, and the groin muscle all at once. You can call it an overall lower body exercise instead of just a leg workout. All of the muscle groups help you fire your explosive shots like drives and irons.

How to Perform:

  1. Stand with your legs at shoulder width. Get into whatever position you’re comfortable with during your weightless regular squats. If you’ve never done a squat before, you can try fisting both of your hands together at your chest.
  2. Do a squat but one leg at a time. Spread one leg away and fold the other leg. You can practice it in front of a mirror to see if it looks like a martial arts pose!

Resource: How to Score in the 70’s Golf Training Plan

8. Backward Lunge

Lunges are one of the greatest exercises for strengthening your glutes. It’s probably done at every gym in the world! But for the golf variant, you’re going to do a slightly tweaked version of the exercise.

The backward lunges can improve your flexibility for the swing. You’ll be placing your back foot on a slightly inward angle instead of directly behind. So, it mimics the follow through position of the swing to an extent.

How to Perform:

  1. Stand in your regular lunge position. If you’ve never done a lunge before, stand with your legs slightly inside the shoulder.
  2. Take your left foot and place it as close to the right leg as you can but behind it instead of in front of it.
  3. Sit down as you would do with regular lunges. It might feel extremely hard at the beginning. But if you keep doing it, you’ll generally have more swing speeds thanks to the increased flexibility.

Final Words

Your legs are assets if you consider yourself a serious golfer. And it’s your responsibility to build up the strength and agility to improve your gameplay. In this post, we’ve created a balanced list of both gym specific and at home leg workouts for you. You can mix and match to create your custom routine as well.

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Thanks for reading today’s article!

Nick Foy – Golf Instructor

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