shoulder exercises for golfers

10 Best Shoulder Exercises for Golfers (Faster Golf Swing)

Top 10 Golf Shoulder Exercises (for Faster Golf Swing Speed)

Here are some exercises that golfers can practice for the flexibility, strength, and painless shoulder swing.

Check out additional articles on our website for other muscles like your core, legs, biceps, chest, etc.

And we also have a practice program that has fitness training in addition to step by step practice routines for the driving range and putting green. Learn more about these practices here.

#1: Simple shoulder stretch

This is a very simple shoulder exercise that you can do in the middle of the game when you notice your shoulders are wasting you. You can also do it immediately the game starts or after the game to relax your shoulder muscles.

How to do it

  • Put your right arm across your chest and the right hand towards the left shoulder, but the elbow at chest level.
  • Place your left palm on the elbow of your right and hand pull towards the chest.
  • Hold there for about 10 to 15 seconds then switch to the opposite side.

#2: Open shoulder stretch

Before you start the game, you need to open up the shoulders by stretching them. You should do this to improve the range of motion in the joints around your shoulder. This stretch is suitable before or after the tee shot.

How to do it

  • Hold your golf club on both hands with each gripping the end of the club
  • Lift the club forward and over your head ensuring your elbows are straight
  • Stretch your shoulders while moving your arms backward until you can feel some tension on the front of your shoulders
  • Hold for 10 to 20 seconds and repeat two to three times

#3: Shoulder turn

Your shoulder should be able to move correctly for you to pull out a powerful swing. You need a simple shoulder turn exercise to train your shoulders to turn correctly during a swing.

How to do it

  • Take a small iron and an exercise band
  • One end of the band should be under the right foot and the other end held in the grip
  • Exercise your regular golf swing, and as you make the turn, you should feel some increased tension in the shoulders
  • Repeat with about 10 to 15 reps
  • Change the length and the position of the band and repeat the process to put the same tension on other muscles in the shoulder.

#4: Standing Shoulder Press

This exercise is performed while standing with two small dumbbells.

How to do it

  • Have two dumbbells in your hands, stand straight and put your palms facing the front
  • Push the dumbbells upward while you twist your body to the right.
  • Ensure your arms are stretched fully, stop for a few seconds and lower the dumbbells down then turn to the original position
  • Turn right 6 reps and left also 6 reps
  • Repeat the process three times

Resource: Step by Step Golf Practice Routines + Training System

#5: Bench Lift

This exercise helps create a range of motion for your shoulder to enable it to operate at an optimal level during your swing. This bench lift exercise is done on a front shoulder stretch. It is an easy and effective exercise to help stretch your shoulders for a powerful swing.

How to do it

  • Lie on a weight bench with small dumbbells in each hand.
  • Ensure your elbow is at a 90-degree angle and move them down until your hands are next to your hips
  • Alternate the arms and ensure you complete 10 reps on each arm
  • You should feel some tension in the front of each shoulder

#6: Shoulder Wall Slides

Upper back and shoulder mobility restrictions can negatively affect your game if you don’t correct them. You need this exercise to help flex your shoulders and allow you to perform an effortless swing.

How to do it

  • With your feet 6 to 12 inches away, stand with your back to the wall
  • Ensure your head, shoulders and butt are against the wall without arching your back
  • Put your elbows and forearms against the wall
  • Slide your arms up and down in a slow and controlled motion
  • While moving downward, pinch your shoulder blades together so that you get as much range as possible
  • Perform 3 sets repeating each 15 times

#7: Sword Pulls

Shoulder rotation helps you move swiftly as you swing the club. Their exercise helps with external shoulder rotation helping golfers maintain the club’s correct plane at the top of their backswing.

How to do it

  • In a golf posture, hold a dumbbell with your right hand and place your left hand behind your back
  • Rotate the shoulders internally so that your right hands’ thump points to the left hip
  • Extend the weight away from your body and rotate the shoulder externally allowing the thumb to point behind you
  • Repeat 15 times in 3 sets

Resource: Step by Step Golf Practice Routines + Training System

#8: Cable Wood Chops

Chop wood exercises mimic the motion of a golf swing and are great to strengthen and increase the mobility of your shoulders and back.

How to do it

  • On an adjustable cable machine, ensure you attach a handle on the top setting
  • With your feet shoulder-width apart, stand next to the machine
  • Extend your arms and grab the handle with your hands up above your shoulder
  • Ensure you extend your arms fully and pull the handle down across your body to the opposite side
  • Make the exercise as fast and explosive as possible and ensure you perform 3 sets with 10 repetitions on each side

#9: High-to-low rows

This is a neck and shoulder rehabilitation exercise that you can perform with the band either at home or the gym.

How to do it

  • Attach a resistant band to a sturdy object above the shoulder height. Ensure you secure it well so that it doesn’t loosen up
  • Get on your knees so that it is in opposite alignment with your arm. Ensure your body and the lowered knee are aligned, and the other hand is on the raised knee.
  • Hold the band securely with your arm outstretched and pull the elbow towards your body
  • Ensure you keep your back straight and squeeze your shoulder blades together while pulling the band
  • Repeat the process 10 times in 3 sets

Read: Best Core Exercises for Power

#10: Shoulder External Rotation

This is an external rotation of the shoulder that is initiated by the rotator cuff muscles. These are muscles which support the shoulder during a golf swing.

It is also one of the most injured muscles if not properly stretched. This exercise is done using a rotator cuff.

How to do it

  • Attach the tubing at waist height on a stationary object like the door
  • Face sideways to the door in a way that your left arm id farthest away
  • Grab the door handle with your left arm with your arm facing your abdomen. Ensure your elbow remains in a bending position into the waist through the movement
  • Hold the other end of the tubing with your right hand and shorten the tube until you feel some tension on your left side
  • With your body standing still, rotate back your shoulder and open up your other arm so that your left arm pulls the tubing from the door and pivoting your elbow
  • Keep your wrist straight with the elbow at the waist and ensure your arm does not move from your body

How Are Shoulder Muscles Used in the Golf Swing?

Shoulders are very critical for the golf swing and especially important for a fast golf swing speed (watch video above).

Every movement of the arm be it up, down, inwards, outwards, slow or fast, involves the muscle activity of the arm and shoulder muscle.

Research shows that shoulders generate around 20 percent of your total clubhead speed. To come up with a good swing, your shoulders should be flexible enough to turn properly when you swing.

Strong and flexible shoulder muscles enable the arm to turn and stretch well behind the head through the backswing. It also allows you to have a solid follow-through and finish the swing. A combination of flexibility and solid backswing is the secret to a consistent and powerful golf swing.

Because the shoulder itself is a ball and socket joint, you need to be very careful when exercising it so that you do not overstrain and expose yourself to injury instead of fitness.

Golf Practice System for Lower Scores

Learn the exact golf practice routines thousands of students at Foy Golf Academy are using to lower their golf scores.

Follow these step by step practice plans and watch video lessons to learn how to improve your golf swing, chipping, and putting fundamentals.

Get access to hundreds of golf drills to practice as well as content on the mental side of golf, fitness plans, worksheets, and many more resources. This is a complete golf practice system.

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Nick Foy, Instructor

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