The Most Efficient Golf Workout EVER!

I’ve been very fortunate over the past several months to be in touch with some of the best fitness professionals in the golf world. Between my time out in California a few weeks back at the World Golf Fitness Summit and the 13 podcast interviews I’ve done so far on the 18STRONG Podcast, I’ve been able to tap into the brains of these very accomplished professionals.

It is my intention that I learn and absorb as much as possible from people like this, and then take that information and relay it to you.  With so many great conversations, believe me, there has been a lot learned and therefore, lots of information to process and pass on.

The Greatest Golf Workout Ever

Today, I want to share with you one of the simplest and yet most effective pieces of advice that I got from Dr. Mark Smith in episode 004.  And it has to do with the most efficient golf workout EVER.

You see, Mark and I both work with very busy individuals.  We are also very busy individuals ourselves. So, when I asked him about his personal workouts and some of the stuff he does with his clients, his answer was so simple, yet enlightening.

Instead of getting super complicated with sets, reps, periodization schemes, corrective exercises and the like, Mark said, basically if I’m in a hurry and don’t have much time or equipment, I make sure I do 5 things in a workout (and he does the same with his clients if appropriate).

Those 5 things are:

  1. Push something
  2. Pull something
  3. Squat
  4. Deadlift
  5. Lunge

That’s it?

Long story short, yes!  It’s so simple, yet it entails some of the more thought out principles that we tend to lack in “mainstream” fitness programs, and especially golf fitness programs.

If you have read any of the other articles on, you have probably noticed that I am a big fan of balanced workouts that entail bigger compound  movements rather than small isolated exercises.  That’s exactly what this has.

You’ll also notice that the exercises compliment each other nicely in regards to balancing out sides of the body and opposing motions (ie. push vs pull; squat vs deadlift).  Then, by throwing in the lunges, there is a unilateral component for the lower body that pretty much covers all of the basics.

What About the “Guns” and Abs?

There is definitely a place for some ab work in a good routine, but when you are in a time crunch and you want to get the most out of your trip to the gym, let the big exercises provide the stimulation to the abs.  You don’t need to spend 15 of your 30 minutes doing planks and crunches.

If you are correctly doing these other 5 exercises, believe me, you will use your abs and “core” to stabilize yourself while moving the weight.  Save the ab routine for another day when you have some spare time at the end of your workout.

And as for the “guns” (ie. the biceps and triceps), get these out of your head as being important for your “golf fitness” routine.  Yes, we all like to have a little swell in the arms and see the sleeves on the shirt expand a little, but in regard to the hierarchy of importance for your real fitness level and golf game, I put them at the bottom of the totem pole.

How is this a Golf Workout?

Well, to many, it would seem that this has no golf components to it at all.  That is true to some extent.  But in the words of world renowned physical therapist and strength coach Charlie Wiengroff, your golf fitness program doesn’t have to be “golfish.”  Your workouts should improve the function, strength, power and speed of your body, or as Charlie put it, your “General Physical Preparedness.”  That means doing exercises that impact your athletic ability, not simply mimicking your swing.

In other words, please don’t be that the guy in the corner of the gym doing an array of exercises that all look like a golf swing while decked out in your Puma Golf gear and backwards Titleist hat.   We’ve learned that there are more effective ways.  Learn how to move properly. Get stronger. And see the results.

Just 5 Things

So in conclusion, take Dr. Smith’s advice.  If you’re in a crunch, work the things that will give you the most benefit in a more efficient way.  Think bigger, more compound movements to engage as much as possible in a short period of time.  Implement these 5 things:

  1. Push something
  2. Pull something
  3. Squat
  4. Deadlift
  5. Lunge.

If I could add just one more thing to the end of that, it would be Sprint!  And if you want to know more about that, Dr. Smith just happens to be an expert in the High Intensity Interval research, so you should probably check out his interview for that reason as well!

As always, thanks for reading.  If this was helpful, please share it with your buddies!

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