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Strength Training For Golf

We see a lot of golfers at Made 2 Move Daniel Island and Summerville. One of our Doctors is TPI Certified which allows her to have a deeper understanding of golf and back pain. Back pain during or after a round of golf is one of the most common struggles for golfers of all ages and levels. The game requires multiple repetitions of high rotational speeds and great force production to drive the ball off the tee and the fairway. Mobility and strength deficits, faulty posture at initial setup, and training errors often contribute to back pain.

At Made2Move, we work with many golfers to tackle pain that is limiting their swings and improve longevity. Follow along with our tips to equip your body for a successful and consistent, pain-free golf swing!

What should you be doing to optimize your movement pattern and better tolerate the loads and demands of golf?

  1. Warm up before you tee up! Whether you are on the range or getting ready to play a full 18, you need to prep your body for the movement you are going to ask it to produce. 5-10 minutes of a dynamic warm up is sufficient. Warm up at the driving range, in the locker room, or while trying to “stay warm” during slow play. A few movements you can try out with your golf club include:

    • Overhead squat

    • Thoracic rotation with your club across your chest in your 5-iron set up stance

    • Split squat lunge with rotation

    • Hip hinge or single leg deadlift with your club across your back

  1. Improve your mobility. There are an infinite amount of ways to swing a club based on what you are physically capable of doing and what you are trying to achieve. Finding the most efficient way, and being able to reproduce it multiple times, is essential for a successful golf game. A lack of mobility at the hips, thoracic spine, and shoulders can all contribute to compensations at the low back. Creating adequate range of motion at each of these joints will allow for a more efficient movement pattern. Follow along with our Made2Move instagram page for exercises to improve mobility at each of these joints!

  1. Strengthen your back!!! Adding in strengthening exercises will not only increase your capacity to tolerate higher loads across many positions and movements, but it will allow you to feel more prepared and confident. This may include exercises such as...

    • Jefferson curls forwards, and with rotation

    • Any form of a hip hinge, including RDL’s, single RDL’s, deadlifts, and good mornings

    • Supermans!

    • Bent over row with dumbbells or barbell

  1. Last but not least, manage load through practice and play volumes. Give your body enough time to recover and adapt positively to the demands you are placing on it.

What if your back starts hurting during a round of golf? Wondering whether or not you should keep playing through it?

Don’t panic! Back pain is common, and soreness/achiness are both completely normal. Our spines are meant to MOVE and LOAD. Rather than pain being the result of actual tissue damage, pain often comes on when we are weaker than the repetitive demands we are placing on those structures.

Ask yourself, is the pain tolerable? Tolerable, meaning pain stays at or under a 3/10 pain level. If you answered yes, you might consider continuing to play and swing at a tolerable level. Some discomfort is okay.

If pain continues to increase during and after play, less awesome. It is reasonable to back off here. You may need to modify by sticking to chipping or putting at the range while things calm down. This is where supplementing rehab can be helpful. Our body responds positively to stress. The right amount of stress is needed to catalyze healing. Start with some gentle movements, such as cat cow mobility, lower trunk rotations, or a forward fold.

Consider other important factors for optimal recovery. How are your sleep, nutrition, and stress levels?

→ Are you fueling yourself before and after a round of golf?

→ Are you getting between 7-9 hours of GOOD quality sleep a night?

→ Are you incorporating stress management techniques to control life stressors?

If you are struggling with back pain, we encourage you to seek out a TPI medical professional! A TPI certified medical professional can evaluate your movement patterns combining their anatomical and biomechanical knowledge with the TPI assessment screen. At Made 2 Move, we have our very own Doctor of Physical Therapy who is TPI Certified! Dr. Kayla would love to get a chance to set up an evaluation with you so that you can get back on the course and feel like yourself again! Contact us at or call us at 843-640-5244!


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