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6 exercises using resistance bands for more distance

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Featured Writer Jaacob Bowden

In a previous article, I wrote about how you can build functional speed into your golf swing over several weeks by practicing swinging faster, and using resistance bands to perform downswing band isometrics.

Most amateurs and even professionals don’t work on their speed at all, so when you simply put in a little bit of effort to gain speed, you can make very quick improvements.

If you’re hungry for more distance, here are 6 additional exercises that you can add into your routine to continue building strength and speed to your golf swing.

Note: I’m showing these exercises with resistance bands, which are great if you travel a lot and want to be consistent with the equipment you are using. However, if you always work out in the same place and have access to a Keiser Infinity Series Cable Machine or other similar cable machine, those are OK to use too.

Wood Chops

GolfResistanceBands

Anchor your bands up high, go toward the top of your back swing and stretch the bands/cables down to an impact position.

Do a set of 2 reps (yes, only 2!) and then switch yourself around to do the same for the opposite side. Perform 3 sets and make sure that on the last set you work up to as much resistance as you can safely control and try to set a new strength max while still using your golf posture.

We want to build useable strength and not “hit it out of bounds” strength.

Decline Chest Flyes

GolfExercise

For the chest and the “pushing/throwing” part of your golf swing, repeat the same thing as above but use only the trail arm from your downswing versus using both arms.

Cross-Body Lat Pull Down

GolfStrengthTo focus on your back and lats and your golf swing “pull,” do a cycle using the lead arm from your downswing.

Triceps Extensions

GolfBands

Work your triceps by grabbing the band/cable handle with your rear hand and extend your triceps into your impact position.

Lateral Raises

GolfDistance

To strengthen your trail side deltoid, shoulder, and back, position the band/cable down low, grab the handle in your setup position with your trail hand, and pull it up toward the top of your back swing.

You can also mimic the follow through, and similarly exercising your lead deltoids, shoulder, and back, by going to your post impact position, grabbing the handle with your lead hand, and pulling the band/cable up in to your follow-through.

Incline Chest Flyes

GolfFitnessBandsExercise

To further work the trail chest, position the band/cable down low, grab the handle with your trail hand at a point where you are just prior to impact and extend it up toward the follow-through.

Twice per week, start with the isometrics for a warm-up, move into this routine, and then follow it up with 30 full golf-swing reps where you practice your speed using a feedback device like the Sports Sensors Swing Speed Radar. You’ll not only get a great upper/overall body workout, but you’ll also be doing it in a golf-specific way that can get you on your way to hitting much longer drives.

Note: This article is for informational purposes only. Consult a physician before performing this or any exercise program.

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Jaacob Bowden is a Professional Golfer, PGA of America Class A Member, Top 100 Most Popular Teacher, Swing Speed Trainer, the original founder of Swing Man Golf, the creator of Sterling Irons® single length irons, and has caddied on the PGA TOUR and PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS. Two of his articles for GolfWRX are the two most viewed of all time. Formerly an average-length hitting 14-handicap computer engineer, Jaacob quit his job, took his savings and moved from Kansas to California to pursue a golf career at age 27. He has since won the Pinnacle Distance Challenge with a televised 381-yard drive, won multiple qualifiers for the World Long Drive Championships including a 421-yard grid record drive, made cuts in numerous tournaments around the world with rounds in the 60s and 70s, and finished fifth at the Speed Golf World Championships at Bandon Dunes. Jaacob also shot the championship record for golf score with a 72 in 55 minutes and 42 seconds using only 6 clubs. The Swing Man Golf website has helped millions of golfers and focuses primarily on swing speed training. Typically, Jaacob’s amateur golfers and tour players pick up 12-16 mph of driver swing speed in the first 30 days of basic speed training. You can learn more about Jaacob, Swing Man Golf, and Sterling Irons® here: Websites – JaacobBowden.com & SwingManGolf.com & SterlingIrons.com; Twitter - @JaacobBowden & @SwingManGolf & @SterlingIrons; Facebook – Facebook.com/JaacobBowdenGolf & Facebook.com/SwingManGolf & <Facebook.com/SterlingIronsGolf; Instagram - Instagram.com/JaacobBowden YouTube – YouTube.com/SwingManGolf – Millions of views!!!

6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Dominic Dechaine

    Jun 5, 2019 at 4:07 pm

    I’m an old gym rat with numerous physical limitations bad knees worn out right shoulder etc. This is a great routine, I’m optimistic that I will gain some distance off the tee. I’m also in my 60s.

  2. Pingback: The Dreaded Golf Injuries | WeJustGolf.com

  3. Bert

    Oct 29, 2015 at 8:27 pm

    I purchased a set of starter bands and have used them about five days; already notice a difference. Now bear in mind I’m older (70) and have seldom exercised other than heavy yard work. I noticed a little better turn (with balance) and the ability to turn back through the shot. Hopefully I’m not crazy and will continue to benefit from these light isometric exercises.

  4. Patricknorm

    Oct 15, 2015 at 6:43 am

    Good sequencing of band exercises which involves good core and shoulder work. I like the specificity as it relates to a powerful golf swing which basically mimics the driver. The beauty of bands is that it allows the novice to gradually increase the resistance depending on one’s strength. As you progress through this routine and your movements become more efficient, you can increase your sequencing and dynamic movements.
    Having done these, it’s quite easy transistion to a real golf swing. Good core work too.

  5. marcel

    Oct 11, 2015 at 8:37 pm

    there is no specific golf exercise. you gotta exercise all of it… no lower back and legs strength but strong arms will lead to serious injury.

    crossFit or gymnastics will benefit most for endurance and explosiveness game of golf requires.

    • Patricknorm

      Oct 15, 2015 at 6:47 am

      Marcel, ironically these exercise are not for your arms, or shoulders. You need to use your legs and core to perform these exercises properly. Until you do this sequencing don’t slag something until you’ve tried it. I’m guessing that you looked at the pictures only and haven’t tried any of these routines. Or you’re not a golfer. Or , just a gym rat. These band exercises work very well.

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What you can learn from the rearview camera angle

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We often analyze the golf swing from the face-on view or down-the-line camera angle. However, we can also learn how the body moves in the swing from the rearview or backside view.

When seeing the swing from the rearview, we can easily see how the glutes work. The trail glute actually moves back and around in the backswing. This means the glute moves towards the target or towards the lead heel. Note the trail glute start point and endpoint at the top of the backswing.

To some, this may seem like it would cause a reverse weight shift. However, this glute movement can enable the upper body to get loaded behind the ball. This is where understanding the difference between pressure, and weight is critical (see: “Pressure and Weight”).

This also enhances the shape of the body in the backswing. From the rear angle, I prefer to have players with a tuck to their body in their trail side, a sign of no left-side bend.

This puts the body and trail arm into a “throwing position”, a dynamic backswing position. Note how the trailing arm has folded with the elbow pointing down. This is a sign the trailing arm moved in an efficient sequence to the top of the backswing.

Next time you throw your swing on video, take a look at the rearview camera angle. From this new angle, you may find a swing fault or matchup needed in your golf swing to produce your desired ball flight.

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How to stop 3-putting and start making putts

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When we are 3-putting we are ‘stuck in the box’. This means that when we are standing over the putt the second before we make our stroke everything happens to ‘go downhill.’ When this happens, depending on your playing level, things can become a bit erratic on the putting surface.

When a 3 putt happens, it is typically because you failed to do something before you made your stroke. The large majority of my 3 putts happen when I am not completely SOLD on the line of my putt, aka not committed. Questioning anything over the ball will lead to 3 putts.

Here is a breakdown/checklist on how to approach the green and get your ball in the cup without hesitation.

1. It starts with the approach shot into the green and the decision of direction you make to enter the hole. Scan the entire green with your eyes on the walk-up. Left to right and right to left. Look for a few seconds before you step onto the putting surface. This helps determine the high side and the low side, or if the green is relatively flat. Don’t be picky, just look and make a decision.

2. Once you get to the ball, mark it. Take 3 steps behind your ball mark. Now you must pick a line… Left, Center, or Right of the cup. (Skip step 3 if you know the line) It should take seconds but for those that are not sure it will take longer. Understand that every putt has a statistical level of difficulty. So to increase the odds, players must avoid putting in the unsure mind, and take the time to figure out a line. I also find that people who are 3 putting are overly confident and just not committed aka too quick to putt.

3. To commit, you must find the angle of entry into the cup. Walk up to the hole and look at the cup. How is it cut? Determine if it is cut flat or on a slope angle. This will help you see the break if you are having a hard time. Then determine how much break to play. Cut the hole into 4 quarters with your eyes standing right next to it. Ask yourself, which quarter of the cup does the ball need to enter to make the putt go in the hole?

I encourage using the phrases ‘in the hole’ or ‘to the hole’ as great reinforcement and end thoughts before stroking the ball. I personally visualize a dial on the cup. When my eyes scan the edges, I see tick marks of a clock or a masterlock – I see the dial pop open right when I pick the entry quadrant/tick mark because I cracked the code.

Remember, the most important parts of the putt are: 1.) Where it starts and 2. ) Where it ends.

4. To secure the line, pick something out as the apex of the putt on the walk back to the mark. Stand square behind the ball mark and the line you have chosen.

5. To further secure the line, place your ball down and step behind it to view the line from behind the ball. Don’t pick up the ball mark until you have looked from behind. When you look, you need to scan the line from the ball to the cup with your eyes. While you are scanning, you can make adjustments to the line – left, right or center. Now, on the walk into the box, pickup the mark. This seals the deal on the line. Square your putter head to the ball, with feet together, on the intended line.

6. To make the putt, look at the apex and then the cup while taking your stance and making practice strokes to calibrate and gauge how far back and through the stroke needs to be.

7. To prove the level of commitment, step up to the ball and look down the intended line to the apex back to the cup and then back to the apex down to your ball. As soon as you look down at the ball, never look up again. Complete one entire stroke. A good visual for a putting stroke is a battery percentage and comparing your ‘complete stroke’ to the percentage of battery in the bar.

8. Look over your shoulder once your putter has completed the stroke, i.e. listen for the ball to go in and then look up!

If you find a way that works, remember it, and use it!

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Golf 101: Why do I chunk it?

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Whether you are a beginner, 10 handicaps, or Rory McIlroy, no one player is immune to the dreaded chunk. How many times have you hit a great drive, breathing down the flag from your favorite yardage and laid the holy sod over one? It’s awful and can be a total rally killer.

So what causes it? It could be several things, for some players, it could be a steep angle of attack, others, early extension and an early bottoming out and sometimes you’ve just had too many Coors Lights and the ground was closer than your eyes told you…been there.

This is Golf 101—let’s make it real simple and find one or two ways that a new golfer can self diagnose and treat themselves on the fly.

THE MAIN CAUSE

With beginners I have noticed there are two main things that cause the dreaded chunk:

  1. Players stand too close to the ball and have no way to get outta the way on the way down. This also really helps to hit Chunk’s skinny cousin: Skull.
  2. No rotation in any form causing a steep angle of attack. You’ve seen this, arms go back, the body stays static, the club comes back down and sticks a foot in the ground.

SO HOW DO I FIX MYSELF?

Without doing all-out brain surgery, here are two simple things you can do on the course (or the range) to get that strike behind the ball and not behind your trail foot.

This is what I was taught when I was a kid and it worked for years.

  1. Make baseball swings: Put the club up and in front of your body and make horizontal swings paying close attention to accelerating on the way through. After a few start to bend at the hips down and down until you are in the address position. This not only gives your body the sensation of turning but reorientates you to exactly where the bottom of your arc is.
  2. Drive a nail into the back of the ball: This was a cure-all for me. Whether I had the shanks, chunks, skulls, etc, focusing on putting the clubhead into the back of that nail seemed to give me a mental picture that just worked. When you are hammering a nail into a wall. you focus on the back of that nail and for the most part, hit it flush 9 outta 10 times. Not sure if its a Jedi mind trick or a real thing, but it has gotten me outta more pickles than I care to admit.

As you get better, the reason for the chunk may change, but regardless of my skill level, these two drills got me out of it faster than anything all while helping encourage better fundamentals. Nothing wrong with that.

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