Best Chest Exercises For Golf Strength & Power – Guide For Beginners & Advanced
When it comes to lifting weights for golf, many people still have their heads in the sand and say that it is not necessary. All the top players, however, are now in the gym and working on their strength training to hit the ball further and have more control over their shots.
When it comes to cars, the car has an engine and that will determine it’s maximum power. The car can only exert that amount of power and if it is asked to do more it will fail. The human body, however, is adaptable. If you subject it to a heavier workload, it will turn into a more powerful engine and that is the key concept behind progressive resistance training and getting stronger in the gym. The training exercises break down the muscle and it repairs through our nutrition to come back bigger and stronger.
For beginners, we don’t need to push too hard to tear the muscle and cos it to regrow stronger and if we do these excellent chest exercises we can expect to make our beginner gains and gain the extra distance in our swing quickly enough before we hit the wall and need to go heavier. Even for shorter shots, having more power will give us more control and accuracy with our shots and this is not just for men but for women also who want to hit their shots further and have more control.
The Golf Swing is a full-body movement and today we are going to cover exercises for the chest.
Remember the average golf course par is only 72 strokes and half of those will be putts, so we really don’t need a ton of volume for Golf Strength work, quality over quantity.
Exercise 1: The Bench Press
The Bench press is the compound lift to turn to when you want to add strength to your chest, triceps and front head of the shoulder. A compound lift is one that uses more than one more muscle and that is the default for adding strength to your body.
For Beginners: If you are a total beginner in the gym we want to use a lightweight and hit 3 sets of 8 reps. Don’t overdo it on the weight, we will build it up over time. For a strength program to work you will need to put at least 2-3 months of work in 2-3 days a week.
For Intermediate/Advanced: If you know your way around the gym and are in good shape, we want to lift heavier weights for fewer reps. We want to do 5*5 Strength training or 6*4 and we want to lift heavy on our accessory lifts as well so we can swing the club faster and hit the ball further.
The first set should be relatively comfortable but the last rep of the last set should be almost at the point of failure.
Exercise 2: The Close Grip Bench Press
The close grip Bench press is similar to the regular bench press except you keep your elbows tucked into your side and your hands closer together on the bench. This works primarily the triceps with support from the chest and shoulders.
For Beginners: If you have done the Bench press as your first exercise, you could aim for 2 sets of 8 or 3 sets of 6 on this one with a weight that is comfortable. Doing high reps will just cause us to add useless bulk which may hinder our game, so keep the reps a little lower than normal.
Fro Advanced: If you’ve done the chest press already, aim for 3 sets of 6 reps here with a relatively heavy weight. The triceps will tire much quicker than the just so be aware you might hit the wall quickly on this one.
Exercise 3: Incline Bench Press
Perfect for exhausting the chest, the incline press works on the upper part of your pecs along with the front head of the shoulder and the triceps.
For Beginners: Use the machine for incline press at a comfortable weight for 3 sets of 8 reps to build up that initial strength and get those beginner gains.
For Advanced: You can do this with the barbell or dumbells, even with alternative arms. Aim again for heavy enough weights and 3 sets of 6.
Exercise 4 – Dips:
Dips are a great exercise for building the chest and the triceps. It is a similar movement to a push-up but you are lifting yourself up and vertically instead of lying on the floor horizontally. The further your hands are apart the more it will work the chest and the closer together they are, the more it will work the triceps.
For Beginners: You can place your palms on a flat bench with your feet flat on the ground and lower yourself down before pushing up with the triceps. do 3 sets of 8-10 reps and if you can do more than 10 reps, its time to move on to the dip bar, or you can usually find a machine that will allow you to take some of the weight off your dips.
For Advanced: We are only worried about adding strength and that means heavier weight for less reps, if you can do more than 6 reps, add a weight vest or a belt with a plate on it and do 3 sets of 6 reps for maximum strength gains.
Exercise 5 – Dumbell Flies:
An accessory lift to our compound and strength training. It works on exhausting the chest muscles and hits the side of our pecs from a different angle. Flies are a great part of any workout program for the chest.
For Beginners: You can use the dumbells or the Pec-Dec machine for 3 sets of 10 reps.
For Advanced: Aim for 3 sets of 8 reps with this accessory exercise for strength gains in the chest and arms.
Exercise 6 – Incline Dumbell Flies:
Similar to or regular flies except on an incline bench and target more of the upper chest. The swinging movement of this exercise is perfect for golf and we want to add strength to this movement.
Beginners: Aim for 3 sets of 10 Reps
Advanced: Aim For 3 sets Of 6-8 reps with a heavy enough weight.
Exercise 7 – Push-Ups:
A classic exercise for building the chest and one that everyone can perform. It is an excellent way to exhaust the chest and triceps after we have hit our main strength training compound lifts.
For Beginners: Aim for 3 sets of 10 reps and once you can do this comfortably, move onto advanced.
For Advanced: Put a weight plate on your back and again aim for that 6 reps and 3 set range that will build the power and strength without adding useless muscle.
Exercise 8 – Close Grip Push-Ups
Just like our variation on the bench press, the close grip push up will allow us to focus more on the triceps with assistance from the chest. The triceps again will tire quickly so go to failure.
Beginners: If you can hit 3 * 10, add a weight plate.
For Advance: Aim for 3 sets of 8 reps with a plate on your back.
Push-ups are a great way to end the work out for our chest as we can go to failure each time.
Finish It off By Burning Out The Triceps
I like to finish off Chest day with an arm endurance exercise for triceps like the cable pushdown.
Use the cable push down for 2 sets of 15-20 reps with a lightweight to get that burn and totally exhaust the muscle, adding endurance to the strength that we built.
The chest is a central component of the golf swing and many of our movements on the golf course so it makes sense to want to strengthen but remember that the golf swing uses the full body so you need to work on all aspects of your body’s strength to make real gains.
It is always good to add some core exercises to the end of any workouts so make sure to check out our full guide to strength training for distance in golf and our full plank workout for the core.
Hi, I am Matthew, a mid handicap golfer who likes to play as much as possible. I love trying out new gear and this blog is where you can find all the gear I have tested over the years!