Simple Ways to Improve Your Golf Swing Speed

Nov 4, 2022 | Sports Performance

Professional woman golfer teeing in golf tournament
Are you falling behind your playing partners? Is it a struggle to hit those long irons? Your own body might be limiting your swing. Doing some simple gym work ensures the engine and the chassis are working together to help you gain speed.

Dr. Matthew Styf, PT, DPT is a certified clinical orthopedic specialist and S&C specialist based out of Massachusetts. He’s passionate about athletes of all ages achieving their fitness goals, whatever they may be. In this blog, he explains how you can improve your golf swing without any fancy equipment or training devices.

Matthew Styf
Dr. Matthew Styf

Make More Progress in the Gym

Key Ingredients for a Faster Swing

Gaining swing speed for your golf game is all the talk these days. There are tons of training devices on the market designed to help your body adapt to faster speeds. But let’s not put the cart before the horse.

What you really need probably isn’t a fancy training device. It’s a comprehensive program that focuses on mobility, power, and strength.

We can easily take this to physics class to discuss why all of these are key components to improving your swing speed, but that’s not why you’re here. Just know it all comes down to F=ma. (Force = mass x acceleration.)

Improved Mobility = Increased Velocity

Mobility is a huge component that is rarely addressed when it comes to increasing your power output. Most professional golfers have a certain degree of above-average mobility in the rotational centers in their bodies — the mid-back/thoracic spine, hips, and shoulders.

If you have a limitation in one of those areas, see a medical professional or physical therapist to determine if those limitations are changeable or if they’re anatomical (which means you’ll need to work around them).

Increasing the rotation your body can achieve allows the club head to travel farther.

The farther the club travels, the faster it will be going when it hits the ball (velocity). Improving your rotation is usually done through stretching and targeted dynamic/active mobility drills.

Develop Power to Move Faster

Power is the meat and potatoes of swing speed development. Increasing your body’s ability to move fast is key. This is achieved through plyometrics, sprinting, med ball slams & tosses, overspeed training, and Olympic lifts.

Do you have to have all of these in your program? NO! Everyone responds differently to these power stimuli. I recommend narrowing it down to a few you enjoy doing that show results.

Man swinging golf club on the course in summer

Build Your Engine by Building Your Strength

Strength training is what most golfers need to do more, but they understandably don’t want to waste precious time that could be spent on the course. Strength training is where you build your body’s engine and capability to handle increasing speeds.

Keep in mind that when training for golf, you need to address all planes of movement, especially the frontal and transverse planes. That’s where the game of golf is mostly played.

Anatomical planes examples for medical human body transection outline diagram.

Golf Swing Sample Workout

So you know you need mobility, power, and strength. But how do you piece this all together into a workout?

The order of operations matters just like it did in math class all those years ago. Movement preparation/warm-up comes first, followed by mobility work that primes your body for your workout.

Then progress to power development. This comes before the strength work because you don’t want to be fatigued when performing fast and explosive movements. You want to be fresh here to make sure you’re giving your central nervous system adequate time to recover (yes, rest!) between sets.

An ideal workout should follow this layout and include exercises that target these muscle groups:

Warm-up

  • Get the blood flowing with a light jog or 3-5 minutes on a cardio machine and some dynamic stretching

Targeted Mobility

  • Shoulders
  • Hips
  • Thoracic spine

Coach’s tip: Find all of your mobility exercises with this comprehensive guide:
Mobility Exercises 101: Your Complete Guide From Head to Toe

Power development

Strength Work

Don’t Forget: Proper nutrition & sleep

This layout is intentionally generic to allow creative freedom for you or your trainer. I have my personal favorite exercises, but everyone is different. I suggest exploring and finding movements you like for each muscle group. (If you actually enjoy the movements you’re doing, you’re more likely to keep doing them!)

When it comes to accomplishing your golf-specific or general fitness goals, consistency wins.

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