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How A Medicine Ball Workout Loved By Golfers Could Help Boost Your Gym Game

Man doing core exercise with medicine ball

When you need to be able to hit a ball 300+ yards armed only with a piece of thin metal, you’d better get your gym game in order.

Professional golfers come in all shapes and sizes, but almost uniformly across the board they boast powerful arms and upper bodies and a dynamic core – essential when rotating through a shot.

Clubhead speed is a vital ingredient in hitting the ball a long way, with specialists in biomechanics revealing that the more force a player exerts in their downswing, the further they are likely to be able to hit the ball.

That energy comes from strong shoulders, lats and core, which explains why golfers are so keen to introduce medicine balls into their workout.

And for anyone looking to bulk up and add power, there are lessons that can be learnt even if you’ve no interest in picking up a golf club.

Rory’s Raw Power

The favourite in the Open Championship 2023 betting odds at 11/1 ahead of the likes of Scottie Scheffler (6/1), Jon Rahm (11/1) and Cameron Smith (16/1), Rory McIlroy’s golf prowess is a marriage of extreme skill and an unflinching commitment to maximising his physicality.

A workout video shared by the DP World Tour revealed the lengths that the Irishman goes through in order to hone his physique, with free weights, deadlifts, dumbbell lunges and dynamic burpees all on the menu.

Has it worked? Well, even at the age of 34 McIlroy is adding extra yardage to his game – during the 2022/23 PGA TOUR season, he ranked first ahead of all his peers for the Driving Distance stat.

Others, including 2023 Puerto Rico Open winner Nico Echavarria, have introduced medicine balls into their regimes to add even more power to the game. As you can see from the video below, the Colombian is leaving no stone unturned in his pursuit of marginal gains.

You can implement medicine ball exercises into your workouts to build dynamic power of your own.

Pivot Swings

Even if you’ve never played golf before, you probably have an idea of what an archetypal swing looks like.

You can replicate this with a medicine ball. Stand side on to a partner – you will need a buddy to catch the ball as you throw it to them.

Holding the medicine ball, bring it backwards as if you were performing a slow-motion golf swing; when you reach a comfortable position in the ‘backswing’, thrust the ball forwards and throw it to your partner.

Rotation Lunges

Holding your medicine ball, step forward into the traditional lunge position on your right leg. Hold your core tight as you reach upwards with the ball, before rotating to the right in a large circle before returning to the centre.

Repeat the action on your left leg, before adding as many reps as you need on either side.

Squat Lifts

You can use a medicine ball to add further power to your squats.

Holding the ball, sit into the normal squat position by keeping your back and flexing your knees slightly outwards.

While squatting, you can perform a couple of different variations of lifts. You can rotate as described above, or simply perform straight arm lifts from waist height to parallel with your head. After completing a rep, reset by slowly standing up from your squat before repeating as many times as necessary.

You may have zero interest in golf, but there’s plenty to be learned – and strength to be added – from how golfers go about their workout regime.

Russian Twists

Sit on the ground with your knees bent and feet flat. Hold the medicine ball with both hands and lean back slightly to engage your core.

Rotate the ball from one side to the other, tapping it on the ground beside your hips. This exercise mimics the rotational movement used during a golf swing.


Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold the medicine ball with both hands at one side of your body. Raise the ball diagonally across your body, simulating the motion of swinging a golf club.

Perform this exercise on both sides to work both your backhand and forehand swing.

Medicine Ball Golf Swing

Adopt your golf stance while holding the medicine ball with both hands. Go through the motion of your golf swing, focusing on your form and maintaining balance and control. This exercise helps to reinforce the proper mechanics of your golf swing.

Med Ball Wall Throws

Stand facing a wall with the medicine ball at chest height. Rotate your hips and shoulders as you throw the ball against the wall with both hands.

Catch the ball on the rebound and repeat. This exercise enhances rotational power and control.

Standing Side Throws

Stand perpendicular to a wall with the medicine ball at hip height. Using both hands, explosively throw the ball against the wall and catch it on the rebound. This exercise helps to improve rotational power and core stability.

Lateral Lunges with Twist

Hold the medicine ball with both hands and step laterally to the right into a lunge position. As you lunge, twist your torso to the right. Return to the starting position and repeat on the other side.

This exercise enhances rotational strength and stability in the lower body.

Remember to start with a light medicine ball and gradually increase the weight as you become more comfortable and proficient with the exercises.

Always maintain proper form and consult with a fitness professional or healthcare provider before starting any new exercise program, especially if you have any pre-existing injuries or health conditions.