Golf Workouts: Increase Lower Body Strength With This Exercise

By Vinnie Manginelli, PGA
Published on

In the series of exercises, PGA of America Golf Professional Sean W. Saunders uses a box step to help his client feel vertical ground forces while trying to maintain the same tilts (spine angle) during the golf swing.
The progression he follows helps golfers improve trail and lead leg extension during the backswing or downswing, while increasing stability and strength, and eliminating swaying and sliding. 
Saunders usually has his clients perform eight repetitions of each progression on both sides of the body. The goal of this exercise progression is to maintain balance as the leg that pushes extends vertically, while the golfer maintains his or her correct golf posture throughout.  
Step 1
Start with the trail foot on the box step keeping the knee in line with the ankle and hands placed across each shoulder. On the backswing phase, start with regular golf posture tilt. The lead foot is at a 45-degree angle.
Step 2
Push through the heel extending the trail leg without rotating first for a few repetitions.  Feel the ground. Next, progress to pushing through the heel first and then rotate the trunk after the leg starts extending to mimic the correct kinetic chain (ground up sequence).  
Step 3
Repeat on the opposite side (downswing to impact). Start with trunk in the forward and side bend like the transition move at the start of the downswing with hands crossed on each shoulder. The lead foot is on the box step with knee in-line with the ankle while the trail foot is at a 45-degree angle. 
Step 4
Push through the lead heel through the box while maintaining correct tilts (spine angle).  Start with the lead leg extending first without trunk rotation for a few reps before adding rotation after the leg starts extending to mimic the correct kinetic chain (ground up sequence).  
Advanced exercise
For the advanced progression, Saunders uses the “What’s That Strap” with a Keiser or cable machine to pull the client into the movement he is trying to prevent to help improve swaying, sliding, balance and stability on both sides of the body. It is common to see many golfers struggle with balance, stability and strength on their lead leg during this progression. This result is poor sequencing and loss of power.   

Sean W. Saunders is the PGA of America Owner/Operator of SWS Golf and 24/7 Golf Performance in Nixa, Missouri. He is a 2022 and 2023 Golf Fitness Association of America (GFAA) Off-Course Award Winner and is moving the needle on golf and fitness. Check out Sean’s website to learn more about him and his efforts to create healthier and more fitness-minded golfers.