Top 5 Golf Exercises to Improve Your Golf Shoulder Turn

golf exercises to improve shoulder turn
In this article, we are going to cover the top 5 golf exercises that improve your golf turn. Not only will these include golf stretches for golf flexibility, but also active golf exercises for golfers over 50.

One of the top issues limiting senior golfers, golfers over 50, is the loss of the back and shoulder turn in the golf swing. There are 2 reasons why this is so important for senior golfers.

First, the obvious reason is that muscles and tendons become less supple with age and if they are not stretched regularly, they will shorten to the length in which they are moved within normal daily activities.

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Second, as we all age, we will lose the the mobility in our spines. This mobility allows each spinal segment to rotate fully on the segment below it. As a result, it is much more difficult for golfers over 50 to separate their hip turn from their shoulder turn to get the torque that younger golfers are able to use for power.

Without being able to maximize torque, it is important that golfers over 50 are able to maintain and/or increase their backswing turn to keep the length of their backswing and maintain power.

The Top 5

We selected these exercises from our DVD program because they contain some key attributes crucial for improving the golf turn. We use both passive stretches (still holding stretches) and active dynamic stretches which train the muscles to recognize and use the gained range of motion through active movement.

Active dynamic stretches are important because if you only use passive stretching, the body may quickly “forget” its new range of motion and the stretching work you have just done may be for naught.


#1. Passive Golf Stretch: Torso Rotations

I realize that most people have seen this stretch. Regardless, it is the best passive stretch to improve your golf turn.
golf stretch to improve shoulder turn

How To Do It
Setup:Begin by lying on your side.

Golf Action:Bend your top leg up to waist height. Next, rotate your top arm and torso to the opposite direction. You can increase this stretch by holding a light weight in one arm and using the opposite hand to pull the knee closer to the floor.

Exercise Parameters:Hold stretch for 30 seconds and repeat to the opposite direction.

#2. Dynamic Golf Stretch: Torso Rotation in Chair

Golf stretches for shoulder turn

Hold for 30 seconds.

Why It is Great
Torso rotation stretches in sitting are so much better than in standing because when you are sitting in a chair your hips are fixed. With your hips fixed, you are able to isolate the spinal motion necessary for a great golf turn.

#3. Dynamic Golf Stretch: Active Rotations

golf flexibility exercises

How To Do It
Setup: Begin standing with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width. Extend your arms out to your sides. Get into your correct golf stance – knees bent, hinging forward at the waist and back flat. (Avoid hyperextension of the knees).

Golf Action: Rotate and bend forward so that one of your hands touches the ground directly in front of you. Your other hand should be pointing toward the ceiling above you. Now, return to your starting position and perform the exercise to the opposite direction.

Parameters: Perform 10 repetitions to both directions.

Key to Success: Keep your back flat and focus on bending forwards at the hips!

#4. Dynamic Golf Stretch: Resisted Rotations

golf exercise for golf

How To Do It
Setup: You will need a chair for this exercise, preferably without arm rests.
The exercise band should be anchored in a door jam at chest height. Sit on the chair with your right side facing the door. Sit far enough away from the door that your arms are straight at rest as shown in the first picture.

Golf Action: Keeping your arms relatively straight, rotate your arms and torso away from the door in a wide arch.

Parameters: Perform 1-3 sets of 12-15 repetitions.

Key to Success: Focus on torso rotation instead of using your arms.

#5. Dynamic Golf Stretch: Rotations On One Knee

senior golf exercises

How To Do It
Setup: Anchor one end of the exercise band to a door at about hip height. Kneel down on one knee with your arms straight in front of you.

Golf Action: Keeping your arms relatively straight, rotate your arms and torso as far as you can to the side at a moderate pace. Next, rotate to the opposite direction.

Parameters: Perform 1-3 sets of 15 repetitions to each direction. Now kneel on your other knee and repeat.

Advanced Bonus Exercise – Use Momentum to Maximize Range of Motion

#6. Dynamic Golf Stretch: Hip Exploder

Hip exercise for golf

How To Do It
Setup: You will need a small weight to hold in your hand (soup can will work).

Golf Action: Take a backwards diagonal lunge step while rotating your body around your leg so that the ball(or hand weight) is on the opposite side of your lunging leg (the more rotation the better). From this position, push up powerfully and rotate back around to the starting position.

Exercise Parameters: Perform 8 repetitions to each side.

With all exercises, remember that safety is the number 1 concern. If you cannot perform the exercise safely, please do not do them.

Thanks for reading!

Dr. Ryan York, DPT CGS
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Certified Golf Performance Specialist
Age Defying Golf

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