Improve your golf game with Total Gym

Improve Distance and Accuracy this Golf Season with Three Basic Exercises Using the Total Gym

Mark Scally, Total Gym Master Trainer

Golf season is in full swing and there is no better time than now to perfect your skills. So will training off the course actually result in longer drives, more accurate irons, and lower scores? The answer is YES, especially when your training promotes improved swing mechanics. If you are looking for a versatile piece of equipment to compliment your game, let’s start with your Total Gym.

The Total Gym is an excellent way to effectively train the wide range of golf-related muscle groups that the game requires. One of the unique features of the Total Gym is its cable/ pully system. The cable/ pully system triggers multiple muscle groups to work together while performing simple exercises. The result is creating strength and “pliability” instead of just bulk. This is excellent for golf training. Also, maximizing resistance by incorporating body weight with long ranges of motion while maintaining a controlled tempo really simulates the effects of good golf mechanics.

For starters, I’ve shortlisted three of my favorite golf moves on the Total Gym. I’ve selected these because they embody the same golf swing mechanics that are critical for distance and control while also protecting from the most common injury.

The first two exercises are rotational-based. To create a more powerful swing, these exercises focus on maximizing the rotation of your shoulders and core, while extending your arms and hands away from your body to create separation and leverage. These rotational moves are essential for generating distance and accuracy in golf. The third exercise is a Total Gym classic that alleviates strain in the lower back while also strengthening the shoulders while opening the chest. Not only does this feel amazing on the back but it also promotes proper posture when setting up to (or addressing) the ball before you swing.

Give these three exercises a try and feel free to add some of your own Total Gym favorites. After making this a routine, your training will translate to better swing mechanics on the course, increased club-head speed, and better consistency! Most importantly, you will reduce the risk of injury allowing you to enjoy the game pain-free for years to come.

So get your Total Gym ready, clean the grooves on your clubs, and get in the groove of training for a great golf season!!

Enhance your golf game with these 3 powerful Total Gym moves.

Goal: To strengthen the muscles of the hips, spine, and core to significantly improve your balance, accuracy, and overall performance on the course.

Set Up: Adjust the incline to accommodate your strength level. Either low- or mid- level is recommended to start. Exercises are intended to be performed slowly at a controlled speed without overstraining or muscling through the exercise.

Perform: Aim for 10-12 repetitions on each side and repeat as many sets as you desire (1-2 sets works great). Incorporate these movements at least 3 days per week. These exercises can also be used for pre- and post- golf warm-ups and cool downs.

Focus: Focus on maintaining control and stability throughout each movement. Remember, slow and steady is the name of the game.

1. Torso Rotation for Core Stability and Power

Golf is a game of rotation and control, therefore, having a strong and stable core is paramount to achieving a consistent and accurate swing. This exercise is a top pick because it targets your oblique muscles, helping you develop maximum rotation which is needed for a powerful and consistent swing.

• Stand on one side of the glide board with both cables in each hand.
• Anchor down to either a sitting or kneeling position. (Kneeling requires more core control and stability, and also provides more range of motion.)
• Once on the glideboard, bring the hands together as if it were one cable and slightly bend the elbows. One cable may be used in lieu of two for less resistance.
• Engage your core and rotate your upper body away from the anchor point, then slowly return to the starting position to repeat for the desired reps.
• Repeat the same set up and exercise on the other side.

2. Single Arm Diagonal Pull for Rotational Power

This exercise makes the top 3 because generating rotational power is essential for maximizing golf performance! It targets your core, shoulders, and back, which allow you to develop explosive rotational power and stability. It also helps promotes strength in the rotator cuff muscles which help stabilize the shoulder and produce a powerful downswing and balanced follow-through.


• Assume the same position as the previous Torso Rotation exercise (above).
• Carefully release the cable in the hand closest to the vertical column. (The outside arm performs solo on this one!) Note, you may have to adjust the incline lower for this one since it requires scapular stabilization, core control, and full extension of the arm).
• Start with the outside arm positioned at rest by the opposite hip. Lead with the back of the hand as you diagonally pull the cable across the body. Feel as if you just completed your swing and finish with your arm extended.
• Hold for a moment to focus on the controlled and deliberate movement, then slowly return to the starting position to repeat again.
• Perform the same set up and exercise on the other side.

3. Surfer Row for Upper Body Strength and Balance

Golf is a sport that demands core stability and especially requires lower back strength and flexibility. Core stability is essential during all phases of the swing from proper setup, backswing, and follow through. The high demand and excessive use of the back makes the Surfer Row a fantastic exercise because it helps to develop the necessary posterior strength and core stability to not only hit the ball further but to also keep your most vulnerable muscles protected to prevent injury.


• Start by straddling the glide board holding onto both handles. Anchor down to a kneeling position (modify by sitting with legs extended. Note, this position will utilize less range of motion).
• Hinge from the hips and extend arms forward.
• Engage your core and exhale as you initiate the movement. Simultaneously pull the cables straight back toward your hips while articulating through the spine. (Lead with your nose, then, chin, then chest on the extension to arch or extend the spine upward.)
• Hold for a moment, then reverse the motion back to the starting position.
• Focus on maintaining core control, elongation of the spine and arms, and breath throughout the exercise.
• Repeat for the desired reps.

Be sure to check out the accompanying video to see a demonstration of how these dynamic exercises are performed on your Total Gym and how it relates to your golf swing!

Remember, golf is more than just a game; it's a constant journey of self-improvement. Incorporating Total Gym into your training routine is a game-changer, enabling you to strengthen your body, prevent injuries, and ultimately excel on the golf course.

Happy Golfing! Mark

Mark Scally

Mark Scally is an athlete and player development coach committed to achieving high performance through specialized training. Mark’s background in sports focuses primarily in ice hockey where he had played four years at the collegiate level at the Pennsylvania State University and five years at various professional levels around the US. Starting in 2000, Mark had participated in two NHL training camps with The Pittsburgh Penguins and had played for minor league professional teams in the AHL, ECHL, and SPHL. After retiring from professional hockey in 2005, he continues to train as an athlete himself as well trains others in hockey. Mark also has a notable background in golf where he competed at a young age and played for a year on the Pennsylvania State (NCAA Div I) golf team. Mark continues to be an active golfer competing in local events on the amateur level. Balancing life outside of athletics, Mark is currently a registered professional civil engineer who performs engineering services for water infrastructure projects for a private consulting company. Regardless of type of sport, activity, or for general wellness, Mark is passionate about training. He has adopted a functional training style that involves cardio, strength, plyometrics, and agility exercises that are effective for all sports and also support a healthy lifestyle. The benefits Mark focuses on are improved strength, stamina, flexibility, and injury prevention. With a properly managed diet, Mark’s training will promote muscle development and excess fat loss, which can be calibrated based on your goals to make the best athlete out of all of us!

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