This Golf Swing Training Exercise Can Boost Your Driving Distance

Try the 'Downward Wood Chop with Medicine Ball' to Add Clubhead Speed

Fitness traininer demonstrates the Downward Wood Chop golf swing training exercise
The Downward Wood Chop is done with a medicine ball and can be used as a golf swing training exercise. Mike Pedersen

Golf swing training exercises are good ways for golfers to work on adding clubhead speed and adding yards to their golf shots without having to be on the golf course or the driving range.

Many swing training exercises can be done in the comfort of your own home, including the one featured on this page, the Downward Wood Chop with Medicine Ball.

That is one of the golf-specific exercises recommended by Mike Pedersen, a golf performance training expert who helps golfers get fit for the game.

"Golf swing training may mean different things to different golfers, but the golf swing training I'm referring to means training your muscles specific to the golf swing by using resistance," Pedersen says. "Working on these muscles can improve your swing speed and therefore help produce maximum driving distance.

Golfers can find that "resistance" Pedersen mentioned by using exercise tubing, a single dumbbell, a weighted medicine ball or a weighted golf club, among other ways.

"The main muscles that need to be trained and strengthened for driving distance are the core rotational muscles," Pedersen, who owns, says. "The core is the engine of your golf swing. The supporting muscle groups such as shoulders, arms and even wrists play important secondary roles in achieving maximum driving distance."

The Downward Wood Chop with Medicine Ball golf swing training exercise uses - you guessed it! - a medicine ball. Medicine balls are also known as weighted balls or fitness balls, and athletes use them to provide resistance or build muscle and stamina by throwing and catching them.

(Note that medicine balls come in different weights. If you have not worked with weighted balls before, start small.)

"You will see an almost instant improvement in your power and driving distance with regular reps of this exercise," Pedersen says.

Go slow with any new exercise you have not performed in the past. Check with your physician before undertaking any new physical training program, especially if you have pre-existing conditions.

How to Do the Downward Wood Chop Golf Swing Training Exercise

Pedersen's instructions for performing this exercise are:

  • Stand tall, holding medicine ball with both hands.
  • Start with ball to the right, above head, and with torso turned to the right.
  • Move ball from high position to low position, from right to left across body and downward, like chopping wood.
  • Reach the finish position with the ball across body, body turned to left, knees bent.
  • Ten repetitions for two sets, both directions.

According to Pedersen, the benefits of this specific golf swing training exercise include:

  • Improving your downswing power and clubhead speed.
  • Improving your range of motion through impact.
  • Dynamically strengthening your golf muscles involved with downswing.
  • Building muscular endurance specific to the swing.

Concludes Pedersen: "You will quickly notice an improvement in your ability to produce higher clubhead speeds during the downswing. This will result in more power at impact and greater driving distance. You can do this exercise in the convenience of your home every day."