Back Strength for Golf

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Interview By Scott Mackar

Many rotational movements comprise a golf swing, so a strong lower back is critical for hitting fairways and greens. We hooked up with Sean Cochran, strength and conditioning coach to two-time Masters and PGA Champion Phil Mickelson, to pick his brain about back strength.

STACK: Why is back strength so important?
The lower back is used in every phase of the golf swing—from the address position through the finish. The integration of those muscles helps you maintain posture and spine angle, and also generate club head speed through your swing.

What's a common mistake golfers make when they train their backs?
I see a lack of rotational exercises for the lower back in their training programs. The golf swing is rotational in its movement pattern. Performing this athletic movement is when most injuries occur for golfers, and that's because they lack strength, power and endurance from not working their backs in that movement plane.

What kind of exercises do you recommend?
First, a golfer should create a comprehensive core program, including exercises for the front, side and back of the core. I like exercises that develop stabilization strength, focusing on the postural muscles of the lower back. Once that's accomplished, we can incorporate exercises for the larger anatomical muscles—the glutes, lats, obliques and erectors—not just the intrinsic muscles of the lower back.

For more information on taking your game the next level, visit Cochran's website at

Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock