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Golf Fitness!

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3 Row Variations for Golfers

Rowing is a fundamental movement pattern that all humans (not just golfers) should be able to execute and load.

There are HUNDREDS of variations to choose from when you are looking to add some rowing to your training program, but I am going to share 3 of my favorites with you below!

Why athletes should ROW?

Muscular Development

First, rowing develops specific muscles of your body including:

  • Latissimus dorsi (lats)

  • Posterior shoulder complex (deltoids, rotator cuff, traps, rhomboids)

  • Biceps... 💪

  • Core (depending on the variation)

  • Wrists and forearms

  • Grip

All of these muscles play critical roles in all movement that we are taking on daily, and of course this includes your golf swing!

The lats specifically have been shown to be a crucial muscle in the development of clubhead speed. They help forcefully extend the shoulder joint (or move it from a lifted position to your side).

Joint Health

Secondly, rowing patterns will help keep the joints of your upper body happy and healthy.

The shoulder joint is a prominent injury spot for golfers... rotator cuff tears, labrum issues, dislocations/separations are all common in sport.

The most important way that we work to minimize the risks associated with these injuries is by training the joint through a full range of motion and LOADING it.


Why Golfers Should Row?

For the exact same reasons outlined above.

No, your golf swing isn't going to get shallower by doing a few rows.

Nor are the exercises below going to help eliminate your sway.

But muscular development and joint health are both necessary goals if you want to play your best and healthiest golf.

"Golf fitness" isn't any different than athlete development.

The Two Buckets of Rowing

Rowing exercises can be separated into vertical and horizontal.

One isn't better than the other.

Both are necessary.

Vertical rowing variations will move your shoulder joint through a larger range of motion while horizontal rowing patterns can usually be loaded a little higher.

Vertical patterns target the lats a little more while the horizontal patterns will target a little higher on the backside in the posterior shoulder complex.

BOTH categories work towards to same general goals... muscular development and joint health.


Complete a 3-5 rowing exercises weekly.

3-5 sets.

6-12 reps.

[1.] Pull-up

  • Simple (but yet very difficult).

  • Effective.

  • Assist it as needed.

[2.] Dumbbell Bent Over Row

  • Load aggressively.

  • Full range of controlled motion.

[3.] Landmine Bent Over Row

  • Comfortable pattern.

  • Can load aggressively.

  • Simultaneous lower body posterior chain loading.

Carter Schmitz


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