If I had to pick A SINGLE exercises...
For purposes of this article, I wanted to give some thought into which exercise I would pick if I could only pick ONE.
Let's say I have an athlete, and they only have time for one exercise per week.
I think this will be an awesome thought experiment AND also provide insights into how you should be prioritizing your golf training if you're limited on time.
Let's give it a try.
First, how many muscles does it stress?
There isn't an exercise that truly stresses only one muscle... it's not possible.
But some exercises stress more muscles and some stress fewer.
For example, a bicep curl will effect the muscles responsible for elbow flexion and also the synergistic muscles of the shoulder and forearm... so it maybe stresses 6-10 muscles (not including the many miniscule finger muscles)?
But an RDL will stress the muscles of the forearm, upper back, mid back, lower back, glutes, hamstrings and calves. Further, each of these segments contain many individual muscles that make up the muscle group as a whole... so it probably stresses 50+ muscles?
The obvious answer here is that the exercise we choose must be multi-muscle. It needs to train both the lower and upper body in some capacity. We need to maximize the bang-for-our-buck that we get!