Tiger Woods Workout

Published 09/01/2009 11:18:31

Tiger may be laid out with a knee injury at the moment but there's little doubt that one of his keys to consistent success is his high level of fitness and muscularity. No longer are pro golfers considered sloth-like snobs, they're serious athletes. In this article we reveal the secrets of the Tiger Woods golf workout and just why Tiger can go longer and harder than any of his professional counterparts.

Examining the Woods physique, it's clear to see that he's an athlete first and foremost; he's muscular but lean and flexible - needed for that tremendous power-generating coil in his swing. So it's no surprise that his routine focuses on a mixture of cardiovascular endurance training and high-rep weight training.

When speaking to Men's Fitness magazine, Woods' personal trainer Ken Kleven outlined two parts to Woods' training regime manual therapy and high-rep weight training.


Manual Therapy


This involves a large amount of stretching before the workout - up to 40 minutes. Some trainees may baulk at the length of time, but this kind of stretching minimises the risk of injury; “I’ve never, ever hurt myself lifting,” Woods said. “I hear people say, ‘I hurt this’ or “I hurt that.’ I don’t even know what that feels like. I’ve been sore, but I’ve always been able to function and do whatever I wanted to.".

The key function of this stretching is to maintain flexibility and mobility in Woods' body - a key component of the golf swing. Think of an older golfer whose swing is not as good as it used to be - he or she can't get the coil because of the natural loss of flexibility in the joints and muscles.

Woods isn't the biggest hitter on the tour, but pound for pound he's right up there. Much of this can be attributed to his strength and flexibility.


High-rep Weight Training


Typically strength athletes will go for rep systems of less than five, bodybuilders 8-12 and others somewhere in-between depending on the body part or personal goal. Kleven revealed Woods often goes much higher, with sets of 25-50.

"We're working for balance, control, endurance, and speed," Kleven stated - note not bulk. If you're looking for Tiger's exact physique (including the big arms and shoulders) be advised this is not the fastest way to achieve it. Woods struggled for years to gain muscle whereas a more specialised weights routine could see the same aesthetic results in 12-18 months. This is highly dependent on the trainee in question of course.




A key feature of a good golf swing is a good posture - and a key component of that is a strong back. Many of us find ourselves slouched in a chair all day with terrible posture. New trainees who focus on their back almost always notice an improvement in posture because of added back strength (look up deadlifts for an excellent all-round back exercise)




One of the keys to Woods' routine is work every muscle group so as to avoid imbalances. For instance, too much back work and not enough ab work can leave to postural problems. Woods even admits "Yes [I bench-press], but I don't like it. I do it to change it up, to shock the muscles. I just do it to get that muscle group stronger."


Endurance & Cardiovascular Training


To maintain composure on a long round of golf, and possible a play-off afterwards, requires physical fitness. To achieve this, Woods does plenty of running, be it outside or on the treadmill. At least an hour of his 2-3 hour workouts are taken up by running. For endurance runs, Tiger will run up to 7 miles.

Speaking of his wife (Elin) Woods said:

“She’s a runner, just like I am, there’s no doubt I’m faster than she is, but there’s no doubt she can run a lot longer than I can. She can keep her pace up forever. It’s frustrating because I like to go for speed, and she can go all day. If we were doing a half-marathon, she’d smoke me.”


Golf-specific Training


Remember: Woods is training for an ultimate goal, and that goal is to be the best golfer his body and genetics will allow him to be. His knee injury is proof that he's right on the limit of what he's capable of physically.

So what kind of golf specific training does Woods do? Well, the golf swing is a rotational movement, so it would make sense to practice this with resistance - this could be in the form of cables or bands. Tiger would also work on the muscles that really drive the swing - back, shoulders and hips. These generate the coil and thus the power in the golf swing.


1.  I am a big fan of Tiger. I would like to share with you the benefits of the Flexor Method. We increase swing speed. We increase balance and stability. We increase flexibility and extension.

comment by Patrick Collins - 24/05/2011 20:05

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