The Best Exercises for Disc Golf: A Personalize Disc Golf Workout Plan

One thing that is commonly said around the disc golf community is that you do not need to exercise to be a better player. Here at OK Disc Golfer, we subscribe to the belief that exercises for disc golf are essential. 

Exercise can reap many rewards for those who can find a workout routine that fits their fitness level and allows them to strengthen and protect their joints and muscles from the stress that disc golf can cause. 

In this article, we will give some examples, reasons why disc golf exercises are important, and a small sample of workouts at the end of the article.

Though I am not an exercise science major, I am qualified to offer some recommendations as a former college baseball player. However, always remember that exercising and fitness are not one size fits all, and creating a disc golf exercise routine needs to serve you as the reader. 

The Disc Golf Throw: Physiologically

Disc golf is a sport that has exercise built in with the on-and-off cardio of walking around a course. However, the disc golf throw itself activates multiple muscle groups at once or compound groups for the disc to achieve speed and spin to fly. 

Some main muscle groups activated in disc golf throw are the legs (quads, hamstrings), core, shoulders, forearms, and biceps. Imbalances in one of these groups can hold your disc golf game back, but more importantly, it can lead to disc golf-related injuries.

In the spirit of injury prevention and coming from a throwing sports background, a disc golf exercise routine and warm-up is the most crucial aspect to enjoy this sport pain-free and last for multiple rounds in a day if you want to.

In the video above, you’ll find one of our favorite ways to exercise with an essential disc golf accessory.

Best Warm-up and Strengthening Exercises for Disc Golf

Warming up for a round of disc golf does not have to be an overly intensive endeavor; however, it should be a complete body warm-up to be the most beneficial. Targeting areas such as hips, shoulders, wrists, and knees are very important since these will take the brunt of the force being transferred during the throws. 

This can be used additionally as a daily routine to increase mobility. The reps and sets are what I will do before tournament rounds, but depending on your time frame, shortening may need to happen. 

Warm-up Exercises Group #1 (Hips)

The hips are one of if not the most powerful parts and delicate parts of your body. They are a giant function in the disc golf throw: weight transfer. Lack of mobility in your hips can create joint pain, so this group of warm-up exercises will target the hips. 

Hip Swimmers (Both sides 10 cycles, three sets)

For this exercise, you will want to get onto your hands and knees, lift one leg, bring it up and out like a swimming motion, and then set it back down. This exercise is aimed at loosening up both hip socket joints.

90/90 (Both sides 10 each 3 sets)

For this exercise, begin by sitting with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. To perform this warm-up, rotate one knee to a 90-degree angle and shift your weight to the opposite side. It should make you sit higher up and stretch the outer part of your hip. Perform this on both sides to loosen the hips.

Butterfly Stretch (10 times 2 sets)

For this exercise, sit with your feet together, bottoms touching, and use your elbows to push your knees outward slowly until it becomes slightly uncomfortable. We do this last to continue stretching and progress on overall flexibility.

Warm-up Exercises Group #2 (Back/Core)

Trunk Twist ( 10-20 total Twist)

This exercise began with feet shoulder-width apart. With arms out, twist back and forth to help loosen the lower back and outer core. 

Bent over trunk twist (10-20 total twists)

This exercise, the same as the regular trunk twist but bend at the waist, is a progression from the last one with the same goals.

Cobra stretch ( 10 times)

For the Cobra Stretch, you will want to lie on your stomach with your hands on the ground by your hips in an almost push-up position. Then, rotate your wrist backward, finger facing towards toes, and push up, feeling a stretch in the bottom of your core.

Warm-up Exercises Group # 3 (Legs)

Sitting hamstring stretch (3 reps, 10 touches per rep)

For this exercise, begin by sitting with your legs out in front of you and moving your hands together further down towards your toes until slight discomfort. At the sign of discomfort, go back to the starting position and repeat.

Lying Quad Stretch ( 3 reps per side, 10 seconds per rep)

 For this exercise, begin by laying down on your stomach and reach with one arm out in front of you while the opposite hand will grab the leg of the side that is out. Hold for 10 seconds, switch sides, and repeat. 

Walking Ham / Quad Stretch ( 10 steps per side, 20 total) 

For this exercise, you will face a direction, take a step,d lift one leg using the same arm and leg, grab the ankle, bring it to your butt, and lean towards the opposite leg. This should activate both one quad and the hamstring at the same time. Reset and do the opposite leg. 

Warm-up Exercise Group #4 (Shoulders & Arms)

Shoulder Swimmers (3 rounds, 10 on each side)

For this exercise, much like hip swimmers, you will want to be on hands and knees, but in this set, you will want to bring one arm up and cycle it in a swimming motion, repeating with the other side ten times each.

Bicep /forearm stretch ( 10 seconds, 3 times on each side)

For this exercise, extend the arm away from the waist and use the other hand to push fingers back towards the wrist; this should cause a stretch in the forearm and lower bicep. Repeat with the other side of the wrist and the opposite arm. 

Light bulbs (shoulder rotations 20 seconds, 3 times)

For this exercise, you will want both arms up over the head and make claws with your hands. Then rotate back and forth ( lightbulb motion), slowly working your way down to the sides, then repeat.

Disc Golf Workout Ground Rules

Now that we have covered a quick warm-up routine and some focal points of the muscles we want to target as the most active in the disc golf throw let’s understand why you are reading this. 

When designing, researching, or developing disc golf workouts, it is important to prioritize where your physical fitness level is in cohesion with the workouts being used. 

Next, we’re gonna set some ground rules when it comes to exercise and disc golf. 

Rule number one: disc golf is a good exercise in itself. I say this because disc golf is the answer if you are looking for good outdoor exercise. 

But also, if you want to improve your disc golf game by exercising, find a good workout versus play balance.

Rule number two: Do not expect immediate results from exercise. This may be the most challenging part of the whole concept of exercising for disc golf. 

You finally decide to commit to exercising to improve your game, and a week or two go by, and all you feel is sore, and your game is suffering.

Do not give up! 

This is going to happen. Fitness is a process that will help your disc golf game and all other aspects of your life if you give it the chance. 

Now that we have found our ground rules and some warm-up exercises along with the muscle groups we are looking to target during training, it is time to move into some potential exercises you can look at to improve your disc golf game. 

Setting Up a Disc Golf Exercises Routine

We have our stretch routine and our ground rules now; it is time to get to what you all have been waiting for. Setting up a disc golf exercise routine for the sake of this article will look like a four-day-a-week schedule. 

Now you can shrink, expand or do what you wish, but four days allow for a day of leg focus, push focus, pull focus, and total body focus. Four days if you choose, also allows for a rest day in between if you follow this sequence.

Instead, you do four days or three or even exercise when you have the time; the following plan will serve you well as a guide into a disc golf fitness journey. 

Disc Golf Workout Plan

If followed, these will probably be around a 30-45 minute workout, including a warm-up, and will follow a leg, pull, push, and total body focus. However, this can serve as a reference for exercises as well. 

Additionally, for this plan, I am going to add workouts that will be able to be adapted to a variety of weights as well as methods such as a barbell, dumbbell, kettlebell, as well as even resistance bands. That way, at home or the gym, you can use this as a reference and a base to develop your own more extensive plan.

Why should I follow a disc golf exercise plan? Simply because we have throwing routines and routines that we do not even realize. This extension of routines is just what will make us all better disc golfers.

Day 1 – Legs

We will stick to the same formula as we did for the warm-ups, with three main exercises for each day. This leaves you to add or subtract what you want but enough to make it worth your time if you stick straight to this plan.

Additionally, with mobility at a premium in disc golf, our sets will be 4×10 with 60-70% of max weight to again make it worth the effort but not to inhibit mobility. 

  • Full body warm-up (Same as above)
  • Weighted lunges

For this exercise, whichever weight method is acceptable; I prefer a barbell, but stand in a walking position and lunge down onto the front leg, come up, and repeat with the other leg.

  • RDL’s

For this exercise, stand with feet shoulder-width apart with soft knees and slide weight. I’d recommend a barbell or dumbbell along the legs close to the body until you feel hamstrings begin to stretch to slight discomfort come up and repeat.

  • Front Squat 

For this exercise, stand with feet shoulder-width apart. I’d recommend a kettlebell or barbell, holding the weight in a yolk position (up by neck), and performing the front squat by bending knees until hips are parallel to the raise back up.

Day 2 – Pull

  • Full Body warm-up 
  • Deadlifts

This exercise can be performed with any weight method. I recommend a barbell or kettlebell. 

For a barbell lift, stand with feet shoulder-width apart, bend at the waist with back as flat as possible (you may want someone or a mirror to check), and lift with legs allowing the weight to hang dead hence the name. 

For a kettlebell or dumbbell, the same setup, except this time, place weights at the sides of the body and pick them up, similar to a suitcase fashion.

  • Rows 

For this exercise, a barbell or dumbbell is preferred. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, hinge at hips, and use elbows to bring weight towards the stomach and back down. This exercise will build thickness in the back and help prevent injury. 

This can also be done on cables or seated, and changing grip angle and width can work different parts of the back. I recommend changing between sets. 

  • Bicep Curls

For this exercise, any weight method will work if using a dumbbell or barbell; you can alternate curling angle and grip width to work different areas of the bicep with a kettlebell; you have one primary angle you can work.

Day 3 – Push

  • Full body warm-up 
  • Chest Flys 

You will need access to dumbbells or a cable machine for this exercise. This can be performed standing or bent over. With bent elbows and weights or grips together bringing arms apart away from each other, you should feel a strain across the chest. 

  • Shoulder Press

For this exercise, any weight method will work. Start with weight behind the head on the neck (Barbell) or sides on the shoulder (kettlebell or dumbbell). Push your fist towards the sky and press it away from your shoulders to perform the exercise. 

  • Push-ups

For this exercise, you will want to place your hand’s shoulder width apart on the ground in a plank position and go down, touch your chest against the floor, and come back up. If needing assistance with this, place your knees on the ground as well, or if you have access to a Smith machine, you can set it on the lowest peg and use it to assist you. 

 Day 4 – Total Body

For this day, select one exercise from each of the previous days and do them in sequence. I recommend the most challenging exercise for you personally. 

Core Workouts for Disc Golf

This can also be done on a total body day. I will give you a quick core workout to help you have a better disc golf game. 

I do this every day when I work out, and I call it 50 40 30, but when beginning, I recommend 30 20 10 or even 20 10 5. 

In the following order, it will give you a complete core workout. I recommend not doing more than three rounds of this.

  • Russian twist (the first number is the number of reps)

For this exercise, sit on the ground with your legs out and slightly bent if you can hold your feet above the ground. Bring hands together and twist from side to side for one rep.

  • Crunches (the second number is repped)

For this exercise, lay on your back with knees bent and hands supporting your neck, bring elbows to knees, “crunching” your core, and go back down for one rep.

  •  Static hold (the third number is time) 

For this exercise, lay on the back bringing legs and arms up and holding like that for the amount of time listed, so in a 50 40 30, it would be 30 seconds. 

Final Putt: Best Disc Golf Exercises

Exercise and disc golf is a complicated subject because of the number of “experts” worldwide. Here at OkDiscGolfer, we recommend what has worked for us, and I hope it will also help you. 

Just as with anything else, fitness is a personal journey; whether you are looking to stop the pain in disc golf, get better at disc golf, or be able to play more rounds, disc golf exercises are a good option. 

Stay awesome, stay playing, and keep progressing, and thank you for reading our website. 

Let us know what you think about this intro to disc golf exercise in the comments and if you want more information on the topic.

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