The 12 Best Disc Golf Exercises to Keep You Fit


I’m a huge advocate for exercise. I mean, it’s amazing because of how good it is for you. Today, I’m going to be walking you through not just the benefits of exercise, but why and how exercising can help you absolutely crush it on the disc golf course. But learning about the benefits of exercise is not why you’re here. You want the 12 best disc golf exercises to help you get stronger, get better, and dominate on the disc golf course. Don’t worry, I got you. Here they are:

  1. Rear Delt X-fly
  2. Bent Over Rear Delt Flys
  3. Rear Delt Throw Flys
  4. Dumbbell Shoulder Press
  5. Arnold Press
  6. Regular Pushups
  7. Rear Squats
  8. Leg Press
  9. Oblique Crunches
  10. Abdominal “U” Crunch
  11. Planks
  12. Russian Twist

If you know some of them, great! If not, no worries because we’re going to tackle them here shortly with detailed explanations and photos! First, let’s take care of some housekeeping.

Why keep in shape?

So, why keep in shape? That’s a really great question. We all want to get better, right? Well, it starts with how we treat our bodies. It all begins with what we do to grow and how we can improve. There’s an extremely simple answer to that question: we keep in shape to stay physically and mentally healthy so we can live better lives and dominate on the disc golf course.

Physical health

According to normalbreathing.com, physical health is, “a state of physical well-being in which a person is physically fit to perform their daily activities without restrictions.” Exercising is great for every part of your body including your heart. A Strong heart equals prolonged physical health. Working out can also help keep weight in check. Too much weight makes it tough to do physical activities. Staying in shape can help you be able to physically play more disc golf.

Mental Health

Good mental health means being psychologically, socially, and emotionally healthy. The more you work out, the more blood can flow through to your brain and keep your mind working right. A little bit of physical activity has also been known to reduce depression and improve happiness. Further more, many have been able to improve their sleep after getting in the habit of working out. It’s great, because with just a small amount of exercise, you can provide your mind an outlet to keep your mental health on track.

What are the best muscles to work for disc golf?

Now, in order to really start improving yourself physically, you need to understand what muscles we will be working with the 12 exercises I have selected for this post. I believe every muscle is important in order to keep a balanced, physically fit body, but the main muscle groups needed for disc golf are the shoulders, core muscles, and legs.

Shoulders

The shoulders are critically important because of how often they are worked (at least one shoulder that is) during each disc golf round. If you’re playing an 18 hole par three course, you will use your shoulders to throw the disc at a minimum of 36-54 times (or 18 throws for 18 aces – which would be nice). That means you’re really putting a lot of strain on the shoulders. They need to be strong.

There are three parts to the shoulder – front deltoid (delt), middle delt, and rear delt. You want to workout the entire shoulder so that muscles stay balanced and don’t get strained. Make sure you complete an exercise for each part of the muscle. But I normally focus on the middle and rear delts. Those muscles will be used the most when you throw your discs.

The Core

Your core consists of two different muscle groups, the Abdominals (your abs) and the obliques (essentially, your side abs), that can work together to create something special: a ridiculously strong middle portion of your body. This core helps to drive both your lower and upper body. The core is important for disc golf because your throwing power stems from every rotation of your core. The stronger your core, the better you will be able to throw your disc.

Your abs need to be worked for this strong core. Don’t just stop at the abs, though, because people often neglect the obliques. Doing so can rob you of achieving the strongest core possible, something not many people understand. You need to work both sets of muscles in order to get a core that will help you start becoming a truly fantastic disc golfer.

Legs (hamstrings/quadriceps/calves)

The entirety of a leg consists of three main muscle groups: the hamstrings (back of the upper leg above the knee), the quadriceps (front of the upper leg above the knee), and the calves (mainly the back of the lower leg). You should seek to do exercises that work these main muscles. Again, like I mentioned with the delts, you want to work all three muscle groups so that they stay balanced and aren’t strained.

The leg muscles are the foundation of your body. They’re hugely important because your legs get used the most out of all other muscles. That means they need to be strong.

But don’t forget: Complete workouts with other muscles as well so that your body gets to exercise all of your muscles. On non-disc golf training days, remember to train your back, your arms, and your chest. Disc golf uses muscles from all over your body, so make sure to keep the rest of yourself in tip top shape.

How these muscles affect your disc golf game

Now that we know what muscles to work out for disc golf, we need to understand exactly how they can affect your individual golf game. Here are four quick ways that the following exercises can help you:

1. You’re less likely to get injured on the course: Because you work them out, your muscles will get much stronger and will be ready for play on the course. Your muscles will also be used to healing and recovering, helping you avoid a disastrous injury.

2. You will have more stamina: Your muscles will be used to the rigorous physical activity you out on them, thus allowing you to increase your stamina (your ability to continue that rigorous physical activity). You muscles will be able to hold out for longer, allowing you to possibly get more rounds of disc golf in. This can be great for tournament play, where players will sometimes play four or five rounds during the course of their entire tournament.

3. You will throw farther and harder: stronger muscles means your ability to throw harder and farther should improve. This, in turn, should help you dramatically improve your game by being able to throw discs that require more speed and harder throws.

4. You will be more fit than other, less dedicated players: I’m sure there are a lot of players that work out. But don’t you want to differentiate yourself from those who don’t? Wouldn’t it be crazy if you could workout harder and smarter than those players? You can easily do that. Take a look at the following exercises that should put you at the top of your game.
Pro tip: Drink plenty of water during your workout. Water may be one of the most important things you can do to keep your body in tip top shape. Seriously, It’s great for everything. Besides boosting mental brainpower and and energy, water can also improve your mood positive and keep your body temperature regulated during those really tough workout sessions.

The 12 Best Disc Golf Exercises

1. Rear Delt X-flys

Muscles worked: rear delts (shoulder)

This first exercise is a great way to warm the rear delt up so that you can make it stronger. You need a cable machine with two sides to your right and left. Most of the time I don’t add any attachments, but just use the ball that is connected to the machine at the where you would normally attach a curl bar or tricep bar. Make sure where you grab the machine is at the top.

Best Disc Golf Exercises
J. Rose working delts with X-fly

Reach up and across your body with your right arm and grab the ball to the left. With your left arm grab the ball to the right. Your arms should be criss-crossed to make an “X.” Now, you will pull both sides down to about should height using only the muscles in the back of your shoulder. Your arms should be out to your sides whenever you pull the weight down.

Best Disc Golf Exercises
J. Rose working delts with the X-fly

Recommended sets and reps: 3 sets of 10 reps (10 x 10 x 10 – pull 10 times and then rest. Do that 3 times)

2. Bent Over Rear Delt Flys

Muscles worked: rear delts (shoulder)

Stand straight and then bend over to about a 45° degree angle. Grab some weights or do this without. Put your arms down toward your feet with palms facing your legs. Bring you arms out to your sides, palms still facing away from you. Squeeze at the top to hit the rear delts.

Best Disc Golf Exercises
J. Rose working rear delts with the dumbbell fly
Best Disc Golf Exercises
J. Rose working rear delts with the dumbbell fly.

Recommended sets and reps: 3 sets of 10 reps (10 x 10 x 10)

3. Rear Delt Throw Flys

Muscles worked: rear delts (shoulder)

Go back to the machine you used for the X-flys. You will be using just one side. Make sure the ball is adjusted to be about chest height. You will reach across your body and grab the ball. The next movement will resemble a disc golf throw. Take a step, allow yourself to let the arm stretch like you would start a throw. Then bring it across the body to squeeze the rear delt.

Best Disc Golf Exercises
J. Rose working rear delts with throw flys
Best Disc Golf Exercises
J. Rose working rear delts with throw flys

Recommended sets and reps: 3 sets of 10 reps (10 x 10 x 10)

4. Dumbbell (or barbell) Shoulder Press

Muscles worked: middle delts (shoulder)

This exercise is a normal barbell or dumbbell press. Grab two dumbbells, sit down on a flat surface chair, and sit the dumbbells in your lap. Bring them both up to shoulder height with palms facing outward. Now press the two dumbbells upward over your head and bring them back down. You can also use a bar while standing like the pictures below. Whatever is most comfortable for you as it works the same muscles.

Best Disc Golf Exercises
J. Rose shoulder pressing 135 lbs.
Best Disc Golf Exercises
J. Rose shoulder pressing 135 lbs.

Recommended sets and reps: 3 sets of 10 reps (10 x 10 x 10)

5. Arnold Press

Muscles worked: middle delts, front delts (shoulder)

Again, use two dumbbells and sit in a chair with a flat surface. Bring the dumbbells up to shoulder height this time with palms facing you. Now press the weight up over your head as you turn your arms so that your palms end up facing outward. This exercise was created and used by Arnold Schwarzenegger to build tremendous shoulders.

Best Disc Golf Exercises
J. Rose completing the Arnold press
Best Disc Golf Exercises
J. Rose completing the Arnold press

Recommended sets and reps: 3 sets of 8 reps (8 x 8 x 8)

6. Regular Pushups

Muscles worked: Chest, front delts, rear delts

Regular pushups should be apart of every single full body, chest, or shoulder workout plan. You should know what a pushup is and how to do one, but if you don’t, it’s very easy. Lay flat on the ground with face down. Arm bent, arms out to your sides, palms on the ground. Use your strength to “push up” off the ground. This will work your chest and both your front and rear delts.

Best Disc Golf Exercises
J. Rose completing a standard pushup
Best Disc Golf Exercises
J. Rose completing a standard pushup

Recommended sets and reps: 3 sets of 12 reps (12 x 12 x 12)

7. Rear Squats

Muscles worked: hamstrings, quads, glutes, calves, core muscles

You can do this with or without a bar. The best way is with a straight squat bar. Step up to the squat rack. Step under the bar and let it rest on your upper back. Extend your arms to both sides and grab the bar. Push off and allow the bar to come off the rack. Take a step back.

Best Disc Golf Exercises
J. Rose squatting 275 lbs.

Bend at your knees and start squatting down. If you want an intense stretch, go all the way down to where it looks like you could be sitting in a chair. Now explode back up. If you’re just starting out, squat just enough to give yourself a good stretch and push the weight back up.

Best Disc Golf Exercises
J. Rose squatting 275 lbs.

Recommended sets and reps: 3 sets of 8 reps (8 x 8 x 8)

8. Leg press

Muscles worked: hamstrings, quads, glutes, calves

Add some weight to the leg press machine. Sit down in the machine with knees bent and press against the back of the machine to activate it. Press out to where your knees are almost straight. Do not lock your knees out.

Best Disc Golf Exercises
J. Rose crushing 10 plates on the leg press
Best Disc Golf Exercises
J. Rose crushing 10 plates on the leg press

Recommended sets and reps: 3 sets of 8 reps (8 x 8 x 8)

9. Abdominal “U” Crunches

Muscles worked: abs

For this exercise, your body should loosely resemble a “U” when performing it. Lay on the ground flat. Put your feet straight up in the air and perform a crunch motion with your upper body by trying to touch you toes with your hands.

Recommended sets and reps: 3 sets of 15 reps (15 x 15 x 15)

10. Oblique crunches

Muscles worked: obliques, abs

These are fairly easy to do. Lay on your back and then roll on your side. Whatever side you turn to, use the opposite side hand to grab the back of your head. Next, lift your upper body and lower body up and try to squeeze them together to get a good crunch.

Recommended sets and reps: 3 sets of 15 reps (15 x 15 x 15)

11. Planks

Muscles worked: abs, obliques

If you’ve ever seen, “planking,” this exercise is kind of like that. The only difference is that your arms arms are parallel to each other under your body holding you up by the elbows. It’s tough, but try to hold the position for 30 seconds or more! If you do this ten times, you will feel it tomorrow.

Recommended sets and reps: 3 sets holding for 30 seconds each (30 seconds x 30 seconds x 30 seconds)

12. Russian Twists

Muscles worked: abs, obliques

This is one of my favorite core exercises, but it is really tough. Sit down on the floor with knees bent. Cross your feet and pick them off the floor. Do a crunch then put your hands together. Now take your hands and touch the floor to the left. Twist the other way and touch the floor to the left. Left then right is one rep.

Recommended sets and reps: 3 sets of 15 reps (15 x 15 x 15 – touching left side then right side is 1 rep)

Extra – Finish up with a half mile jog

Nothing crazy about this. You’re just finishing up your workout with a short jog to hit the legs a little more. Jogging works the calves in the back of the lower leg. It also helps you get a little bit of cardio in, which is great for your body. Knock this jog out and know that you’ve really put in a good effort to start improving at disc golf.

Don’t forget to recover and rest

Great job with the workout! After your workout, your body will be sore and your muscles will have been thoroughly worked out. With that being said, you have to recover and rest. Your rest and recovery is just as important as you actually working out.

Protein/BCAAs

One great way to start the recovery process is through protein, recovery, and muscle building drinks, gel, or bars. I usually always keep a jar of protein powder at home or at my office so that I can make a quick protein drink. My favorite protein powder is Optimum Nutrition’s Whey protein powder. It’s delicious and gives you about 30 full scoop servings. You can find it on Amazon for about $30 dollars.

Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) are also a great way to assist with the recovery process and help reduce muscle soreness. It normally comes in powder form and can be found for around $15-30 dollars. The best tasting, highest quality BCAA powder is probably the Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard. You get a one month supply for around $28 dollars but you can check Amazon. The best quality BCAAs for your money are the standard Optimum Nutrition BCAA caps. You can get six months worth for about $25 bucks.

Nutrition

You also need to eat the right food. A good nutrition is absolutely essential to your recovery process. Good food helps your body get the right vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. The body loves that stuff and will heal better. Crappy fast food, too many carbs, and sugary snacks only cause inflammation and lack of healing. Also try to limit sugary drinks and candy. You feel like how you eat. The worse you eat, the worse you will feel. Don’t forget about water. You already read about water earlier, but I just want to stress the importance of water for your body and it’s ability to heal.

Sleep

Lastly, get plenty of sleep. Sleep is something you do for a good part of your day and needs to be quality sleep. Try to shoot for at least 6 hours per day and always take naps to get more if you can. Sleep helps your body recover fully and stay in prime shape.

Quick note: It’s not about any single part of your recovery process. It’s about the whole process. You might work out for an hour of your day. You may even play disc golf for two to three hours. That’s great for you, but what you do in the other 21-23 hours of your day can really make or break you. Take care of yourself so you can stay in shape, work out daily, and keep crushing your rounds on the disc golf course.

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Red

I am an avid disc golfer and lover of the sport. My mission with DiscgolfNOW.com is to reach as many people as possible to help them love disc golf, too!

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