Tiger Woods’ Workout Routine From His Prime Is Kinda Insane

In his prime, Tiger Woods was the most revered golfer on the PGA Tour. He won 14 major championships between 1997 and 2008 before an 11-year gap until his next major title, at the 2019 Masters.

A revelation Woods made about his workout routine at that point in his career helps us see just how physically dominant the golfer was before he started to slip. Tiger’s fitness routine gave him an edge over his competitors because it was the most extreme.

Essentially an all-day workout

When 26-year-old PGA Championship winner Justin Thomas asked Woods what he used to do when he was his age, the 43-year-old veteran described his old workout routine. Woods explained he would get up in the morning and run four miles. After that, he’d go to the gym to lift weights. Then, he’d hit some balls for two or three hours, go play around, and then work on his short game.

Another four-mile run followed, and he says “then if anyone wanted to play basketball or tennis, I would go play basketball or tennis.” That was Woods’ daily routine in his younger days, but he admits he’s “not doing any of that now.”

Tiger Woods’ competitive edge

Doing such an intense daily routine gave Woods an advantage over his fellow golfers, making him stronger both physically and mentally. Training as much as he did ensured he was at the top of his game.

The National Institute of Health found that exercise can help improve your mental health by reducing negative feelings like anxiety and depression while improving the cognitive functions of your brain. This is especially important for a sport like golf, which requires thinking and strategy on the part of a golfer.

Rory McIlroy’s workout

Rory McIlroy is one of the top golfers on the tour today. How does his workout routine compare to what Woods did in his prime? McIlroy begins with a light jog around the gym to get his blood pumping, then he does a stretching routine. Then, the 30-year-old does five deadlifts and five to 10 pull-ups on the pull-up bar. McIlroy follows this up with some planks.

After a short break, he does lunges while holding dumbbells. Next, McIlroy does press-ups with his hands gripping dumbbells followed by a lateral duck walk. Then, he does a rotation exercise with a medicine ball, before winding things down with more stretches. So as you can see McIlroy focuses more on strength.

What’s the best workout for a golfer?

Golf fitness instructor Sean Cochran has worked with several top golfers throughout the last two decades, including Phil Mickelson, Corey Pavin and Brad Faxon. He says that whether you’re a professional or a 15-handicap, the key to a good golf workout is the same. While arm and shoulder strength is needed in golf, it will only take you so far on the course.

The most important part of a golfer’s workout, Cochran says, is to improve your mobility and flexibility. Extra stretching and hip rotations are examples of exercises you can do for those areas, which help develop the ability to hit through the ball. Cochran says golfers should also work on core strength and stability.