124th U.S. Open

Pinehurst No. 2


Nelly Korda has three exercises for you that will really improve your ball-striking

September 21, 2023

You’ve probably been told to turn, not sway or slide, in your backswing. You’ve also probably been told to maintain your spine angle throughout your swing. Those things are key to quality ball-striking, but they require a sufficient amount of strength and mobility to achieve. If you're looking to make your swing more functional, stable and even powerful, try these exercises from LPGA star Nelly Korda.

Bulgarian Split Squats

“She’s doing this with a looped band, external-resistance variable,” Andrea Doddato, a Golf Digest Certified Fitness Trainer, says. “She is working at keeping her knee in alignment, forcing her glute medius and outside quad muscle to fire against the resistance of the band.”

/content/dam/images/golfdigest/fullset/2023/nelly korda squat.png

Also note that she's doing these squats with a 26-pound weight in each hand, increasing the difficulty, but Doddato recommends that you start by doing this exercise without weights and focus on form before adding any external loads.

“This kind of exercise keeps her very strong and grounded in her legs to load and unload under the force of her rotation,” Doddato says. "This is key in the golf swing, as it helps players eliminate the slide or sway, and instead have the strength to coil or wind in the backswing."

Seated Underhand Rows

/content/dam/images/golfdigest/fullset/2023/nelly korda row.png

“The underhand aspect of the row helps keep her upper traps out of the movement, so she can focus on squeezing her mid traps (shoulder blades) together,” Doddato says.

Strengthening these muscles are important, because it helps keep the shoulder in position in the backswing and follow-through. “It also aids in making a powerful turn of the thoracic spine (middle back),” Doddato says.

Plank Cable Pulls

/content/dam/images/golfdigest/fullset/2023/nelly korda plank cable pull.png

“The torso, core and hips need to stay level as the arm performs a lat pull,” Doddato says.

It’s difficult to keep the body in perfect alignment during the entirety of this movement.

“The biggest mistake that people will do within this exercise is not keeping the hips level, they will cheat and have a leak of strength and power as the hips tilt toward the arm that remains on the ground,” Doddato says.

Doing this exercise is a great way to help train your body to maintain its spine angle throughout the swing.