by Susan Hill
What if I could give you three important exercises for golf and you were able to hit the ball farther than you’ve ever hit before? What if these exercises could be performed with a minimal investment of time and required no equipment? How about if I made it so simple and convenient you could simply perform them in the evening in the comfort of your own living space? What are you waiting for? Let’s get started!
The golf swing starts with core stability then adds in the elements of strength, flexibility, balance and coordination. Core conditioning is very important for a golfer because all movements in the upper and lower body are tied together, supported, and coordinated by your core.
The core is where the body’s center of gravity is located, and it is where movement begins. Because all movement begins at the core and then progresses out to the arms and legs, core strength is essential. The core acts to produce force, it stabilizes the body to permit other musculature to produce force, and it’s also called upon to transfer energy.
So, what types of equipment or tools are best to most effectively train this power region of the body? I’ll give you a hint. It’s not the machines in your gym. If you like the gym, then use the equipment that will provide the best results like pulley systems, free weights, and exercise/medicine balls, which provide far more neurological advantages than your typical exercise machine. Not only is the core challenged to fatigue with these alternatives to traditional machines, but you can recruit more muscle groups in two or three planes of motion compared to only one with machines.
Most people have a very weak core and, as a result, chronic posture problems. Over time, this creates wear and tear on the body. A golfer with a weak core is vulnerable to injury and will never be efficient in their swing. These weaknesses must be reversed in order to promote proper health and function. For now, let’s put the gym equipment at rest and get started with those simple, home based exercises and get ready to create some serious distance with those woods.
Golf-specific core exercises to excel on the course
- Crunch — Lie on the floor facing up with knees bent. Place your hands behind your head or across your chest and crunch forward. Contract the abdominals to raise the shoulders off the floor, pause and lower. You may also try this exercise on a Swiss ball.
- Twisting Crunch — Identical to the crunch except as you crunch up, rotate your shoulders to alternating sides. Don’t forget to contract your abdominals.
- Plank — Begin by lying on your stomach with legs extended. Place elbows directly beneath your shoulders with hands reaching forward. Push your body up onto your toes and elbows. Pull navel up and towards your spine. Do not allow your lower back to drop towards the floor. Try and hold this position for 30 seconds to start.
This blog post and it’s images have been reproduced with permission from Golfer Girl Magazine Spring 2007 Issue 1, Volume 1 pp. 13-14. Written by Susan Hill.