You hear it so often, people talking about the ‘core’ its almost mystical. People believe it to be your abdominal muscles, some your obliques and others your lower back muscles. in my opinion it is all of these, infact I believe it covers every stabilising muscle between your legs and shoulders, including your glutes!
Why do you need a strong core for golf? Well, it helps stabilise your swing and prevent lots of common swing mechanic errors, it provides lots and I mean lots of power in the swing and it also protects you from injury. Here are my top 4 exercises for building a strong core for golf.
The humble plank, such a good exercise! it trains the abs, obliques, lower back, hip flexors and the glutes. the key to a good plank is keeping a dead straight line from head to heel, no sagging or raised bum! You want to really squeeze your abs and glutes in the plank and start off with a few sets of 15-20 seconds and work your way up each session pushing for more time. your golf swing will really thank you for this one!
2. Cable / Band ‘Wood Chop’
This one sound complex but it is essentially holding a cable or band (easy to se at home) in both hands with straight arms in front of your body and rotate, usually done from shoulder height on one side downwards towards the other and vice-versa, google/youtube it, its a simple movement. The reason it is such a great movement is that it emulates a golf swing and as such builds the necessary muscles to perform the movement with resistance meaning when you take away that resistance you will have no trouble swinging like a well oiled speed machine! it also helps to iron out golf related muscular imbalances because you perform sets of the exercise on each side which make this an even more valuable exercise.
3. Back Extensions
Preferably 45 degree (there or thereabouts) extensions. These can be performed ona specialised rest at the gym or can be cobbled together on a regular bench set at aheight you can lean over. I personally love these as they hit my lower back and glutes like nothing else. Your glutes are not only used for power in the golf swing but also to stabilise your lower back and prevent injury. if you love to practice and spend a lot of time hitting shots then you should add these to your routine straight away!
4. Bicycle Crunches
These in my opinion are the only worthwhile crunches when it comes to golf specific training, that’s because they train the abs and obliques more evenly. I usually like to do these for a set amount of time instead of reps, it will do them for something like 5 sets of 30 seconds but you can mix it up in any way you see fit. I like to get a real burn on these usually at the end of a workout just to finish off any muscle fibres that escaped! these will give you a nice tight feeling around your core.
There you go, my top 4 core strengthening exercises for a powerful and stabile golf swing. These can all be performed one after the other for a great core workout or add a couple to the end of each of your workouts, the good thing about core training is that its very hard to do too much.
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