Your Core Workout - Feel and Play Better
One of the big trends in golf fitness and instruction in the past five years has been “core muscle stability training”. Having a strong core, which are the muscles of the abdomen, lower back and pelvis, not only reduces any athletes risk for injury and lower back pain, but also is the foundation for power, balance and proper posture.
How to Find Your Core
Not sure what your core muscles are or how to feel them. Try this simple exercise. Sit on a large exercise ball with your feet flat on the floor. The muscles engaged to keep you seated upright in balance are your core muscles. I like to feel it in my golf swing by trying to push my feet into the floor or ground as I prepare to swing. I have found that this is an awareness that you can develop through simple exercises.
Benefits of a Stable Core
Activating these muscles as you prepare to swing has a myriad of benefits. First, you will be much more powerful. Sixty percent of your body’s overall strength is in your body’s core muscles. Not only can you “load” or stretch your muscles better in the back swing and therefore fire them more quickly on the down swing, with an engaged core, but without core stability it will be very difficult to maintain posture as you rotate during your swing. Fluxation in spine angle or posture creates major inconsistency in performance, especially off the tee
How to Train Your Core
First of all forget the traditional crunch. It may give you a few more ripples and a few less jiggles, but all it is doing is shortening a few surface muscles with without strength elsewhere are pulling you forward creating poor posture. For improved core strength, better health and golf, make these three simple core exercises part of your daily routine (no gym equipment needed).
- The Plank – Position yourself like you are going to do a pushup. You can rest either on your hands or your elbows. Push yourself up off the floor and hold that pose, making sure that your body is in one long straight line from head to toe. Don’t let your middle sag, and keep your neck straight. Hold as long as possible.
- Side Plank - Repeat the same exercise above but on your side. Rest on one elbow, fore arm, and side. Push yourself up off the floor and hold making sure your body stays aligned from head to toe. Hold for as long as you can on each side.
- Superman – Lay on the floor, stomach down arms up like you are flying like “superman”. Slowly lift your left arm, chin and right leg simultaneously four inches off the ground. Hold for five seconds and lower to rest for five seconds. Repeat with your right arm, chin and left leg. Do ten repetitions.
Greg Rose and Dave Phillips at the Titleist Performance Institute are absolutely the experts in Golf Fitness and Performance. MyTPI.com is loaded with great information. Also check out Joey Diovislvi and his new book “Fix Your Body, Fix Your Swing.