core and glutes
It’s tough at the top, they say. That certainly applies to sport, and golf is no exception. It is, of course, a game of small margins, and at the pinnacle of the professional game, there is little separating players. Tour professionals are all looking for an edge to help them push their game that extra one percent. This explains why the physical aspect of the game has become more and more important. Consequently, on the roster of support staff for virtually every tour pro, you will find a personal trainer or a performance coach. Whatever their title, it will be someone to coach and guide them through exercises, to push their physical fitness and mobility to achieve that peak performance. The stresses on the golfer’s body are considerable and injuries are a real threat to a career. A trainer who understands the individual needs of a client is invaluable to increase performance and longevity of their game, as I’m sure any tour pro will agree. Conditioning your body in order to get more out of golf is not only crucial for tour pros but for every golfer. Most of us have physical limitations, whether that is structural, mobility, or strength imbalances. Working on these aspects will help to improve your game, as well as your durability, longevity and enjoyment of the great game. The golf swing is an extremely complex movement calling on virtually every muscle in the body. There is plenty of rotation through the hip and throughout the thoracic spine. These movements are primarily controlled by the trunk or core muscles and the glutes. We often see golfers with hip and lower back problems whose issues stem from weak core muscles and glutes. Since golf is an explosive activity, it is not surprising that the movement is causing stress on our bodies which, without training will most likely result in stress injuries. Any form of exercise is positive. However, as a golfer, it is vital to include core strengthening exercises into your fitness regime to try and keep those lower back and hip problems at bay. Of course, when increasing your core strength, you might just see an increase in speed of rotation and control, resulting in increased distance and accuracy of your game. As with most things, best results are achieved when training on a one-on-one basis with an experienced coach or trainer. Everybody is different and a good trainer will quickly establish the areas to focus on to achieve quick and lasting results. However, in this article, I will share two exercises with you that are simple to do, don’t require any equipment and can be done literally anywhere. When done correctly, even the simplest of exercises are surprisingly effective. Therefore, it is crucial to always remind yourself to observe the correct form when carrying out these – or indeed any – exercises.
Core: These are the muscles that help to support your spine and will help you maintain control and power throughout your swing. They also play a significant role in balancing and stabilising the body. Let’s look at a core exercise that is going to increase your core strength and stability.
THE DEAD BUG
You must maintain constant contact and pressure between the floor and your lower back.
Set up: Lay on your back with both legs up in the air, knees bent 90 degrees and hands pointing to the ceiling. Stretch out your right leg and lower it to just above the floor (or until you feel your back coming off the floor, whichever comes first). Bring your leg back to the starting position and repeat with your left leg.
Glutes: These group of muscles are major players in your hip drive and will help to maintain stability. If you’re looking to increase power and balance through your swing, these are the muscles to focus on. A good way to build up those glutes is an exercise called ‘glute bridge’.
It is essential to keep your core muscles engaged throughout the entire exercise.
Set up: Lay on your back, heels flat on the floor and close to your hips. Arms at the sides flat on the floor with the palms facing down. Drive the hips towards the ceiling – make sure to concentrate on squeezing the glutes – until you are in a straight line from the shoulders, through the hips, to the knees. Ensure you engage your core in order to maintain that straight line and stop any over-extension of the back and control the descent. If you are able, try to stop just before you touch the floor to increase the time under tension on the target muscles.
You can view these exercises on within the video post types on this site
Please remember that exercises carried out incorrectly can do more harm than good.