In this issue I will be focusing on increasing stability and building on the core work we covered in the previous issue. Hopefully, you will have included the core exercises into your fitness routine and noticed an improvement in core strength.
The first point to make is that a good golf swing hinges on there being a sturdy and stable base from which it is produced. This of course starts with the feet. It’s where we initialise rotation and sustain power throughout a drive.
The second point is on consistency. It’s what separates average from good and good from great. Of course, that comes from ingraining movement. Practising a shot until it becomes more natural to produce the desired result than to not. Where does stability fit into this? Stability is one of the aspects that provides consistency. If your base is strong and stable, it will certainly help you keep your swing in its optimal path.
Although stability is required at every joint in golf, lower body stability is most crucial, which is why we are concentrating on the
It is important to understand which parts of your body provide stability and which provide mobility. Your feet provide stability – ankles mobility, knees stability – hips mobility, lumbar spine stability and thoracic spine mobility. It’s no accident that they are stacked in that order.
So, let me help you improve that stability. This is done in a multitude of ways and we will explore three effective methods:
1. Unilateral exercises
These are essentially one-sided movements. The suitcase lift – where weight is positioned only in one hand as you progress through a movement – is a typical example. Other unilateral exercises are single leg squats or pistol squats to name just a few.
2. Rotation exercises
A soon as we engage the transverse plane of movement, we experience an increased load placed on the stabilisers. Most of the movement we do is in the frontal and sagittal planes i.e., forward/backwards or lateral movement. The golf swing is of course a great example of movement in the transverse plane, requiring the body to produce an enormous rotational force. A golfer’s exercise regime must naturally train the strained muscles and joints.
3. Destabilising exercises
This may initially sound counterintuitive, but the idea to prepare your body by overexaggerating conditions is quite logical. With the help of a balance board or a bosu during our exercises, we increase the difficulty, forcing the body to adapt to the new stimulus. Besides the obvious muscle groups, increased stabilisation is being demanded from the core and through heightened proprioceptive feedback. Proprioceptors are neurons within muscles tendons and joints that respond to position and movement, if we try and stand on one leg with our eyes closed it is these proprioceptors that help us not to topple over. Or, perhaps a safer example, it’s what enables our index finger to find our nose even with our eyes closed.