February 1, 2012

Perhaps one of the biggest changes in the golf world today is the increased emphasis on fitness for golf. Tour professionals and amateurs alike are practicing regular fitness routines specifically targeted for golf. The results are more powerful golf swings and more consistent performance on the course.

Physical training should be a compliment to your complete process of development as a player. While the majority of golfers are now being educated as to the importance of “core” conditioning and its benefits to your game, let’s take a look at the various ways to train this area of your body.

Why train the core for golf?

When someone talks about their “core”, they’re referring to the muscles that go deep within the abs and back attaching to the spine or pelvis. A few of these muscles are the tranversus abdominis(TVA), the muscles of the pelvic floor, the lats and the obliques. The core muscles are the origination point for stability and movement in the golf swing. Stronger core muscles convert to better balance and a more powerful swing. They act to produce power, stabilization and transference of energy.

However, did you know there are various types of core exercises? Here’s a few to try.

Core Stabilization Exercises

Stability refers to your ability to control your body both statically and dynamically as in the golf swing. By maintaining the same level of firmness in your mid section, you an effectively transfer power from your lower body to your upper body. One of the best exercises to increase core stability is “the plank”. Assume a push up position on the floor. Then, elevate your entire body up into one line from your ears to your toes. Your body will have contact to the floor at the elbows and the toes. Hold this position for as long as possible or up to 2 minutes.

For those who are familiar with this exercise already and would like to see a more challenging exercise, try the Swiss Ball Plank seen in the photo.

Core Rotational Exercises

While core stabilization exercises are simple isometric positions which mean you assume a position and hold it to build better strength, there are also core rotational exercises. Once you have built solid strength, it’s time to begin using golf swing style motions to take your strength to the next level. Examples of core rotational exercise include a lunge with a medicine ball rotation, sitting medicine ball rotations or standing torso rotations. Each of these exercises mimic the rotation used in the golf swing.

Core Strength Exercises

While the two types of exercises above can both develop more core strength, there are many exercises which also help to develop core strength. Examples of core strength exercises include Swiss Ball ab crunches, Swiss Ball side crunches and Swiss Ball back extensions.

As you use exercise programs to help develop yourself as a player, be sure to incorporate the various styles of core strength to help improve the quality of your movements and get the most out of your swing.

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Susan Hill

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