There is only one phrase that has become synonymous with improving your golf swing and having more energy on the course. Core Training, this has become the best way to improve your swing in the world of golf.
Because it has become well known the number of professional golfers utilizing a golf fitness program to improve their golf swing, and core training has increased. This training can be a great benefit to your golf swing as a part of comprehensive golf fitness program.
The golf swing requires you to rotate around a fixed spine angle, so core training has become an integral part of a comprehensive golf fitness program because this is the anatomical area of the body where the majority of the golf swing occurs. The majority of muscles allowing rotation to occur around a fixed spine angle are found within the core region.
The golf swing requires a full shoulder turn to execute correctly. The muscles allowing the shoulders to rotate are mostly found within the core region of the body. These are just a few examples providing a reference between the bio-mechanics of the golf swing and the core region of the body.
Unfortunately many amateur golfers are unsure of the exact definition of core training and the relevance it may or may not have on a golf fitness program. The core is a reference to an anatomical area of body.
The core is the anatomical area of your body from above the knees to below the chest. It includes all the muscles, nerves, and bones within in this anatomical region of the body. It must also be noted that the core includes all the neuromuscular structures on the front, side, and back of your body.
For example, your lower back muscles are a part of the core as are your abdominal muscles, and are an integral part of improving your golf swing.
Understanding the connection between the bio-mechanics of the golf swing and the core should begin to shine some light on why core training can be beneficial to the golf swing. Overall, the golf swing requires certain levels of flexibility, balance, strength, endurance, and power to execute correctly. If the body lacks the required levels within these physical components the golf swing will be difficult to execute correctly.
Knowing that a large portion of the movements in the golf swing occur within the core region, it becomes obvious developing these physical components become necessary in order to improve your golf swing.
The key component of core training in relation to the golf swing centers upon the principle of cross-specificity training. Cross-specificity training implies the exercises within the core program train the body to the positions, movements, and requirements of the sport. A core training program beneficial to the golf swing must train the body specifically for the anatomical positions, movements, and actions encountered on the golf course.
One common area of desired improvement for most any golfer is increased distance. Increased distance in the golf swing is equated to increased clubhead speed. And increased clubhead speed is directly related to the golfer’s core strength.
Improving your golf swing with core training produces a better golf swing is connected to more distance off the tee.
Below is a set of 4 exercises specifically designed to improve your core region:
1. Elevated Glute Bridge
Benefits: A more challenging version of the Glute Bridge, to strengthen your glutes. Developing these muscles is critical for golfers because that’s where most of your swing power comes from.
- Lie on your back with your heels on a bench or step.
- Point your toes toward the ceiling.
- Squeeze your glutes and raise your back off of the ground.
- Only your head and the tops of your shoulders are on the ground.
- Extend your arms with your palms down.
2. Side Plank with Cable Row
Benefits: Increases core and back strength, the foundation for a strong drive. Also teaches your core to stabilize when you move your upper body, a critical skill for maintaining a precise swing.
- Lie on your side facing a cable machine.
- Grab a handle at an appropriate weight and rise up into a side plank.
- Perform cable rows while staying in a full side plank position.
3. Stability Ball Dumbbell Twist
Benefits: By performing a twist on a physioball, you improve rotational strength and control—keys for preventing lower back injuries.
- Lie with your back on a stability ball and hold a dumbbell in both hands
- With your arms extended.
- Slowly twist to one side while balancing on the ball.
- Squeeze your abdominal muscles.
Sets/Reps: 3×20 each side
4. Power Kneeling Cable Twist
Benefits: Adds core power to help you whip the club through the ball.
- Facing a cable machine, kneel down with either leg forward.
- Grab the cable machine handle with both hands.
- Choose a lighter weight than you would use for a slow repetition.
- Quickly twist to the side of your lead leg.
- So, right knee forward, twist toward the right.
- The quick movement makes it more of a power movement, mimicking the golf swing.
- Repeat with your other leg forward.
Sets/Reps: 4×14 each side
The goal of the core training program is improving your golf swing. The majority of fitness programs and many core programs do not address the needs of the golfer relative to improving flexibility, balance, strength, endurance, and power. A good core training program will provide the foundation for a better golf swing.
Once the golfer understands the concepts of core training for a better golf swing and the biomechanics of the golf swing. You can begin to piece together the components of a golf fitness program.
If the golfer increases the ability of the body to generate more force, what will be the result within the golf swing? The golfer is more powerful, an increase in clubhead speed will occur, and the golf ball will probably travel farther. Again, the golf swing is a rotational movement centering in the core region of the body. Increasing the the muscles in the core can invariably improve the power in your golf swing.
There are core training programs that can improve the golf swing in areas like clubhead speed. And remember just because a program is labeled “core” does not necessarily mean it will improve your golf swing. The exercises within the core program must correlate with the movements of the golf swing.