The core is, simply put, the foundation for your spine and pelvis. The major muscles in your core are found in the belly and mid/lower back. Its function is to stabilize the spine during your swing and transfer energy from your lower body to your upper body. Your core also helps you to keep your balance and allow you to control/maximize rotational forces during the acceleration and deceleration of your swing. To improve your function and performance, it’s important to properly incorporate a strength-training program into your exercise routine that focuses on core stability. All exercises should be performed PAIN-FREE. You should consult a healthcare professional and/or physical therapist before starting a new exercise routine.
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Lay on the ground with your knees up and feet flat on the ground. Start by raising your hips as high as possible and hold that position for 5 seconds. To increase difficulty, once your hips are raised, lift one leg at a time in a marching motion. Repeat for 3 sets of 10 repetitions.
Attach one side of a resistance band to a wall or pole and hold the opposite end. Stand perpendicular to the band with your arms outstretched fully. Rotate against the resistance of the band as far as possible and return. Repeat for 3 sets of 10 repetitions per side.
Begin with a barbell resting on the traps behind your neck. Slowly lower down into a squatting position with your knees over your toes, shoulders over your knees, and weight on your heels. When your hips are at the same level as your knees, return to the standing position. It is important to maintain proper posture with your back straight for the duration of the exercise. Repeat for 3 sets of 10 repetitions.
Begin with the bar resting on the ground in front of your ankles. Squat down using the same method as the Squat exercise, and grip the bar just outside knee width. Keep your back straight and lift the bar until standing completely straight. Lower the bar the same way. Repeat for 3 sets of 10 repetitions per side.
Begin by holding the medicine ball in both hands with your feet perpendicular to the target. Rotate away from the target as far as possible. Then begin rotating back toward the target leading with your hips and throw the ball as far as possible. Repeat for 3 sets of 10 repetitions per side.
Begin with your feet evenly spaced and slowly lower down into a squatting position with knees over your toes, shoulders over your knees, and weight on your heels. When your hips are at the same level as your knees, return to the standing position. Try to maintain stability throughout the exercise, as the ball or board will throw you off balance. For more difficulty, try doing these with your eyes closed. Repeat for 3 sets of 10 repetitions.
For more in-depth balance exercises, grab a club, and with the same stance as before, lightly swing the club back and forth while attempting to stay completely balanced during your swings. Do this with a variety of stances to improve balance in different situations.
Hit the Ball Further
Without considering skill as a factor, hitting the ball further comes down to one simple variable – apply the maximal amount of power to the ball. Power increases as both force and speed increase, so this should be the focus of your exercise routine. Here are some basic exercises and progressions to help you transfer maximal power and force as quickly as possible into the ball.
The Squat Series
Squatting has been proven to add power to a golf swing and is a staple of lifting for power. Start with basic body-weight squatting and then add weight or move to a single leg to increase the stress on muscles and thus improve your strength. The stronger a muscle is, the more power and club head speed it can generate. Repetitions and sets vary based on your ability and how familiar you are with lifting.
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With your feet shoulder-width apart and your toes forward or slightly turned out if needed, squat down as shown in the image. Be mindful to not let your knees bend forward past your toes (you should be able to see your toes throughout the exercise) and to not let your trunk bend forward too much (it should feel about the same as the forward lean in the approach). Repetitions: Aim for endurance, up to 40 repetitions.
This is best performed squatting onto a bench, sturdy chair, or high step. Stand with one leg held off of the bench and squat slowly to the ground using one leg. Be mindful that your knee stays over your squatting leg and does not fall inward. Aim for endurance up to 40 repetitions.
These can be performed with a resistance band or tubing, with dumbbells held at your sides or with a barbell in front of or behind your head. Perform the same movement as the Body-Weight Squats, being mindful of your knee and trunk position. It is advised to start with a light resistance or small weight, and work up as your strength increases. Perform 3 sets of 6-10 repetitions. Consult a professional if unsure about adding resistance or weight.
The Jump Series
Squatting alone won’t teach the body how to produce power, because it doesn’t account for the way we store energy elastically. Plyometrics need to be added into your training and should include jumping to transfer energy quickly into the ball. Start with a basic jump squat. Add a box at a difficult, but manageable height, to add challenge and develop more power. The explosive step-up helps build more power off of one leg, which is important since we generate most of our power from our back leg. Volume will vary depending on your conditioning and ability. Total volume for the entire workout should be 80-100 repetitions for beginners, 100-120 for intermediate, and 120-140 for advanced. The goal is to aim for maximum height and may require more rest to allow you to adequately recover.
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Start in a normal standing position and bend your knees and hips to load and jump vertically. Gather and repeat.
Same as jump squat, but land on a box in front of you. Start at a lower-height box and work your way up to a maximal height.
Use a larger box. Facing the box, put one foot on it. Perform a power move up to standing on one leg while you drive the opposite leg up to waist level. Return and repeat.
Improving Your Shoulder Turn
The sequence of your golf swing is integral to establishing power, contact, and consistency. One component of a good sequence is the ability to get a good shoulder turn, while maintaining a solid core/lower body. The following exercises will help you get a good shoulder turn and improve your sequence of swinging.
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Starting on all fours, sit back until your buttock touches your heels and place your right forearm on the ground between your knees. Place your left hand behind your head and even your weight out between your two knees and your right forehand. Without rocking back and forth, try to rotate your left shoulder and elbow up and point it to the sky. Hold for 3 seconds. Return to the starting position. Stay stable throughout the exercise. Repeat on opposite side. Perform 2 sets of 8 repetitions on each side.
Get in the half kneeling position with an exercise band wrapped around your legs. Place your hands behind your head and keep your trunk upright. Slowly rotate your spine to the right until you can’t go any farther. Then flex laterally to the right and return to straight. Hold for 30 seconds. Return to the start position and repeat. Perform 1 set of 5 repetitions in both directions.
Attach one end of the tubing to a secure low-point attachment. With hands separated and palms facing down, grasp the tubing. Kneel down with your inside knee down. Both knees should be flexed at 90 degrees. Hold your hips directly under your trunk with your shoulders back. Pull up the tubing across your chest while keeping it close, as shown in images. Your trunk should rotate and follow your hands throughout the exercise. Your lower body should remain stable. Perform 2 sets of 8 repetitions on each side.
Improving Your Range of Motion
Upper Quadrant (Click to Expand)
Lower Quadrant (Click to Expand)
Facing forward, turn your head to the left as far as it is comfortable. Gently add a little pressure with your hands to stretch further. Stop if there is pain. Hold for 10-15 seconds. Repeat for the other side. Repeat 2-3 times each direction, making sure you sit or stand tall.
Gently pull on your left elbow with your other hand until a stretch is felt in the back of your left shoulder. Hold for 10-15 seconds. Repeat the same stretch with your right shoulder. Repeat 3 times on each side.
Stand with hands clasped behind your head. Pull your elbows back as far as possible. Hold for 10-15 seconds. Relax. Make sure you stand tall while avoiding a shrugging motion with your shoulders. Repeat a total of 3 times.
Sit or stand, with tubing in both hands, elbows at your sides, bent to 90°, with your forearms forward. Pinch your shoulder blades together and rotate your forearms out. Keep elbows at your sides. Avoid if painful. Repeat 3 sets of 10, making sure your palms are facing each other through the entire range of motion. Avoid shrugging your shoulders.
Standing with your feet shoulder width apart, grasp a club with one hand, palm forward, arm extended above head. Place the other hand/palm behind your back, arm bent, elbow down. Pull gently upward. Hold 10-15 seconds. Switch arms and repeat 3 times on each side. Remember to keep your shoulder blade relaxed with your lower arm.
With a resistance band looped around each hand and your arms straight out in front, stretch the band across your chest. Make sure your hands stay below shoulder height while your elbows are straight. Avoid if painful. Repeat 3 sets of 10.
Sit with back straight, legs extended. Cross one leg over other, foot parallel to extended leg. Bring opposite arm behind crossed leg, pushing on crossed leg for more stretch in trunk. Other hand supports. Hold 10-15 seconds. Repeat with other leg.
Complete 3 times each direction.
Place tubing around your left foot while standing on your right foot. Tubing in door and right shoulder closest to door.
Slight bend in your right knee while keeping knee over 2nd and 3rd toes.
Pull your left foot away from door.
Repeat 3 sets of 10.
Place tubing in door while right shoulder is closest to door.
With tubing around right leg, bring right leg across body. Make sure your left knee is bent and your knee stays over your 2nd and 3rd toes.
Repeat 3 sets of 10, resting as needed.
Lie on back, legs in air, knees bent. Grasp hands behind one thigh and cross other leg over same thigh. Hold 10-15 seconds. Repeat with other leg held.
Repeat 3 times on each side.