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The latest training industry buzzword, the "core" holds one of the secrets to improving performance on the golf course. Anybody who's anybody is searching for the best way to work his or her abdominals. But for a golfer, the core is more essential than the desire for a killer six-pack.
Your core muscles comprise all of the muscles that act on the hip. They're located generally in the middle of the body (stomach,
and obliques), acting also on the spine to brace in an upright position.
Think of your swing. It involves all of your core musculature. The best golfers have excellent core strength so they can stabilize and remain in good posture throughout the swing. Even those who are overweight have good flexibility and tight cores, despite their excess body fat.
If you are serious about improving your game, do the following golf core workout at least three times a week and see how much better your game becomes.
Core Exercises for Golf
Sets/Duration: 3x30- to 90-second hold
For an added challenge, elevate your feet on a bench or stability ball
- Distribute your weight evenly on your forearms and toes
- Hold body in straight line and pull stomach in tight, as if you were about to be punched
- Squeeze glutes and quads to keep hips in line
- Don't forget to breathe
Sets/Reps: 3x10-15 and 1x30-second hold
- Start on knees
- Lean forward as if you were doing a Push-Up on your knees
- Place forearms on stability ball
- Push hips forward and down
- Straighten arms and brace core
- Squeeze glutes to relieve pressure on lower back
Single Arm Farmer's Walk
Sets/Duration: 4x30 seconds with heavy weight
For the traditional Farmer's Walk you hold heavy dumbbells in each hand and walk a set distance while bracing your core. The single arm version forces you to really use your core to keep yourself upright. By putting all the weight on one side of your body, you have to tighten your opposite obliques and hip abductors to keep yourself centered.
Static Lunge with Isometric Hold
Sets/Duration: 1x30 seconds
- Step forward into Lunge
- Set shoulders back and chest out
- Drop back leg almost to ground
- Hold one end of band or cable with both arms extended in front; have partner hold other end
- Staying in lunge position, use core to brace yourself while partner pulls and relaxes the band
The king of all exercises is also great for your core. The glutes are the major muscles that act on the hip, and they are a large part of core training. To deadlift, you also engage your erector spinae and hamstrings, while your abs act as a stabilizer during the movement.
- Drop hips low and push through heels
- Take the slack out of the bar first
- While squeezing lats and abs, push through ground and lift bar
- Keep bar as close to legs as possible
- Finish by locking out hips and contracting glutes
(See also Develop Strength and Stability With Golf Core Exercises.)