If you were to think about one body area to strengthen in order to improve your golfing distance, accuracy and consistency it would definitely be your stomach muscles. The stomach or abdominal muscles are the foundation for supporting proper golf posture throughout the swing and are the core muscles responsible for allowing your legs and arms to generate power. Strong arms and legs without a solid foundational support from strong abdominal muscles will not provide you with the added distance and accuracy you are looking for. As a golfer, weak stomach muscles will also promote injury to the lower back.
There are four portions of your abdominal muscles that need to be strengthened: upper, lower, transverse and oblique. The following exercises are beginning level suggestions for you to try so you can develop the core strength in your body necessary to gain added distance, accuracy and consistency in your golf shots.
SIDE CURL-UP OVER BALL
Purpose: Strengthen obliques.
Benefit: Allow powerful acceleration of clubhead through impact and improve trunk rotation potential.
Instruction: From side lying position on exercise ball, place hands behind head.
Raise top elbow towards top hip, contracting side muscles.
Hold at top 1-2 seconds, release back down.
LOWER ABDOMINAL EXERCISE
Purpose: Increases strength and endurance of the abdominal muscles. Improves control of these muscles and encourages a “neutral pelvic position”.
Benefit: Strong abdominal musculature is critical to maintaining proper posture and minimizing stress on the lower back. Strong, properly coordinated abdominals create a stable foundation to allow the rest of the body to function optimally and safely. When achieving proper posture (spine angle) at address and throughout the full swing.
When you do a “pelvic tilt”, you lock your pelvis in a neutral position. This is the safest and most stable position for your spine and pelvis. You should attempt to hold a neutral pelvic position as much as possible. This becomes even more critical when making a full swing.
Instruction: The Pelvic Tilt
Every level begins with the pelvic tilt. The tilt should be maintained through the entire exercise. Always breathe when doing the exercise.
To do a pelvic tilt you will:
- Lay on the floor with knees bent
- Tighten your stomach muscles (as if to brace yourself)
- Flatten the arch in your lower back (you should feel the pressure of your low back being pressed into the floor or, if preferred, into a small towel roll.
Pelvic tilt in static back position.
Lay on the floor in the “static back” position. Place a towel roll under your neck. Pelvic tilt by contracting your stomach muscles and squeezing your low back into the floor.
Hold for 2-3 breaths, then relax.
Do 5 sets of 10 tilts (or a total of 50).
Progress to double tray position if possible.
Body Balance for Performance is the complete golf health and fitness program. To find out more about Body Balance for Performance and/or to locate a Body Balance for Performance center near you please visit www.fitgolf.com or call 1-888-FIT-GOLF (348-4653).