Core Training for Golfers
What, working out for golf? Am I crazy? Not really. Think about it, your muscles will have to be tone, at least, to hit a straight and long ball. When you are using your short game you will need strong quadriceps and hamstrings to maintain the proper posture to follow through and end up in the same posture every time. You want to fire through that tee shot and hit that chip straight, every time.
It is true that you use dozens of muscles with every golf shot, but the core muscles are where you derive the power and stability to reach the green and be inline for the cup. When I mention the core muscles I am talking about the abdominals and, to a less extent, the quadriceps and hamstrings. An abdominal workout that includes transverse rotation will greatly improve your golf game.
What Are Your Core Muscles?
There are four core muscles that need to be worked out in order to improve your golf game and maybe even develop a six pack of abs. They are the rectus abdominis, inner and outer obliques, and the transverse abdominis. A lot of words to describe the muscles that hold in your gut, help you breath and twist your body around. Strengthening these muscles, along with the hamstrings and quadriceps, will add up to 50 yards to your drive.
How Can I Strengthen My Core Muscles?
There are dozens of exercises that you can do to strengthen your core muscles and improve your golf game. As a Golf Biomechanic, I often see people who wonder why they are losing distance of their game and not shooting as straight as they used to. My first question is “Do you work out at all?” The general answer is “No.”. You can not let your body go and expect it to continue to perform at the same level. Professional golfers know that they have to maintain a strong core to last on the tour.
A good place to start is with isometric exercises. You can do these in the office, car, or on the couch. Simply exhale and tighten your stomach and buttocks as much as possible without pain and hold that pose for 10 seconds. Relax and breathe. Repeat the exercise as long as you desire. Always keep your back straight. Do the same with your legs. While sitting, hold your knees at a 90 ° angle to the floor and tighten them as much as possible. Hold for 10-15 seconds, relax then repeat.
That is the easy stuff. Why don’t you work on those quads and hammies next? Stand up and breathe normally. Squat to an approximate sitting position. Hold for 10-15 seconds and stand back up, then repeat. It may help to rest your back against a wall so that you maintain the correct posture. You are going to feel that I guarantee it. A little time on the treadmill or outdoors jogging is great stuff for these muscles. Always make sure to stretch before your game. Take your driver out. One hand on the grip and the other just above the club head. Bend to the ground with your back and knees straight. For a little extra stretch, Touch the club head to one foot, return to the start position , then touch it to the other foot.
Now let’s look at those abdominal muscles. The will need to be tone and string. There is no way to avoid doing the good old sit-up. Crunches and reverse crunches are better tools, but you will need to start where you are most comfortable. You will always want to add transverse rotation to your ab workout so that you can gain the most for your exercises. It is easy enough to do. As you bring your upper body towards your knees rotate from knee to knee. Left elbow to right knee, down, up, right elbow to left knee. Keep alternating this sequence until your are tired and then to one more set.
Gain Stability and Strength
Toning and strengthening your core muscles will add stability and distance to your golf game. You may not think of muscle bound athletes on the links, but how many of the top golfers have a gut that hangs over their belt? None. You need strong quads and hamstrings so your knees can stay bent during your shots. You will need strong abdominals to put more snap into the club as you bring through the shot.
I only talked about a couple of exercises in this article. There are over 40 abdominal exercise in my eBook Firm and Flatten Your Abs at flattenyourabs.net. As a Golf Biomechanic I have tried to list a variety of workouts and exercises to help the amateur golfer as well as the pros out there.