If you've been reading our blogs and eBooks for any length of time, you know that when it comes to training our players we take a Big Picture look at how the body factors into the golf swing. And it doesn't matter if that player just won $15 million and the FedEx Cup or if he just won $80 bucks and his weekly foursome. If you're looking to play your best, you have to train your entire body to be successful. But while a lot of players may do some quality upper-body training and lower-body training, many may be sabotaging their game by not focusing enough -- or correctly -- on the thing that ties the upper-body and lower-body together: the core.
“Core” Is More Than Just Abs
Your core is more than just your abs in the front of your body; it's everything from your waist up to your chest in the front and up to your shoulder blades in the back. It wraps around your whole midsection. And that's where a lot of folks make mistakes when it comes to training. By concentrating all of your "core" work on your abs, you stand the risk of creating imbalances that can negatively impact your game. Don't get us wrong, strong abs are great. But if the rest of your core strength is lacking, you're not going to have the power, accuracy, swing speed, and consistency that you could have.
Think of your core as being like the trunk of a tree. The trunk is designed to keep the tree upright through wind, rain, snow, and whatever else the world throws at it. If the trunk was only strong on one side, the tree might be able to withstand hurricane forces from the north, but strong winds from the east, west, or south would topple it.
On the course, you need your core to be strong and stable enough to withstand pressure from all directions -- from the gravity that's trying to pull you out of perfect golf posture to the momentum you create when you go into your backswing or when you finish your swing with a deep follow-through.
3 Core Exercises for your Golf Workout Routine
1. Standing Anti-Rotation
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart holding the handle of a resistance band in both hands. The other end of the band should be attached to an anchor point at chest height directly to your left. Hold the handle against your chest with feet, hips, and shoulders squared forward.
Slowly, push your hands forward until they're straight in front of you. You should feel the band trying to force you to rotate your body to the left and toward the anchor point. Your job is to resist that force. Hold your hands directly in front of you for a three-count and then slowly return to the starting point to complete the rep. Try to push the handle out and return it in a straight line. If you can't move your hands straight out and straight back, move closer to the anchor point to reduce the torque of the band.
Do 3 sets of 10 with the band on the left and then switch sides.
2. Side Planks
Lie on your right side propped up on your elbow with your left foot slightly in front of your right foot. Your elbow should be directly under your shoulder. Lift your hips so that you're only in contact with the floor with your right forearm and the outer edge of your right foot. Your body should form a straight line from your feet to your head.
Work your way up to being able to hold three 20-second side planks on each side.
3. Glute Bridges
To strengthen the lower back -- and your glutes -- lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground. You should just be able to just touch your heels with your fingertips. Press your lower back into the floor to prepare it for the movement and then lift your hips off the ground until there is a straight line from your knees to your shoulders. Try not to arch your lower back. Hold this position for a three-count. You should feel work going on in your hamstrings, glutes, and lower back. Lower yourself back to the ground to complete the rep.
Do 3 sets of 15 glute bridges.