Look after your Core & your Core will look after you …

We all have good intentions when it comes to our own wellbeing and fitness, finding the motivation and time can be a regular source of struggle.  I for one am reminded of this on a weekly basis, and like most it is not unknown for me to get a little niggle that just won’t go away.

I’ll be honest with you, around 6 years ago I remember walking down the 18th fairway at my home club with a member, it was a beautiful still warm day and we were nearly at the 19th.  I felt fit, strong and loving my new found lifestyle.  She turned to me and commented on my strength and fitness, encouraging me to stay strong and pointing out the importance of keeping your muscle mass active.  Losing muscle is a natural part of ageing and how quickly that can happen to women in their late 40’s early 50’s. I now know that her advice should have been taken more seriously.

Yes I have a gym membership, I often find myself in there roaming from one piece of equipment to the other not really focusing on a particluar issue.  I wanted to share an exercise rountine working on stability, a routine that you can do at the gym or in your own home. I know alot of you work on your strength already, but these exercises are golf specific.  

Rotational stability (not swaying backwards during the backswing) is super important in your golf swing, you need to be able to be stable by using the musculature from your hips right up through your core and into your shoulder girdle or your swing control will suffer and likely your power will too.

Golf activity is not limited to playing golf on course, practice at the driving range or even putting across your carpeted floors.  It is important to devote some time to your body to improve stability, strength and flexibility.  It will also help prevent injuries and improve your game over time.

I have put together some interesting exercises with the help of a sports physio that can be done on a regular basis using minimal equipment.  These exercises won’t take too long to complete and will challenge most people especially if you are not doing anything similar at present.

For some exercises you will need a swiss ball and I also use a light resistance elastic theraband in others.

The underlying principle in these exercises is to recruit the muscles in your trunk, pelvis and core to brace you whilst you move in a controlled direction.

A bit like golf, when making a swing we need to feel connected-upper body to hips and legs to ground.  We want to eliminate feeling wobbly and create a braced feeling as our foundation of our swing.  We will swing with control, repeatability and predictability if we can reinforce our neuromuscular patterns with regular relevant core exercises.

1.  Lying on a swiss ball – hold on to a ballestrade or fixed poles.  Not a mobile chair. Curl up and extend legs. This helps your upper body connect to your legs.

2.  Swiss ball squats.  Push ball back as you bend front knee forwards.  Avoid twisting and don’t allow front knee to move inwards.  Great stability exercise.

3.  Pelvic rotations using the available range of hip rotation.  Hands across shoulders, knees slightly bent.  Avoid side to side shunts.  Not as easy as it looks.

4.  Pelvic tilting.  Good for pelvic control and low back strength.  Helps you stay down in the shot.

5.  The ‘W’ Pull theraband vertically down just past your nose.  Elbows will end up pointing to the floor.  Good for shoulder girdle strength.  Recruits lateral muscle to connect trunk to pelvis.

6.  The Drinking Bird.  Forwards and backwards on the leg.  Do both sides. Counterbalance trunk motion with opposite leg motion.  Great stabilizer.

7.  Stand on 1 leg.  Foot on supporting knee.  Remain steady with pelvis facing forwards always as you open and close your non-supporting knee.  Do both sides.

8.  Another exercise that requires stability and balance whilst you play a small golf swing.  A real challenge.  If you can do several of these it indicates that you have improved.  Avoid dropping knee inwards.

9.  Resisted golf swing using double theraband elastic.  Self explanatory. Stay down in the shot.  Rotate through forward hip.  Will strengthen trunk rotators.

These exercises are not easy and will provide you with

a challenge

an indication of where your balance and stability is at

variety on what you are currently doing

a genuine targeted set of drills

something to do when not playing or if it’s raining outside

Specific dosage will vary from person to person however a good safe place to start is 2 sets of 10 repetitions every second day.  

Add another set every 10 days until you are doing 4 sets of 10.  

If you have an injury consult you relevant practitioner regarding the suitability for your circumstance.

Together we can all work on the most important part of our swing, our core.  “2019 the year of the Core” 🙂

Nikki xx

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