One of the major reasons for your plummeting performance at the golf course has to do with your body’s core strength. Your core strength is just as important as buying the right golf clubs set, knowing how to use each club in your bag, and wearing the right golf attire. Why? How?
Contrary to popular belief, golf is a very demanding game physically, and also you need more than strong arms for the perfect swing. And with your swing speed playing a significant role in golf, particularly in lowering your handicap, you need to work on boosting your core strength, besides the shoulders, back, legs, and the arms.
There’s also the fact that your performance at the golf course depends on both your physical fitness and your mastery of different golf techniques.
So, in this article, we explore all the core exercises you need to try for your performance on the golf course.
But first, it’s important to note that working out and having a golf workout regime in genera is essential for golfers as it lowers the risks of injury while enhancing the power, accuracy, distance, and the finesse of your swings.
By working on your core, you will improve your overall performance and have a good posture. The core exercises recommended below will also help you resolve issues like early extensions, a flat shoulder plane, early releases, as well as over the top motions.
Core exercises are the exercises that focus on the muscle around your body’s midsection.
While few people pay attention to their cores and their core strength, your core strength is crucial when it comes to the strengthening your body during swings, and as mentioned above, fighting and preventing injuries. With a strong or fit core, you get to swing the ball from whichever angle, getting maximum distance and insane ball speed in the process.
So, which are the best golf exercises?
1. Elevated Glute Bridge
This exercise might feel like the easiest exercise you could do, but it’s one of the most transformational exercises that will strengthen your glutes. It’s important to work on and develop your glutes because these muscles will give you immense muscle power.
How to do the elevated glute bridge
- Lying on your back, put your legs on a raised object such as a step or a bench with your toes pointing upwards.
- Now squeeze your glutes, raising your back off the ground until you only have your head and shoulders touching the ground. Keep your palms down and then extend your arms.
2. The Forward Lunge (with Twist using a golf club)
If you wish to enhance your torso’s mobility, you might want to stretch your hip flexors, as well as the glutes.
For all these, you need to do the forward lunge, only that this time this move will have a twist because you need to use your golf club. The forward lunge, with this extra twist, will enhance your core’s stability, and also the stability of your joints, and it will also give you a greater level of consistency whenever you are striking the ball.
- Standing tall in the right posture, hold your golf club against your upper arms, keeping your arms folded in front of the shoulders.
- Now, with your left leg in a lunge, step forward and then bend the left knee, dropping your right knee above the ground.
- Next, contract the right glutes as you rotate your torso to your left. Your torso must be upright in this position, and your golf club should be lying horizontally.
- Relax, and then rotate back into the normal position then step into your next lunge, this time having your right leg tall on your hips with your right knee held high. Rotate to your right and the contract (squeeze) the left glutes.
- Relax then rotate back into the normal position then step forward and lift your knee.
- Repeat these movements as many times as possible, switching between your legs.
3. Swiss Ball Russian Twist
The Swiss ball Russian Twist is a powerful exercise that targets your core and the abs. It also targets the back, glutes, hips, and your hamstring. Therefore, this is the perfect exercise for strengthening the core while enhancing the body’s (hips and the spine) flexibility.
This exercise is also effective in minimizing accidents, and the best bit is that it’s easy for everyone. All you need to get started is the swiss medicine ball.
How to do the Swiss Ball Russian Twist
- Lie on your back on the medicine ball and keep your hips raised, allowing your knees to make a 90-degree angle directly to the floor.
- Now, cup your hands together then raise it above the chest (keep your hands straight)
- Twist the torso from to face one side and keep your hips raised and the feet on the ground then inhale to contract the core. Inhaling helps you to maintain stability.
- Pause for between 1-3 seconds then slowly go back to your starting position as you exhale.
- Repeat the torso twist and core hold on your other side.
- Since these movements will help you gain balance while also enhancing your posture, you must learn to use your abs for the movements instead of trying to push your body using your hips and the back. You could also add a dumbbell for the rotations if you are up for a challenge.
- Do 10 or 20 repetitions for each set.
The alternative version of this exercise is the stability ball dumbbell twist.
4. Power-Kneeling Cable Twist
This is an exercise that will give you extra core power needed to help you swing the ball right.
How to Power-kneeling cable twist
- Kneel with one leg and keep the other leg forward, facing your cable machine.
- Now grab the cable machine with both hands. Make sure you choose a low weight compared to what you’d use in a slow-rep exercise
- Twist to the side of your lead leg quickly and with the right kneed forward, quickly twist towards your right. This quick motion will mimic a golf swing.
- Repeat these moves with your left leg forward. Do four sets, each with 14 repetitions on each side.
5. Side Plank with the Cable Row
To strengthen your back and the core, you might want to try this exercise. This exercise is also known for its ability to give off stronger drives while training your core for stability even as you move/ rotate your upper body. For precise swings, this is one exercise you don’t want to overlook.
How to do the Side Plank with the Cable Row
- Lying on your side, facing the cable machine, grab the machine’s handle at the appropriate weight then rise up into the side plank.
- In the full side plank position, do the cable rows.
- Do three sets of this exercise, each set with 12 repetitions.
6. Arm Bar with A Kettlebell
While the primary target of this exercise is to boost your shoulders’ stability, it’s also effective in the enhancement of your core strength, as well as abs and hip flexors. This exercise will also strengthen your hips, and all you need is a kettlebell.
To get started:
- Lie down on your right side in the fetal position, holding your kettlebell using your right hand. Keep the kettlebell as close to your chest as possible, and make sure that your elbow is closing in tightly. This is your starting position.
- Next, roll on to your back, facing the ceiling, keeping your kettlebell close to your chest and then lift your kettlebell, extending the right arm forward and high up towards the ceiling. If you are having trouble with this move, you could use your two arms to lift the kettlebell before you extend your left arm to the side if you need extra balance.
- Now bend the left knees allowing it to make a 90-degree angle to your floor.
- Keep the right arm extended then rotate clockwise and as far as you can. If you can, rotate counterclockwise too, as far as you can.
Do three sets of the exercises for both arms.
7. The Lateral Squat
Besides the core, this exercise stretches the groin, hip adductors, quads, as well as the glutes. The lateral squat also promises to enhance the elasticity and the power of your legs, making it possible for you to make that great swing. The lateral squat is effective in powering up your lower core.
How to do the Lateral Squat
- To get started, stand upright with your feet spread out slightly so that they are very slightly wider than the length of your shoulders.
- Next, shift your hips to your right then down. Bend your right knee while keeping the left leg straight and point straight ahead with your hand on the ground.
- Now, push through your right hips and go back to your starting position.
- Next, shift the hips to your left and then repeat the moves above but in the opposite direction.
- Keep in mind that you should have your knees on the squatting side behind your toes, the chest up, and the back flat.
8. The Mini-band Walk Forward
This exercise is one of the best core exercises for golfers because of the resistance created by the stretch bands. The bands against the legs will activate and also strengthen your glutes. Your glutes are essential for the maintenance of a stable base during swings, especially for high-speed swings.
- For this exercise, place a mini-band around the legs, just about your knees and the other band around the ankles. Try walking forward but in rather small steps as you keep the knees slightly bent, as you alternate your elbows to drive back with every step you take.
- As you do all that, you must keep the back straight with knees right over the toes all the time.
- Do as many sets as you can, each set has 10-step repeats.
Besides the forward walks, you should also try these moves, but in the sideways direction and at a higher speed.
9. Hip Crossovers
Besides working the hips, the hip crossovers are also great core exercises since the twisting motion of your lower body allows the stretching of the tendons and muscles in the lower back and the hips. These movements will simulate the torque placed on your hip region on your backswing, during a follow-through.
- Lying with your back on the ground, arms to the sides, knees bent, and feet placed apart but wider than your shoulders, heels right on the ground – twist the bent legs to your left until they are touching the ground and then switch them towards the right.
- Keep alternating the sides you twist to, keeping the shoulders on the ground and the abs tight.
Repeat the twisting motion six times on each side, at least three times.
10. Quad Rocking
Quad Rocking will mobilize the hips, allowing your hips to move correctly as you take your swing. This exercise also works to strengthen your lower back, relieving stress from rounds of golf.
- For quad rocking, get down on all your fours, your hands directly under the shoulders and the knees right under the hips.
- Pull in your belly button towards the spine, as you maintain the natural curve of your lower back.
- Then move the hips back until you feel your pelvis rotating then you can return to the starting position,
- For this exercise to work well, you need to try to hold your pelvis in one position throughout this exercise, as you breathe normally.
The other exercises you could try include:
- Knee hugs
- Drop-step lunge
- T-hip rotations
- One-arm, two-leg deadlift
For most golfers, their weakest part of the body is the core. And without those strong and very pliable muscles in the stomach area, lower back, butt, and the hips, you will not be at a position to make the powerful swing you dream about. Therefore, if you wish to have the strongest core and powerful swings (consequently), the moves above should be able to help you out.