In this modern golf era, the benefits of proper strength training in the improvement of your golf swing are well known. An additional benefit of strength training in relation to the golf swing is the development of your stabilization of your spine angle through specific strength training of your 'core' muscles the muscles in your hips, pelvis, torso and shoulder complexes.
If you have watched any of the PGA Tour events this season, you witnessed how the best golfers in the world maintain their spine angle and other anatomical positions in the execution of the golf swing. When considering your own game, your ability to improve your ball striking consistency, accuracy and power is totally related to your physical capacity to stabilize your spine angle from address through the entire swing.
Stabilization can be defined as the ability of the body to support and stabilize specific postural positions during functional movement patterns (Michael Clark: Director, National Academy of Sports Medicine). Relative to the golf swing, this definition states it is necessary for your body to maintain a fixed spine angle (i.e. postural position) while performing the biomechanics (i.e. functional movement) of the golf swing.
The antithesis to stabilization strength is postural sway. Postural sway occurs when the stabilizing muscles of your core are weak. They are unable to "hold" a fixed spine angle, and as a result the angles required to execute the golf swing correctly are lost. Therefore, if you are having difficulty maintaining your spine angle throughout the swing, the implementation of stabilization exercises to improve our core strength will be of a benefit.
||A terrific exercise I utilize regularly with my golf fitness clients to improve their core stabilization strength is the 'Side Plank'.
• Begin on the ground and
lie on your left side.
• Place your left elbow
directly under your left
• Legs should be extended straight with your right leg resting on top
of your left. Place your right hand on your right hip.
• From this position press your hips off the ground to a position where
a line can be drawn from your head through your spine to your toes.
• Hold this position for 3-5 seconds then slowly rest your hips down
to the ground.
• Perform 10 to 20 repetitions and repeat the same exercise sequence
with your right forearm resting on the floor.
Remember, golf-specific strength training has many benefits for your golf swing. One of them is increasing the stabilization capacities of your body to help maintain your spine angle. If you want to improve the consistency of your swing, I encourage you to strengthen your core through exercises like the 'Side Plank'.
Dr. Paul Callaway, Golf-Specific Training/Fitness Specialist
Contact Paul: Pcallaway@Cantigny.org, or call 630.260.8199