Why is “Core Training” Imporant?
I think most golfers realize that having a strong core can have positive benefits for their golf game. I’ve found, however, that few people really understand what core training is, how to implement it, and why it is important.
In every day life, the core functions to create stability through our pelvis, ribcage, and spine so that we are able to walk, stand upright, and move. In the golf swing, the core muscles function to not only maintain posture, but to transfer a huge amount of power and energy from the lower half to the upper half to create club head speed.
Clubhead speed is generated through the interaction of the lower half and the ground, transferred through the core, and expressed by the upper body’s interaction with the club. An optimally functioning core allows for an appropriate amount of movement to occur at the hips, spine, and ribcage but also limits excessive movement that leaks power.
Anti-Rotational Core Training
Anti-rotational core training involves creating stability through the core to resist rotation created by an external force. It can include the use of a band, weights, cable machine, etc.
A simple way to progress anti-rotational core training is to modify the base of support used in the exercise. For example, moving from half-kneeling to single-leg stance significantly reduces the base of support, thus placing more of a demand on balance while maintaining core stability. This will make the exercises much more challenging. Another way to progress these drills is to add movement of the lower body while emphasizing core stability and control. This places an increased stress on motor control/coordination as well as core stability and strength.
Here are my Top Anti-Rotation Core Progressions for Golfers:
Half-Kneeling Anti-Rotation Press
This is a great place to start for golfers. Half-kneeling creates a fairly stable base of support, allowing the athlete to focus on creating stability through the core with minimal stress on maintaining balance.
Anti-Rotation Walk Outs
Performing a lateral step will increase the demand of the glute muscles to create stability of the hips. The “walk out” portion also serves to put more tension through the band, making it more challenging to maintain core stability. The key here to not let your hands move from the center of your chest throughout the drill.
1-Leg RDL Anti-Rotation Press
This drill looks easy but it definitely isn’t when performed correctly. Standing on one leg drastically decreases the base of support, challenging your lower half to create stability. Many golfers struggle to “maintain posture” or to keep a hinge at the hips throughout the core swing. This drill specifically focuses on performing and maintaining a hinge at the hips while developing anti-rotational core stability.
Reverse Lunge to 1-Leg Anti-Rotation Press
This drill focuses on not only stability, but also mobility and strength of the lower half. The reverse lunge works on hip mobility and glute strengthening all while maintaining anti-rotational stability through the core. The final press out while standing on one leg will definitely leave you feeling your core and hip muscles engaged.
Give this Anti-Rotation Core Progression a try. Leave comments and questions below, and stay tuned for more golf core exercises!