A functional golf swing relies on each and every part of your body to generate the force necessary for explosive impact. Legs, back, arms and shoulders are all recruited for your swing, however, the part of your body that most affects clubhead speed is, without a doubt, your core. Golf is a game that depends on rotation of the body to deliver power from the ground through the core to the club and, finally, the ball. Because of this, it’s important to strengthen the spine while working to improve range of motion and power in the hips, glutes, external obliques and abdominal muscles.
With that in mind, here are my top three core-strengthening exercises that can be performed at home or at the gym.
The Russian twist is an effective way to build your core and shoulders. It’s a great exercise for golfers since it strengthens rotational movement and range of motion.
How to do it: From a seated position, lift your feet from the floor. Keeping your knees bent, straighten your spine, creating a V shape with your torso. Balancing in this position, twist your torso from side to side without moving your legs. To increase the intensity, hold a medicine ball or kettlebell while twisting. Aim for three sets of 10-12 reps.
Plank Leg Raises
Plank leg raises are primarily a stability exercise that will engage all the major muscle groups that make up your core. You can add it to your workout as a warmup or a cool-down.
How to do it: While in a standard plank position, raise one foot four to eight inches off the ground, hold for a three count and then lower with a controlled motion. Repeat with the opposite leg, completing 8-12 reps with each leg. Try to maintain a straight plank position throughout the entire movement.
Elevated Glute Bridge
Elevated glute bridges work many muscle groups, but the primary focus of this exercise are the glutes and spine. Working your glutes is important because they play an important role in maintaining golf posture and stabilizing the pelvis during the golf swing.
How to do it: Begin by lying on your back with your legs on a raised object like a bench or step. Keeping your arms straight, palms flat on the floor and toes pointing up, contract your glutes and raise your torso until only your shoulders and head are touching the ground. Complete three sets of 12 reps.