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Why training your core is important to improving your swing

It’s a common buzzword in the world of sports performance but what is the core and why is it so important for golfers?
 

Your core is the vital link between the lower and upper body. A ‘stiff’ core is important to enable the transfer of energy from the ground to the golf club.

The core surrounds the muscles in the abdominals, hips and back and aids their main function of stabilising the spine and pelvis. The job of these muscles is not to create movement but to reduce it.

Demonstrating better core stability in your golf swing can have numerous benefits to your game.

1. Reduced injury

The ability to use the core muscles reduces the pressure placed on the lower spine and pelvis during the golf swing which will mean golfers are less likely to get injured.

2. Improved ball striking and accuracy

Having a stiffer core means being able to overcome the rotational forces placed on the body and maintain a better posture throughout the golf swing. This stability will lead to more consistent swings and improved ball striking – making it easier to hit your yardages.

3. Increased distance

In the golf swing, a strong and stable core allows golfers to create more force and speed from the ground and transfer it into the clubhead – thus increasing clubhead speed.

As we all know, the more speed you generate, the further you’ll hit the ball. And who doesn’t want to hit it further?

So how do you train your core? 

The ability to resist rotation is key in the golf swing. But it’s important to do it the right way. Developing motor control gives you the ability to move your hips or extremities without using your spine.

Below are some of the exercises I use with my golfers to help them improve their core stability relevant to the movement in the golf swing.

One of my all time favourites is the dead bug. It isn’t easy but it’s great for increasing core strength and keeping your lower back stable while moving your arms and legs.

An increasingly popular anti-rotation exercise is the pallof press and its many variations. I like to start with the half-kneeling position as it enables you to lock down the pelvis and focus on stability of the hip and glutes.

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The pallof press has many variations and I tend to use different progressions and regressions dependant on the needs of the golfer. 🏌🏻‍♂️🏌️‍♀️ The 1/2 kneeling I use a lot with golfers who are still learning the correct pelvis and rib cage position. This position helps to lock it down and and also focuses on stability of the hips and glutes. A great exercise to train the trunk muscles to resist rotational forces and create a stiff core that is able to transfer energy in the golf swing. ⛳️ Reduce injury ⛳️ Improve ball striking ⛳️ Increase distance #strongcore #stronggolfer #antirotation #pallofpress #bettergolf #playbettergolf #dynamicgolf

A post shared by Golf Fitness, Rachael Tibbs (@dynamicgolfuk) on

I also like the half-kneeling inline chop as it creates a little more instability with the narrow stance. The core musculature (abs, obliques and glutes) have to work hard to maintain this position while the torso is rotating above it. 

As the golf swing is a rotational movement we should be training our core in diagonal patterns as well. These basic side rotations and seated side throws are a fantastic way to develop the relationship between the hip and shoulder in the golf swing.

Try adding these exercises into your fitness routine and feel the benefits.

Rachael Tibbs is a TPI L2 certified golf fitness professional based in Leeds. She specialises in golf-specific strength and conditioning. You can visit her website or follow her on Twitter

Andrew Wright

NCG's instruction editor. Terrible student so trying my hand at passing on some of the best advice I've never listened to. Member of Royal Troon. Favourite golfer is two-time major winner and hall of famer, Retief Goosen.

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