I recently received and e-mail from a golfer, Dan L. from Vancouver, BC. Dans challenge is his lack of core abdominal strength. Dan is 53 years old and he is rapidly experiencing the effects of poor core stabilization. His posture is deteriorating and he recently started to experience back pain. On the course Dans poor posture manifests as an inconsistent swing plane and too many swing flaws to mention in this article. Sound familiar?
Dans biggest challenge is a common one. His physical condition requires that he implement a basic, yet effective core conditioning program which requires simple movements for his core stabilization.
This weeks series of More Core exercises, practiced correctly, provides a powerful method for strengthening the core abdominals.
Paying close attention to your breathing and engaging the abdominals.
Focus on pressing the navel towards the spine and spine towards the floor. Imagine pressing a penny placed under your lumbar spine into the yoga mat. If you rolled off the yoga mat you would leave an impression of the penny in the mat. The entire abdominal region is engaged during this series including the TVAs or transverse abdominus muscles, obliques and rectus abdominus muscles.
Place the arms perpendicular to the body, knees bent and feet on the floor.
Inhale as you maintain stability of the core and slowly lift one leg, one inch off the floor. Switch sides.
Once you master this exercise, lift both legs off the floor and begin to extend one leg three inches off the floor. Switch sides and repeat five to ten times.
Birdie / Eagle Level
Place the yoga block between the hands and extend the arms to a 45 degree angle behind the head. Press the hands into the block. Inhale as you maintain stability of the core and slowly lift one leg, one inch off the floor. Switch sides and repeat five times. Now lift each leg slightly higher and repeat five times. Once you master this section of the exercise lift both legs off the floor to a 90 degree angle. Flex the feet towards the upper body. Slowly extend one leg three inches off the floor, switch sides and repeat five to ten times.
Move slowly, breathe deeply!
Birdie / Eagle Level
Practicing explosive or ballistic movements in conjunction with dynamic and static movements is essential for golf conditioning.
Begin with the knees bent, arms placed perpendicular to the body. Inhale deeply as you engage the core and on the exhalation lift the left knee towards the right shoulder and the shoulder towards the left knee. Focus on the oblique abdominals as you twist. Switch sides and repeat ten times.