Most golfers at Northampton Valley Country Club know that a good drive starts from the hips. Despite that, many players will go to great lengths buying new equipment, shoes and fancy doo-dads just to get a few extra yards out of their drive. Truth is, a top of the line driver might help, but it’s the power behind it that makes the biggest difference. The core is what activates a truly great swing. There’s a reason the pros keep in such good shape and it’s not because they’re on camera, it’s because it takes a lot of power to send a golf ball 300-400 yards.
Here are four core exercises you can do at home or in your workouts that will help you drive the ball further, more often.
1. Plank- Keeping your toes against the ground lie flat on the floor, raise yourself up and balance yourself on your elbows and forearms. Your elbows, forearms, wrists and the top of your toes should be the only things touching the ground and your back should be as straight as possible. Hold for as long as you can and then slowly lower yourself back down to the ground. Repeat a minimum of five times. That burn you feel in your belly is your abdominal muscles tensing to hold your full body weight. Those muscles will keep your swing steadier in motion and help protect your lower back from injury.
2. Side plank- a similar concept to normal plank, place the side of your foot and one elbow against the ground and then elevate yourself with your back straight again. This time, only one elbow, one forearm and the side of one foot should be touching the ground. Hold this as long as possible and then reverse sides. You should rest between sets and repeat for a minimum of five times. The burning in your sides is strengthening your obliques, which help generate the power in your hips as you bring the club from one side of your body to the other.
3. Russian Twists- Kind of like a crunch, in a sitting position with your legs outstretched take a medicine ball and hold it about six inches from the bottom of your chest. Elevate your ankles about three inches from the ground so that you rest solely on your butt. Slowly, bring the medicine ball down in a sweeping motion to beside your hip and return it to in front of your chest. Repeat on the other side. Continue doing this for as many repetitions as you can and then rest. Try to do a minimum of three sets. Twists not only strengthen but bring flexibility to your core.
4. Stir The Pot- Press your elbows and forearms onto a large yoga ball and move your feet back until you balance on your toes with your back straight. Slowly move your elbows, still pressed against the ball, out to the side, down towards your core, back out to the other side and back up to the starting position. This should mimic the motion the exercise is titled for. Repeat this as many times as you can before resting. Aim for a minimum of three sets. This exercise strengthens your core while also working on the smaller stabilizer muscles along your sides. Stirring the pot should build your range of motion so you can apply more power throughout the full range of your swing.
We hope you enjoyed this blog. Everyone from the pros, to newcomers are always trying to improve their swing and performing these exercises should help generate more power in your swing. Of course if you need a little more help, private lessons are available at one of the best public golf courses near Philadelphia, PA, Northampton Valley Country Club.