If you ask golfers what the number one physical trait they would add more power to their game they would all say a stronger “Core.” This means that “Core Training” needs to be a major component to your golf conditioning program. I like to write “Core Training” with parenthesis because it is such a misunderstood topic that as soon as people see this title they are going to think “Sweet! Finally some exercises for my six pack!” Now don’t get me wrong, if you follow this training program you will get a six pack but it won’t be from crunches. Did you know that we all have a six packs? The truth is that most of us just can’t see are six pack due to the thick layer of adipose tissue covering it! That means fat for those of you who were lost with adipose and were ready to flip forward to the pretty exercise pictures. You can crunch till the cows come home but if you have a healthy layer of fat covering those naturally occurring anatomical structures you won’t see them. Six packs have more to do with diet than the exercises you do. Core training is all about stability and resisting movement which is the opposite to crunches that focus on flexion or creating movement. The cool thing is that if you work on resisting flexion and extension of your torso you will end up accomplishing all those aesthetic aspects that you started reading this article for.
Lets get to the basics. The body moves through the torso in 3 planes.
Sagittal Plane: Flexion: Bending forward Extension: Bending backwards
Frontal Plane: Side Bend: Bending side to side
Transverse Plane: Rotation: Disassociation between ribcage and pelvis.
The “Core” muscles are designed to create movement in all these planes but more importantly restrict movement in these planes of motion. In this article we are going to focus on how these muscles reduce flexion, extension, side bend and rotation. The simplest way of looking at the function of the core is to picture a can of Baked Beans. Baked Beans can be stacked on top of each other and can withstand incredible forces without collapsing. If you were to take the top and bottom of the can off and just focus on the sides of the can. The can in this state can handle some vertical forces but become susceptible to lateral forces. The sides of the can are represented anatomically by the Transverse Abdominus. The transverse acts like the weight belt you see the eye bulging power lifter at your local Big Box Gym. Imagine a corset like your great grandma use to wear. The top of the can is represented anatomically by the diaphragm. When you breathe in and hold your breath the diaphragm slams down on top of the sides of can and seal the top and sides. The problem is that the beans are going to fall out the bottom! By the way I’ve seen this happen and its not pretty. “Clean up on Squat Rack 6!” We need to seal the bottom of the can so this where the Pelvic Floor comes into play. The pelvic floor can be engaged by performing. Kegels are like stopping yourself from going pee midstream. Or for some picture yourself on a elevator after eating 3 bean burritos and stuck on the 34th floor. “Hold it!!!”
When you have all 3 parts of the core firing at once we will be able to stabilize our spine and transfer the enormous power from the legs through the core and ultimately into the hands or implement. This will create more speed and power but more importantly it will help save you from back injury. Try these exercises for better core strength and stability. All of these featured exercises are Anti-Rotation and focus on resisting rotation! You have to earn the right to rotate and this is a great start!
3-Legged Coffee Table Pushups
Get into a push up position and tap a shoulder and hold for a count of three and then switch arms. 6 Reps/side
Reach for the sky and bend each direction keeping your hips and shoulders facing forward. Hold each side bend for a count of 6 seconds. 4 Reps/side
Tall Kneeling Step Outs With Rotation
Try these without rotation before moving into the advanced rotational version. Stay as tall as you can through your spine and step out each leg without any flexion extension or side bend. Once you step out you need to rotate your shoulders over the forward knee. 8 Reps/Leg
Here is a video of Adam taking this Tall Kneeling Rotation to the Next Level!
Cross-Country with Lateral Resistance
Hold a band at 90 degrees with straight arms. Now start to shuffle your legs like you are cross-country skiing. Keep the hands in one place while resisting rotation. Hold for 30 seconds each side.
Featured Athlete: Adam Hadwin PGA Tour Player
Try these exercises and create an awareness of how your body feels. Where do you feel the weak link in the chain exists? Where do you feel restrictions, compensations or weakness?
Questions? Send me a #YOJAY or leave a comment below. Lets discuss! I would like to get the Next level community to share and discuss more so we can all grow! We have some amazing members who are leaders in this industry. Let us hear your thoughts!