A player’s core/trunk is incredibly important during the game of golf. A player can be out on the tee for a long period of time, and if their core is weak then this can impact on posture and swinging technique, therefore causing earlier onset of fatigue and an overall poorer performance.
The trunk can generate up to 60% of a body’s power, as well as transferring energy from the large to the small body parts during activities. It is therefore essential to concentrate on developing the core strength, which can be achieved through the following exercises:
• Prone bridge – Lie face down but elevated off the ground by balancing on your elbows and toes, ensuring that your entire body is flat and resembles a plank. Hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
• Lateral bridge – This is similar to the prone bridge, but you are positioned on your side. Ensure the entire body is in line. Hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute for each side.
• Pelvic thrust – Lie on your back with your legs up in the air. Lift through your hips so that your bottom comes slightly off the ground, causing the legs to lift up into the air. Repeat 20 times.
• Teacups – Lie on your back, lifting your back to a 45-degree angle. Lift your feet off the ground. Keep your core strong and point your arms forward, moving both hands from side to side. Repeat 30 times.
• Crunch and twist – Start in a basic sit-up position, crunch up and twist to the left, back to the centre and then back down. Alternate between both sides. Repeat 20 times.
• Toe crunches – Lie on your back with legs straight up in the air. Reach up so that your hands touch your toes then rest back down. Repeat 20 times.
• Ab cycle – Lie on your back and lift your shoulders and feet off the ground. In a cycle movement bring one knee in, while the opposite shoulder twists towards it, so that the rhythm become opposite knee to elbow. Repeat 30 times.
• Ankle touches – Lie flat on your back with your feet together. Lift your shoulders off the ground and twist so that your hands are coming around the side of the body trying to touch your ankles.
It is a good idea to complete these exercises at the end of a training session, because doing it at the start will only fatigue your core and therefore increase risk of injury. Always remember to keep your stomach strong by pulling your bellybutton in towards your spine and keeping your hips neutral. By doing this you are contracting your muscles at all time, thus supporting your body and working the abdominal muscles. This is a fantastic way of strengthening your entire core.
Personal trainer, Tavia Ambler