Tune up Your Golf BodyWritten by Andrea Kosa
Focus on Your Stability to Swing Freely
There is no better time than now to start working on your game by preparing your body for better movement.
Stability is a fundamental component of the complex movement of a golf swing. The more moving parts to control, the more the golfer will need to rely on timing and athletic ability to get back to the ball. Sometimes this works, but when you add pressure or different conditions it can lead to missed targets.
Tight areas in our body that should be moving can lead the body to sacrifice stability in another area and create unwanted compensatory movements. Not only can this lead to errant shots, but also an increased risk of injury.
Three areas that you can focus on to create stability include: Balance, Core Activation and Improved Mobility of the upper back and chest. Golfers want to deliver the club efficiently to the ball with the most power and optimal direction consistently. Taking care of your body to improve these areas of stability can allow your body to focus on technique rather than protecting you from falling over. This will help you prevent injury and keep swinging freely at your target.
Here are three corrective exercises that can help improve your ability to swing your club. If you experience pain while doing them, stop and ask for help from a medical professional like a Physiotherapist to fully assess and make recommendations.
CORE ACTIVATION: Start with lying on your back with legs straight. Lift your left leg up with knee and hip and 90 degrees. Using your right hand with right arm straight – squish a sponge hard between hand and knee. Lift head up off floor when doing this exercise and remember to breathe! Hold for count of 5 and repeat 3-5 times on each side.
OPEN BOOKS: This is to help maximize your mobility so you can reduce loading into other areas to reduce sways and maintain posture. Lying on your side with knees and hips bent to 90 degrees, activate your core (no arching of lower back). Lift top arm away from bottom to try to get both shoulder blades on the floor. Look at the moving hand the whole time to minimize stress in your neck. Take a deep breath in at the end of this movement then return to start position. Repeat 5-8 times on each side.
BALANCE: Start with working on your balance by standing on one leg for a count of 20 seconds. Increase the challenge by trying again with your eyes closed! To maximize this skill – work on Air Planes. Get into the start position with back leg extended and arms out – add some turns to left and right. Goal would be to hold this position for 20-30 seconds on each side.
Andrea Kosa BSc. P.T.
Physiotherapist for Team Canada Women’s Amateur Squad
Tune up Your Golf Body
This article was originally published in the 2018 edition of The Alberta Golfer Magazine. To view the full magazine, click here.