The Tour Report

November 8 2012

12:33 PM

Fitness: Improve core stability

By Sean Cochran, Golf Fitness The goal of a swing improvement program is advancement in the fundamentals of the golf swing. Progressive improvement in the fundamentals of the golf swing will lead to improved ball striking, increased ball speeds, and the lowering of scores. The physical body is the foundation of the athletic actions in the golf swing. Execution of a proficient swing requires certain levels of joint mobility, flexibility, segmental stability, muscular strength, endurance and power. If the body is lacking in any of these aforementioned physical parameters, the ability to execute a proficient golf swing can easily be impeded. Physical limitations relative to swing improvement can definitively limit the progress of such programs or short-circuit it altogether. The reason is simply if the body is physically unable to perform the athletic actions being worked on in such a program, improvement will not occur. As a result is it suggested the amateur player adhere to a golf fitness program steeped in developing the physical aspects of the golf swing in conjunction with a swing improvement program. This type of combination can assist in solidifying consisted gains are made in the fundamentals of the golf swing. A very important physical aspect of the golf swing is segmental stability. Segmental stability allows the golfer to maintain the postural positions and a fixed spine angle through all phases of the swing. Segmental stability is based upon the muscular system of the body having the required levels of strength to retain the postural positions necessitated by the athletic actions of the swing. Segmental stability within the core is where many amateurs are deficient. The core is simply a reference to an anatomical area of the body consisting of all the muscular structures from just above the knees to slightly below the chest. Muscle groups included in the core are the abdominals, obliques, lower back, and glutes. The core is actively involved in creating the athletic actions associated with the golf swing in addition to maintaining the required postural positions. Development of segmental stability within the core can be achieved via golf fitness exercises increasing the strength parameters of these structures. Exercises commonly utilized to achieve this goal are the Physio-Ball Jack Knife, Russian Twist, and Leg Curl. These exercises overtime can develop the segmental stability capacities of the core for the golf swing. Physio-Ball Jack Knife: Squat down and place your stomach on top of the physio-ball. Roll forward on the ball by walking your hands out into a push up position. Continue to roll forward until only the feet remain on top of the ball. Hold the push up position and pull your knees in towards the chest. Continue to pull the knees forward as close as possible to your chest. Hold this position for one second, return to the starting position of the exercise and repeat for 10-15 repetitions. Keep your back flat throughout the exercise and think of curling your knees in the chest. Physio-Ball Russian Twist: Place your head and shoulders on top of the ball. Elevate the hips to a position horizontally in line with the knees and shoulders. Place the feet shoulder width apart on the floor, extend the arms straight, and clasp your hands together. Begin rotating to the left, allowing the ball to roll underneath your shoulders. Allow the eyes to follow your hands during the rotation. Continue to rotate to the left to the position at which your left upper arm is resting on top of the ball. Return to the starting position and repeat the rotation to your right. Alternate the rotation left and right for 15-20 repetitions. Focus on creating the rotation with your core. Do not twist during the arms during the exercise, but rather rotate. To increase the difficulty of the exercise, grasp a medicine ball or dumbbell between your hands. Physio-Ball Leg Curl: Lay on the floor with the back flat. Place your feet on top of the ball, and arms extended to the side. Press the hips upward to a position in-line with the knees and shoulders. Curl the heels inward towards the glutes by bending the knees. Continue to curl the heels inward as far as possible. Keep the hips elevated throughout the curling of the heels. Once the heels have reached your end range of motion, reverse the movement, returning the heels to the starting position of the exercise. Repeat the curl in of the heels for 8-15 repetitions. Think about pressing the hips upward to the ceiling during the curling action of the heels. To learn more about Sean Cochran and his golf fitness training exercises and golf fitness programs go to http://www.seancochran.com
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