5 Exercises for a Stronger Core and a Safer Swing
Unfortunately for the average golfer, back pain is likely something that they’ll deal with at some point in their golfing lifecycle. Back pain doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s painful to a debilitating degree, but it can difficult to deal with regardless. As we all know it doesn’t take much the throw off your swing. Just being a couple dimples off-center face contact can have a dramatic effect on where the ball travels. Some mild tightness, or worse, sharp shooting pain, can certainly affect the way you move enough to throw off your club head position by those few dimples.
Oddly enough, the concepts that we train to relieve back pain and stiffness are also good for a more consistent and fluid swing. You see, most back pain is related to a lack of movement where there should be movement, or weakness where there should be stability. In order to create better quality movement, we not only need to improve flexibility in some areas, but also create strength and stability in others. Most back pain occurs in the lower back, an area where there should be stability. The lumbar spine is not designed to move, but rather to remain stable while the hips and thoracic spine move around it.
Improving core strength is a key component to creating that stability around the lumber spine. The core musculature is a complicated system and involves many muscles pulling in different directions, all of which should be trained to create a safety net for your back. Some are trained by rotating or resisting rotation, some are trained by flexing your spine as in a crunch, or resisting extension as in a plank, and some are the exact opposite of this. Here are 5 exercises that will help you build your core to prevent back pain in the future!
Rotation: Stability Ball Cable Rotations
Anti-Rotation: Tall Kneeling Paloff Press
Flexion: Diagonal Half Sit-Up
Extension: SB Hyperextensions
These are a great foundation to the elimination of back problems. When combined with soft tissue work like massage and stretching for the right areas will have you on your way to being pain free, and swinging as smoothly and consistently as possible.
Steve Zarriello B.S., CSCS, TPI Certified, is the Owner of Olympia Fitness and Performance in Cranston, R.I. He has been a strength and conditioning coach for 10 years and has trained athletes of all sports and levels, but his passion is training golfers to keep them injury free and help them improve their game.