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Three Core Exercises Every Golfer Should Do

By Brandon Gaydorus
Published on

A demonstration of a chop stretch.

Golf is a dynamic game, especially with swings speeds that seem to creep up every year. It’s great to hit the ball far, but tragic when a season falls short from pain.
Although there are many different areas of discomfort that can keep a golfer from playing. One can argue that the core is the most important body part to take care of to stay on the course year-round. It’s the foundation of the entire body and shouldn’t be under valued in training.
When exercising the core, there are three main target areas to hit for golf. All of which resist rotation. Yes, that’s right, every golf should do core exercises that resist rotation, because in order to create it, you need to be able to resist and control it in each plane of motion:
Sagittal Plane – Forward & Back
For the sagittal plane of motion, imagine a line separating the left and right halves of your body. When you bend forward (flexion) and backward (extension), you are moving along the sagittal plane.
In golf, at the top of the backswing, your lower back will be mostly in extension to help get more width and create a better turn, while it then flexes on the downswing to clear room for the hips throughout impact.
A great anti-flexion/extension would be the front plank.
  • Place your forearms on the ground and elbows directly below the shoulders.
  • Hold for 20 seconds.
If performed properly, this should feel like your elbows are sliding toward your feet, and that you are bracing as if about to take a punch to the stomach.
Frontal Plane – Side-to-Side
The frontal or lateral plane divides the body into front and back halves. Movements in this plane occur in the form of bending from side to side (laterally), as well as your limbs moving both toward (adduction) and away from (abduction) your center.
In golf, this happens when your hips sway or slide, when your shoulders dip in either direction, or when your arms extend away from your body.
A great anti-lateral flexion exercise would be Side Plank or Star Plank.
  • Place your elbow directly below your shoulder. Keep your feet together, or place the top foot in front of the back, whichever feels better to you.
  • From there, press your elbow and feet into the ground and lift up. Hold for a brief second. Perform 8 times, then repeat on the other side of your body.
  • A good place to put the top hand is on the hip.
If the side plank from knees is too challenging or bothers your shoulder, you can do a star plank.
  • Attach a band to something sturdy and keep your body upright as you lift your outside foot up.
  • Hold for 25 seconds, then repeat with your other foot.
Transverse Plane – Rotational
The transverse plane, otherwise known as the rotational plane, divides the body into upper and lower
halves and is already familiar to most golfers, as it’s heavily utilized throughout your swing.
Standing Chops (Anti-Rotation)
  • From a golf stance, attach a band above head height.
  • Grip the band as if you were riding a motorcycle.
  • Keep your arms straight and chop the band down toward the lead hip.
  • Control on the way up. Repeat 8 Reps.