Fit to Play: Connecting Your Core Improves Your Golf Swing

Improve performance, hit the ball further, more accurately and consistently with less chance of injury by making connecting your core an important focus of training.

By: Carl Petersen BScPT. (City Sports & Physiotherapy Clinic) 

*edited excerpt from Fit to Play™ Golf-Improve Fitness & Lower Your Score (Nittinger & Petersen, 2018)

Historically many golfer’s avoided traditional strength training methods fearing it would slow down their swing and make them too muscular interfering with the suppleness needed to perform on course. The changing nature and demands of the modern game means that golfer’s need to be more powerful and stronger than past players.

For a beginning player getting an early start on your golf strength and stability training program will help you create a healthy, aligned, balanced base on which to build the fundamentals of a good consistent swing. It will also help you stay pain and injury free. For players that are more mature it is never too late to address the potential physical imbalances that have occurred with years of working and playing. Proper golf specific fitness also helps give you a significant competitive advantage and lower your handicap.

Swinging the golf club involves movements that pass through many planes of motion and create rotational and torsional forces on numerous joints and muscles at the same time. The sequence of the swing should be pushing from the ground up, firing your dominant side and leading with the legs and lower core, then transferring and funneling the energy and power through the upper core and arms to the club. If a golfer’s alignment, balance control, connected core stability, deceleration strength and extended hip stability required to carry out a good swing are not optimal they may be at risk of injury. When designing strength and stability training programs for golfers one must keep these specific directions of movement and additional needs in mind for the different physical components. Two examples of golf specific connecting your core exercises are:

Seated Torso Rotation

  • Start sitting on a physio ball in a split squat position
  • Hold a stretch band in your hands with elbows straight
  • Switch on your core muscles
  • Rotate torso with resistance from stretch band & hold for 2 seconds.
  • Repeat both sides 5-15 repetitions.


Split Squat with Resisted Torso Rotation

  • Start in a split squat position with a physio ball at your back
  • Hold a stretch band in both hands & firmly anchored to legs
  • Switch on your core muscles
  • Do a split squat down as you rotate torso & arms against resistance
  • Return to start position
  • Repeat both sides 5-15 repetitions.


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