Regardless of your age, gender or skill level, there are many benefits of establishing and maintaining stability during all parts of your swing.
Stability swing faults are many, but quite often derived from a physical fault, namely the inability to control the “A-frame” – the area between the waist and the knees. If you have instability in this area, then consistent and repetitive swings are more difficult regardless of effort in practice or technique analysis. Common swing issues as a result of instability include sliding hips, over-rotation and reverse pivot, to name a few.
Many golfers seem to focus on the swing itself rather than the anatomy that supports it. Senior golfers, juniors, men and women all could complete golf-specific activating exercises, with their age and fitness level determining the intensity and programming. More golfers would reduce their terrible days (and scores) on the course simply by controlling the “A-frame” anatomy and it doesn’t require major time consumption or complex equipment.
Students with poor stability are always surprised to see how their repetitive swing faults are reduced by adapting specific stability golf exercises that focus solely on establishing muscle strength and control to their individual golf swing. These exercises give them a more solid base to work from while practicing or completing their Saturday competition round.
When I teach golf-specific stability exercises, I always integrate swings on the range or at least encourage my students to swing between sets just to establish feedback and reduce anxiety as they activate those less dominant muscles. This also makes them aware of any physical fault that obstructs their progression to improvement.
Many golf fitness programs base their results around power and hitting the ball further. In fact, there is more value in advocating improvement and stabilisation during the golf swing. Many students who have completed generic stability exercises – and who consider themselves strong – soon realise after completing our Elite Golf Fitness Australia (EGFA) Stability exercises that they need to be more specific. Through consultation with both a golf coach and golf fitness coach, players can match up the physical fault with the swing fault and then formulate a collective solution.
Simple and advanced golf specific exercises can be adapted to a practice session, lesson or pre-round scenario. These exercises will activate dormant muscles and enhance a strong posture and set-up – two areas ignored by many everyday golfers.
I find that many of my new clients that have poor stability are shocked that we start doing exercises on the practice range during the lesson. Also they are shocked when we complete a 5 to 10 minute physical warm-up before stretching. Remember cold muscle stretching does nothing for your golf muscles nor improve control of your swing. Quite often it results in injury.
If you’re a golfer who suffers from instability in the swing, consult your PGA coach or instructor to arrange a session with a specific golf fitness consultant.
A 5 to 10 minute stability warm-up before stretching is an important part of any pre-round or practice session. This basic standing squat can easily be completed anywhere: range, locker room or putting green. I have placed a small ball in between my legs to improve safety and squat technique, this allows my knees to remain behind my toes when I go down and the ball encourages my lower half to remain stable and square while completing the squat. I would recommend 2 to 3 sets and 10 to 12 repetitions.
Advanced golfers require complex stability exercises. Standing on an air ball requires excellent stability and strength as it covers all of the major muscles used for golf. Completing squats on the ball looks impossible but can be achieved with consistent training of the muscle groups that keep you stable while swinging a golf club. Always remember if attempting this exercise take safety precautions with soft mats surrounding the ball or get your training partner to assist you. Try to complete 4 sets and 8 to 10 repetitions.