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Core Strengthening Exercises for Golfers

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Today we have a guest post from our friends at Signum Training and Nutrition discussing 10 exercises you should be doing in the offseason to strengthen your core and your golf game.

We love this list because it’s not just an endless supply of boring situps and crunches.

It also includes a lot of posterior chain (glutes, hamstrings, lower back, etc) exercises you should be doing as well to help your golf game.

This post includes our favorite 10. To view the full list of core strengthening exercises for golfers click here.

This list includes links to full video tutorials but if that is not enough and you need some more help, our personal trainers here at One Life Fitness & Nutrition can help.

Now, let’s work on those midlines here in the offseason!

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1) Reverse Crunches

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The reverse crunch is a great exercise to start out on. It will require a stable object to hold onto. We use a rig or kettlebell in the gym. Start by lying on your back and hold the kettelbell or rig. The legs are extended and hovering off the ground. Keep the core engaged with little to no space between your lower back and the floor. From here perform a knees to elbow. The lower back will roll off the ground slightly.

  • Difficulty Level: Low
  • Equipment Requirements: A stable structure
  • Suggested Workout: 3-5 sets of 15-20 reps each

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2) Deadbug + Reverse Crunch

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This one is a combination of the deadbug and the reverse crunch. You will need a stable structure or object to hold onto. We want to make sure that when you are extending your legs that you are exhaling and keeping your abs engaged. You want little to no space under your lower back so there should be no overextending at all. For this one you will only extend one leg at a time and alternate legs.

  • Difficulty Level: Medium
  • Equipment Requirements: Stable structure or object
  • Suggested Workout: 3-5 sets of 10-15 reps each

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3) Abs with a Plate Switch

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Similar to a golf swing the abs with a plate switch is a dynamic movement. It will really test core stability. You will need a small weight plate. We recommend no more than 5lbs. Start by sitting on the floor in a hollow body position and the plate in one hand. From there, move into flexion raising the torso up and tucking the knees. At the top of flexion pass the plate underneath your knees to the other hand. Return back to the hollow body position.

  • Difficulty Level: Medium
  • Equipment Requirements: A 2.5-5lbs weight plate
  • Suggested Workout: 3-5 sets of 10-15 reps each

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4) Stir the Pot

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This exercise requires a medicine ball. But if you have an exercise ball at home you can use that too. Start in a plank position with your elbows on the ball and toes on the floor. The head stays in a neutral position and the core is tight. Rotate clockwise for 10-15 reps, then switch to counter-clockwise for 10-15 reps before finishing with 10-15 reps in a back and forth motion.

  • Difficulty Level: Medium
  • Equipment Requirements: Medicine ball or bosu ball
  • Suggested Workout: 2-3 sets of 10-15 seconds per direction.

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5) Banded Rotations

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Banded rotations really work that anti-rotation movement. To set up, anchor your band around a rig or other stable structure in the gym. Usng a double overhand grip set your feet about shoulder width apart. The core will stay nice and tight. From here, rotate your core exhaling with each rotation. Make sure to repeat on each side.

  • Difficulty Level: Low
  • Equipment Requirements: Stable structure and a band
  • Suggested Workout: 2-4 sets of 10-20 rotations per side

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6) Dimmel Deadlifts

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The dimmel deadlift strengthens the hamstrings and glutes. Both help generate a large amount of speed in the golf swing. Think of the dimmel deadlift as a smaller version of the regular deadlift we teach. For this the bar will start off the ground at hip level. Then lower to just above your knees before returning to the start position. Really focus on squeezing the butt at the top of the movement. These will tend to have a higher rep range with lighter weights to match.

  • Difficulty Level: Low
  • Equipment Requirements: Barbell and weights
  • Suggested Workout: 2-3 sets of 20-30 reps per set.

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7) Romanian Deadlifts

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The Romanian deadlift puts an emphasis on the lower part of the back. Unlike a regular deadlift, there is little help from the legs. Start light because this is an advanced movement. Feet are set hip width apart with a full grip on the bar about shoulder width apart. Pick the bar up to the hips, maintain a flat lumbar curve. Keep the knees back and bring the barbell in contact with the ground before returning it to the starting position. The hip will stay high and you will merely hinge at the hip but keep the lower back flat.

  • Difficulty Level: Medium
  • Equipment Requirements: Barbell and weights
  • Suggested Workout: 2-4 sets of 12-15 reps per set.

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8) American Kettlebell Swings

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You are probably pretty familiar with these since we perform them all the time at the gym. The American Kettlebell Swing is great for the lower back and hip explosiveness. It also strengthens the grip and shoulders. Feet are set about shoulder width apart or slightly wider. The kettlebell will begin in the hang position.  To initiate the movement, the hips will move back and down slightly like a squat. Maintain a nice flat back and knees remain in line with the toes. From here, squeeze the butt and quads at the same time driving the kettlebell overhead. Finish with the kettlebell overhead and inline with the hips, shoulders and feet.

  • Difficulty Level: Medium
  • Equipment Requirements: A kettlebell
  • Suggested Workout: 3-4 sets of 10-20 reps per set

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9) Banded Kettlebell Swings

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The banded kettlebell swing is an advanced movement so make sure you feel comfortable with regular KBS before proceeding. We love these for golfers because it really builds hip explosiveness to generate club head speed. Unlike a conventional kettlebell swing the banded version keeps tension as the kettlebell rises. To set up, loop the band around the handle of the kettlebell and place your feet in the bands to anchor it to the floor. Set your feet slightly wider than shoulder width. Then perform as a kettlebell swing. ONLY SWING UP TO EYE LEVEL! We highly advise that you do not go overhead with these because of the band.

  • Difficulty Level: High
  • Equipment Requirements: A kettlebell and a band
  • Suggested Workout: 3-4 sets of 10-15 reps per set

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10) Glute Hip Thrusts

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And finally the barbell glute hip thrust. This one may look “funky” But the explosive aspect of the movement is really why it is great for the golf swing. You will need a bit more equipment for this one such as a bench, maybe a pad or towel for comfort, a barbell and weights. The shoulders will be set against the bench and shins perpendicular to the floor. The barbell will rest in the hip crease and you can add a pad or towel for comfort. Start by thrusting the barbell up and squeeze the butt at the top holding for a half second. Start out light before you add more weight down the road.

  • Difficulty Level: Medium
  • Equipment Requirements: A bench, barbell and weights
  • Suggested Workout: 3-4 sets of 10-15 reps per set.

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