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Strengthen the Core

Learn how to strengthen your most important golf muscles - the core!

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We are asked frequently at the Titleist Performance Institute what exercises are most important for golf. While there are many, probably the most important are the muscles that support and operate the core, or the muscles in and around your lower abdominal, low back and pelvic girdle. Although these muscles all have names and specific functions I'll try to keep it simple.

This group of muscles generally acts in an involuntary fashion. They are skeletal muscles and we do have the ability to voluntarily contract them, but they are most active in a stabilizing role, reacting to shifts in the body's center of gravity in relation to its base of support as well as altered pressure on joints. In short these factors are known as "Tilt & Equilibrium Reactions" and "Proprioception".

Training for these muscles for golf is a cinch, basically you just have to perform free standing, resistance training exercises or, for that matter, any activity that has you moving in multiple directions, (aerobic classes & any
sport) possibly except swimming. Why not swimming? Well, in the water you are supported partially in 3 dimensions, gravity exerts less effect, creating less need for these particular muscles to be active to support the skeleton and another factor may be that eccentric resistance is all but absent in water. (No, I am not saying that swimming is a redundant health pursuit, I am simply saying that it is not productive in developing the core stability and joint proprioception required for life outside water!)

Free weight, resistance training exercises (including cables and pulleys) will generally require good levels of activation of the deep core and abdominal muscles and are most effective for the development of the same.

Following these simple suggestions during your workouts can enhance this:

1. Replace benches and seats with a Swiss Ball.
2. Activate the abdominals by "bracing" the stomach.
3. Maintain perfect posture – don't let the weight dictate your position.
4. Train the body unilaterally (One side at a time) without
         hanging on tosomething.
5. Don't use a weight-training belt on a regular basis.
6. Increase training to the hips
7. Reduce your base of support (Stand on one foot) during upper body

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