Junior golfers ages 14-18 would benefit from strengthening their core and growing their game off of the course at their own pace. The added responsibility pays off when the junior begins to see improvements in stability, balance, and distance in their shots. A strong core also prevents many injuries.
"The muscles around the midsection of your body—commonly known as the "core" muscles—are hugely important in terms of making an effective golf swing. Their main responsibility is to stabilize your body so you can swing powerfully without losing your balance or control of the club—no matter what kind of lie you are facing. They also help prevent injuries, specifically protecting your spinal column.
Developing a strong core takes work and proper technique. Most core exercises require that you breathe in and out with each repetition (exhaling as you activate or squeeze your abdominal muscles)." - Golf Digest Writer Ron Kaspriske
According to Harvard Healthline, developing core strength can aid in developing proper posture and reduce the risk of injuries. The part that the core plays in the golf swing is to not only create rotational strength in your swing but more importantly prevent future injuries in your back and lower body. A stronger core may generate more swing speed but we can sleep well at night knowing that a strong core prevents injuries. At the top of your backswing, you are activating multiple parts of your core to create a balanced finish through the ball.
Developing a strong core takes work and proper technique. Note that most core exercises require proper breathing, exhaling during each repetition, when you flex your abdominal muscles, according to Ron Kaspriske. For more information on these basic core exercises, click the underlined link for a video tutorial!
Crunch - The furthest you should get off the ground is to lift your shoulders off the ground. Breathe out when you lift your shoulders and out as you relax.
Core Roll - this exercise is a great way to stretch while targeting your core. Focus on squeezing your core muscles with every exhale.
Bird Dog Diagonals - focus on reaching out with your fingertips and toes and exhaling as you do so. Squeezing your abdominal muscles/core muscles will help keep your body stable.
For golfers looking for more of a challenge, visit Stack.com to view their recommended exercises on developing core strength and driving distance. Next week we will be developing a pre-round routine to warm up your muscles and perform your best beginning with your first swing!