When most people think of the core, they think of those mighty rectus abdominus muscles responsible for a six-pack stomach and a stable golf swing. But when it comes to the rotational aspects of your swing, the obliques play a key role, too. In fact, if these muscles on the sides of your stomach are weak, you'll really struggle to make solid contact with the ball.
Dave Phillips and Greg Rose, who head up the impressive Titleist Performance Institute (@mytpi), explain how weak oblique and glute muscles combine to produce one of golf's most common swing flaws--reverse spine angle.
Phillips, on Golf Digest's list of America's 50 Greatest Teachers, says a way you can check to see if your obliques and glutes are active when you swing is by doing this drill: "At address, drop your left foot back almost behind your right (left). Now swing to the top. If you begin to fall over, you've decreased the angle that you bent forward at the hips way too far. Focus on keeping some flexion as you swing to the top, and you won't lose your balance."
*For more great advice on fitness and making a better swing, go to mytpi.com.
Ron Kaspriske is the fitness editor for Golf Digest.
(Photos by Joey Terrill )