Try this 10-minute workout for improved stability
While many golfers focus on speed and strength in the gym, but there’s another key area you should be training: stability. Without a stable base, golfers will often sway or collapse in their backswing. This results in the club getting off track—decreasing your consistency, speed and power.
Incorporating stability training into your fitness routine is simple. Shawn Farmer-Sese, one of Golf Digest’s 50 Best Golf-Fitness Trainers, created a quick circuit to help you do just that. This 10-minute workout is easy to follow and you can do it anywhere.
To complete the circuit, set up a stopwatch and perform each exercise for 40 seconds, using the next 20 seconds to rest and transition to the next exercise. Go for at least two rounds for maximum benefit.
Reverse lunges are a great exercise because they’re single-sided, which challenges your balance and builds stability.
Start half-kneeling in a lunge position like you see Farmer-Sese doing here in the video. Then, create a 90-degree angle with your front and back leg. This is the ideal positioning for your reverse lunge. As you complete the exercise, don’t feel like you have to get your knee all the way to the ground, Farmer-Sese says it’s more important to keep your pelvis level. Focus on driving through the front leg and keeping your front toes glued to the floor.
Elevated Bird Dog with Shoulder Taps
Most golfers are trying to make a bigger arm swing for power, but controlling the club is much more important, and good shoulder stability is key to that, Farmer-Sese says.
That’s where elevated bird-dogs with shoulder taps can help. This exercise offers single-arm stability, as well as core strength—which is key in combating too much lateral movement in the backswing.
Get into Get down on your hands and knees, with your knees hovering just off the floor like you see Farmer-Sese doing in this video, keeping the knees just barely off the ground. Lift your opposite arm to your opposite shoulder, engaging your core, remaining stable and balanced..
Healthy hips and ankles are crucial to your golf game but are often overlooked. Whether you’re setting up low to hit a bunker shot or playing a ball below your feet, your hips and ankles help you stay balanced when you’re hitting from an uncomfortable position. This narrow-stance squat will challenge your balance, forcing you to activate and engage both of these key joints.
Start with your feet forward, hip-width apart. Squat down as low as you can without your heels popping up, then drive back up to your starting position. Range of motion will vary for everyone, Farmer-Sese says. If you have ankle restrictions, prop your heels up on a bar or something similar. If you want to challenge yourself, bring your feet closer together.
Wall-Assisted, Single-Leg Deadlift
Golfers need strong and mobile hips to rotate their bodies and create power in the swing, but you also need them to do simple things on the course, like picking your tee off the ground or your ball out of the hole. Single-leg deadlifts are a great way to strengthen the muscles in your hip and challenge your balance and stability.
Begin with your feet shoulder-width apart, standing with the left side of your body next to a wall. Maintain a slight bend in your right knee as you hinge from the waist to lift your left leg behind you, keeping your toes pointed at the ground. For a lot of people, hinging is difficult, Farmer-Sese says.
“I want you to feel like you’re trying to push back and reach for the wall behind you with your [right] foot. This will naturally tip you over and get into that hinge position,” Farmer-Sese says.
Remember to keep your back flat as you complete each rep, and don’t be afraid to hold onto the wall lightly for additional support. Extend your leg, then come back up to standing. The key is moving slow and steady, so you can work the hip's entire range of motion, Farmer-Sese says.
Tall-Kneeling Step-Throughs with Rotation
Farmer-Sese’s final exercise is great for building hip mobility and stability, while adding in a bit of rotational movement. This will help you stabilize your swing, and also work on your upper-body flexibility so you can create a bigger and better backswing.
From a tall kneeling position, lift one leg up and out in front of you. You should create a 90 degree angle with both legs, as you can see in the video. Then cross your arms over your chest and rotate toward the leg out in front of you. Return your chest to center and your leg back to its original position and repeat on the other side.
As you rotate, you should feel a slight stretch in your core, but the main goal for this exercise is to have as little lateral shift or movement in your back leg as you bring your other leg around front, Farmer-Sese says. To create additional stability in the back leg, Farmer-Sese says to squeeze the glute in your back leg as the front leg moves around.