InstructionNovember 9, 2011

You Tried It: Strengthen core muscles for longer, straighter shots

*On the Instruction Blog we're open to all ideas. And we don't care where they're from as long as they work. A few weeks ago we solicited from you, our valued readers, the best tips you ever received. Now each week I am posting one of these tips and will explain why it's effective. Please submit your favorite tip by email to Editors@GolfDigest.com.

This week we hear from reader Charles Piette, who shares a tip for longer, straighter drives:

*"At address, suck in your belly in a way that you feel your abdomen getting more tense, but you're still able to breathe. That will stimulate the core muscles and create a solid base of support for your body to swing around.

"To this muscle contraction, add a smooth and relaxed takeaway, concentrating only on feeling tension in the mid-abdominal section, leaving the rest of your body tension-free. Make sure you complete a full backswing. By still keeping the same tension level, now pull the trigger and let it rip.

"This will allow you to hit more consistent shots with added distance and accuracy. This also serves as a great way to accelerate through the ball."

JasonDay_UL001.jpg

*Thank you, Charles. When you look at many of the modern tour players today, you'll notice that their abdomens are firm and solid at address, usually with a straight lower back--neither curved nor inverted. (See photo of Jason Day, from the swing sequence analysis that appears in the November issue of Golf Digest, with Bubba Watson on the cover.)

Also, it is easier to suck in your belly and keep it tense throughout your swing if you core muscles are strong. See Ron Kaspriske's Fitness Friday video here for easy ways to strengthen your core. Good luck with your game*.

*Roger Schiffman

Managing Editor

Golf Digest

Twitter @RogerSchiffman

Photo by J.D. Cuban *

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