Golf I’ve been working
My golf core strength
Week 2: I’ve been working on my core strength
For those of you who didn’t read my blog last week you will have missed the fact that I’ve signed up to what is effectively ‘Boot Camp’ for my body! The idea is to spend six weeks working intensively with leading personal trainer and golf biomechanics’ expert Scott Bryant so that I become fitter, healthier and most importantly, get a body that is much better conditioned to swing the golf club. After all like most golfers I turn up to play a competition every week with little preparation other than a few quick swings in the grass by the first tee – no wonder I complain of a bad back afterwards.
Scott is one of the leading golf fitness experts in the industry. He has studied at the C.H.E.K Institute and his knowledge of the body is second to none. This week Scott has given me a series of simple exercises that will help strengthen my core – the muscles that run down the centre of your body, just like the core of an apple. For the golfer the core is the vital focal point of your body, it helps to support and stabilise your golf swing. If you have weak core muscles then you will be putting a lot of pressure on your other muscles throughout the golf swing. A strong core gives more support and will help you hit the ball further!
Scott performed a couple of simple tests on me to see what core strength I had. The first is to stand up against a wall and then hold one arm up at shoulder height, bent to 90 degrees so that your fingers point to the ceiling.
Now get a friend to push against your hand and see if you can stay fixed in a stable upright stance. Without my core muscles activated I immediately toppled backwards (see picture 1 above). Then Scott showed me how to activate my core by pulling my muscles in around my belly button. With this strong centre established he repeated the test and hey presto I was still standing firmly upright – and Scott is a strong man! (See picture 2 above)
The second test was to sit on a fitness Swiss ball, tilt back into a sit up position and engage my core muscles with my arms rotated and outstretched at my sides. My body immediately started shaking, a clear indication that my core muscles are weak, and I was only able to hold the position for a few seconds. Scott has given me this exercise to practise along with one final exercise and that’s a deep squat. Simply stand upright with the Swiss ball positioned between the middle of your back and the wall. Now slowly bend your knees and squat down, focusing on keeping the core muscles activated and the body in the same upright position that it started in. The deeper the squat you can make the harder the challenge.
Scott also taught me a great way to take this test to the golf course and challenge your core muscles to work on the tee. Address a drive, focusing on engaging your core muscles – you should feel strong. Now get a friend to tie a piece of string around the centre of your body. The goal is to hit the drive keeping your core muscles engaged. To do that the string must stay in place. If your core muscles relax the string will drop down.
Along with these simple exercises I’ve been following a healthy diet plan and drinking lots of water and I can honestly say I’m feeling a lot fitter already.