Is a lack of flexibility affecting your body rotation? Are your golf swings not as powerful as they use to be? These unfortunate effects are mostly likely the result of poor body rotation. Control of body rotation is an important component of an accurate and forceful swing.
As you work on various stretches to improve muscle strength and control, remember to focus on your hips, which serve as a dynamic part of your body. Strong hips provide postural stability, lower body movement control, and they drive rotation. In terms of your golf game, the gluteus medius (the muscle on the side of the hip) is important in providing side-to-side stability, preventing swaying, and offering body rotational speed. A strong gluteus medius is critical for accuracy and consistency.
For golfers over the age of 50, regularly practicing exercises that help improve your body rotation will help prevent the pains and aches associated with aging. The loss of back and shoulder power and flexibility along with the loss of spinal mobility can make it difficult for golfers to rotate and swing properly. Exercises that increase your ability to separate your lower body and upper body will help encourage controlled muscle mobility.
The key to benefiting from these exercises is to stretch properly. Start with a mild warm up, stretch slowly, and exercise regularly. Let’s get started with four exercises that will help improve body rotation:
Stand on a resistance band with your feet shoulder-width apart. Hold the ends of the resistance band in each hand and pull up until the band is tight. Shift your weight to the right as you lift your left leg up and to the side as high as you can. Return to the starting position. Do 3 sets of 12 reps. Repeat while standing on your left leg.
This exercise will require a chair without armrests and a resistance band. Anchor the resistance band in a door frame. Sit in the chair parallel to the door, far enough away to loosely hold the resistance band to your right. Sitting upright with straight arms slightly bent at the elbows, rotate your arms and torso away from the door and towards your left side. Concentrate on your torso. Perform 15 repetitions of 3 sets.
Trust us, this exercise is kinder on your body than it sounds. Using a small weight, such as light hand weight, medicine ball or can of soup, start this exercise by standing up straight with feet shoulder width apart. Take a backward diagonal step with your left foot while rotating your body to the right so that you end with the small weight on the opposite side of your lunging leg. Hold for 5 seconds. From this position, push up and rotate back around to the starting position. Perform this 8 times on each side, and aim for 2 repetitions.
This exercise is slightly more challenging, but it is a great exercise for hip strength stability. Stand up straight on your right leg and hold a dumbbell with your left hand. The goal is to perform a single leg squat on your right leg while you reach downward and across with your left hand holding the dumb bell. Bend at the waist as you perform your squat. This exercise will require balance. If you need to improve your balance, perform this exercise while holding onto something stable, such as a countertop. Perform 2 reps of 8 sets.
Make a habit of engaging in these 4 exercises and stretches on a regular basis to improve the dynamic of your body rotation and the power of your golf swing. For another look at exercises that improve your golf game, check out this article for the best golf workouts from Golf Digest or visit Totallydriven.com for the latest tips on performance, coaching, and fitting.