The words core training, golf fitness, and improving your golf swing have become common words in golf. It is well known the number of professional golfers utilizing a golf fitness program to improve their golf swing. Addition to this well-known situation a common word has become connected to the phrase golf fitness. This phrase has become a buzzword in the world of golf. Unfortunately many do not understand the phrase and the relevance it can have on the golf swing. The phrase is core training. Core training can be a great benefit to your golf swing as a part of comprehensive golf fitness program.
Unfortunately many amateur golfers are unsure of the exact definition of core training and the relevance it may or may not have on a golf fitness program. The core is a reference to an anatomical area of body. The core is the anatomical area of your body from above the knees to below the chest. It includes all the muscles, nerves, and bones within in this anatomical region of the body. It must also be noted that the core includes all the neuromuscular structures on the front, side, and back of your body. For example, your lower back muscles are a part of the core as are your abdominals.
Core training is an integral part of a comprehensive golf fitness program because this is the anatomical area of the body where the majority of the golf swing occurs. For example, the golf swing requires you to rotate around a fixed spine angle. The majority of muscles allowing rotation to occur around a fixed spine angle are found within the core region. The golf swing requires a full shoulder turn to execute correctly. The muscles allowing the shoulders to rotate are mostly found within the core region of the body. These are just a few examples providing a reference between the biomechanics of the golf swing and the core region of the body.
Understanding the connection between the biomechanics of the golf swing and the core should begin to shine some light on why core training can be beneficial to the golf swing. Overall, the golf swing requires certain levels of flexibility, balance, strength, endurance, and power to execute correctly. If the body lacks the required levels within these physical components the golf swing will be difficult to execute correctly. Knowing that a large portion of the movements in the golf swing occur within the core region, it becomes obvious developing these physical components become necessary in order to improve your golf swing.
The key component of core training in relation to the golf swing centers upon the principle of cross-specificity training. Cross-specificity training implies the exercises within the core program train the body to the positions, movements, and requirements of the sport. A core training program beneficial to the golf swing must train the body specifically for the anatomical positions, movements, and actions encountered on the golf course.
The goal of cross-specific core program is to develop a transfer of training effect. The majority of fitness programs and many core programs do not address the needs of the golfer relative to improving flexibility, balance, strength, endurance, and power. A cross-specific core program will provide the foundation for a better golf swing. Just because a program is labeled a “core program” does not necessarily mean it will be beneficial to improving the golf swing.
Once the golfer understands the concepts of cross-specific training, transfer of training effect, core, and the biomechanics of the golf swing. You can begin to piece together the components of a golf fitness program. Outside of providing the foundation for the golf swing through providing the golfer with the needed levels of flexibility, balance, strength, endurance, and power to efficiently execute the golf swing. A golf fitness program can also improve a golfer’s swing.
One common area of desired improvement for most any golfer is increased distance. Increased distance in the golf swing is equated to increased clubhead speed. And increased clubhead speed is directly related to the golfer’s power outputs. Increasing power within the golf swing is connected to both swing mechanics and the body. The coiling and uncoiling within the golf swing directly affects the power outputs generated. In addition the body has a direct affect upon power development in the golf swing. Power in relation to the body can be defined as the ability of the body to create the greatest amount of force in a short amount of time.
If the golfer increases the ability of the body to generate more force, what will be the result within the golf swing? The golfer is more powerful, an increase in clubhead speed will occur, and the golf ball will probably travel farther. Interestingly enough improving power outputs by the body in relation to the golf swing, centers upon developing greater power outputs by the core region. Again, the golf swing is a rotational movement centering in the core region of the body. Increasing the force outputs of the muscles in the core can invariably improve the power in your golf swing. This again is only one example of where core training and golf fitness can improve the golf swing. Many additional areas of improvement can occur when the golfer develops the body correctly for the golf swing.
Understand the biomechanics of the golf swing require certain levels of flexibility, balance, strength, endurance, and power to execute correctly. The golfer requires minimal levels of these physical components at the very least to execute the golf swing correctly. The core is an anatomical region of the body where much of the movements within the golf swing occur. A core training program can be beneficial to improving the golf swing if the exercises within the program are cross-specific to the movements, positions, and physical requirements of the golf swing. If the core program is not cross specific to the golf swing, the benefits may less than optimal. Realize a comprehensive golf fitness program includes core training to develop the body around the golf swing. Such a program can improve the golf swing in areas like clubhead speed. And remember just because a program is labeled “core” does not necessarily mean it will improve your golf swing. The exercises within the core program must correlate with the movements of the golf swing.
Sean Cochran is one of the most recognized golf fitness instructors in the world today. He travels the PGA Tour regularly with 2004 Masters, 2005 PGA, and 2006 Masters Champion Phil Mickelson. To learn more about Sean and his golf fitness programs go to http://www.seancochran.com
By Sean Cochran