A perfect golf swing is what all golf players look for. However, the muscles responsible for good hip function play an important role when it comes to making a good swing, and if you’re hips are tight, even something as simple as a solid contact with the ball could be a challenge.
Without strong, pliable muscles in your stomach, hips, butt and lower back, you can’t make a golf swing that is both powerful and technically sound.
A golf swing needs a supreme level of physical conditioning. While it only lasts for a couple of seconds, it’s a hugely intense movement that calls on muscle groups from the head to the feet. Strengthening those muscles can make all the difference in that ongoing struggle to bring your handicap down. Overall strength and flexibility is one and only way to improve the swing and shave strokes off the game.
Including these exercises in you training routine to master the perfect swing:
Standing Wood Chopp
This exercise integrates the movements of the hips, back, and shoulders, while increasing strength and improving flexibility. It’s best performed with a cable system, like a resistance band. To begin with place the resistance band beneath your left foot. Slightly bending your knees, pull the band overhead to your right, like you’re about to swing an axe. Perform 8-12 repetitions, then rest for 30 seconds. Switch sides and repeat one to three times.
This exercise stretches the glutes, the hamstrings and the hip flexors. Stand with your back straight and your arms at your sides. Lift your right foot off the ground and squat back down on your left leg. Grab below the knee with your hands and pull your right knee as close to your chest as you can while contracting your left glute for two seconds. Return to the start and switch leg positions. Make sure to keep your chest up and contract the glute of the leg you are standing on.
This exercise can improve the range-of-motion, strength, and power of the hips by working them in the frontal plane with side-to-side movement. Keeping perfect posture throughout, take a large step to your left, shifting your weight to that side. Your left leg should be bent while the right leg is extended to the right. Make sure to keep your toes pointing straight ahead. Alternating legs, perform 8-12 repetitions then rest for 30 seconds. Repeat one to three times.
Glute Activation Lunges
These standard lunges can be used to improve mobility in the hips, which can result in greater strength and a more powerful swing. Start with your feet together and your hands on your hips. Take a giant step forward, bending your front leg at a 90 degree angle (or until your thigh is parallel to the floor). Your back leg should remain strong and straight. Step back into a standing position and repeat 8-12 times. Alternate legs one to three times, resting in between.
Front Plank/Side Plank
This exercise helps to activate core muscles, which promote stability and strength in the torso. Lying face down, place palms flat on the floor. Tuck your toes under, roll your shoulders onto your back, away from your ears, and push away from the floor. Keep your back flat and engage your abdominal muscles. Hold for 20 to 60 seconds and release back down onto the floor. Repeat three to five times.
For side plank, start by lying on your side with your legs stacked. Rest your body on your forearm, shoulder directly over your elbow. Lift your hips so that your body is in a straight line. Hold for 20 to 60 seconds and lower back down. Repeat three to five times on each side.
Inverted Hamstring Stretch
To do, stand on your left leg only with your arms extended from your sides. Now bend over at the waist, and raise your right leg so it’s behind you and parallel to the ground. When you feel the hamstring stretch in your left leg, return to the starting position. Switch legs and repeat.
Supine Spinal Twists
These twists are an excellent way to increase core strength while enhancing torso mobility. If performed correctly, the shoulders will also receive a good stretch. Begin on your back with your feet raised and bent in a 90 degree angle, or so that your calves are parallel to the floor. Extend your arms out wide, with palms facing down. Slowly lower your legs to the right side of your body, keeping your knees together. Hover above the ground for about 20 to 30 seconds, then return to center. Switch sides and repeat one to three times.
Stand on your left leg and hold a support with your left hand. A chair is sufficient. Hinge through your left hip by dropping your chest and lifting your right leg to the ceiling to create a “T” with your body. While holding on with your left hand, open your hips and shoulders toward the ceiling until you feel a stretch on the outside of your left hip. Hold for two seconds. Rotate your hips and shoulders down and across your body until you feel a stretch on the outside of your left hip. Finish one side before starting the other. Remember to move your hips and shoulders as one unit. Keep the leg you’re standing on slightly bent at the knee and keep your back leg lifted toward the sky throughout the movement.
Physical conditioning and consistency is the key to a good swing in golf. Combine your workouts with whole foods and plenty of water, and you’ll be well on your way to the perfect swing.