This is Part 4 in a series of five articles highlighting the why and how of core development. We’ll explore the concept, its role in the golf swing, and provide examples of exercises to develop each aspect.
Anti-Extension – Part 1
Anti-Lateral Flexion – Part 2
Anti-Rotation – Part 3
Rotational Power – Part 4
Miscellaneous Core Techniques - Part 5
This week, we've finally reached rotational training. This is the type of training that we all think of for rotational athletes such as golfers. Rotary power links the hands to the feet. But before we get into training rotation, I encourage you to read the last three posts if you haven't already. Remember, core stability is the ability to move the hips and extremities without compensatory movement of the spine. That means rotation needs to come from the proper areas - the hips and the upper back. First you must master the "anti-" training to ensure your lower back can stabilize properly and withstand the rotational forces.
Internal and external rotation of the hips is essential for a proper and powerful golf swing. Without it, two main problems occur. First, lack of hip rotation results in other parts of the body (ex. lower back) helping to create movement. When areas of the body have to contribute to an athletic movement they are not intended to perform, you move in a dysfunctional pattern. The dysfunction leads to pain. Second, you limit power output. The pelvis generates a tremendous amount of power in the swing, but only if it is functioning properly.
Medicine balls are a great way to train rotation. To begin with, start of in a half-kneeling set-up with the leg closest to the wall up and the leg furthest from the wall down. The athlete should feel like they are throwing from their back hip and get good rotation through the upper back/shoulders. It begins to teach the idea of bringing motion up from the ground. Next, progress to a split-stance or lunge position. This increases the difficultly of the exercise and puts a lot of demand on the core stabilizers. Then, progress to a standing position. These throws will feel closest to a golf swing. Again, the focus should be on the hips driving the movement. Now, there is weight shift coming into play from the trail leg to the lead leg. The hips develop internal and external rotation and the power is transferred through the core in a posture that resembles the golf swing. Finally, from a standing position, the athlete can step and throw. An added benefit to this motion is the athlete learning to post on the lead leg and avoid swaying. The lateral step forces the athlete to transition their weight but
Here are some progressive medicine ball exercises for rotational training. Remember, master the basics before moving on.
Med Ball Progressions