This is Part 5 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
In the final article on core training, we'll discuss three considerations for your core development.
First, ensure your programming is balanced. In the previous blogs of this series, we covered the four types of core training based on movement planes (anti-extension - sagittal plane; anti-lateral flexion - front plane; anti-rotation - transverse plane; rotational - transverse plane). You want to ensure that each bucket has adequate levels of strength. That means, if you can hold a plank for an extended period of time, but really struggle with side planks, you need to program more anti-lateral flexion into your program. Once you're balanced, consider exercises that challenge multiple planes. This helps train muscles simultaneously while saving you some time in your routine. Here is an example of an anti-extension and anti-rotation series.
Second, you can progress or regress core exercises by modifying the set-up position. The set-up position can make exercises more difficult by limiting your base of support. Below is a list of various set-ups. You'll notice, the easiest is supine or lying on your back. This is a great entry level posture because the core is supported by the floor. As you progress, the demand on the core increases as the base of support is lessened.
Finally, consider training diagonal patterns. This involves muscles of our anterior oblique sub-system (obliques and hip muscles). For golfers, this is extremely important because it improves rotational force production and reduction (the ability to decelerate). Examples of these types of exercises are chops and lifts. The athlete pushes and pulls through the frontal plane while stabilizing in the transverse and sagittal planes. In sports, especially golf, we realize the body is moving in all three planes. Training diagonal patterns help us generate force and recruit muscles used in our sport. Here is an example of a diagonal pattern in various set-up positions.