Balance seems to be all the rage when it comes to training for golf.
Thousands of people are exposed to exercises that are done on unstable surfaces. This is not good training for golf balance.
Things that you cannot argue with me:
- Golf is played on the grass
- The grass does not react to the body on top of it
Until we have to hit fairway shots from a ball that is cut in half, I am staying away from training on those. Never mind that unstable surface training decreases strength and force production compared to stable surfaces.
Training for balance can be done in a way that makes sense for golfers and also gets them the best results. We can continue to train on the ground while improving strength and balance simultaneously.
Single leg training is the key to this.
A lot of athletes struggle to perform basic single leg exercises because they fall off balance. They really lack the strength at first to be good at these exercises. The lower body needs strength to be stable.
Weakness causes instability, not a lack of balance training.
Quad Dominant Single Leg Movements
Any kind of lunge or split squat is going to fit the bill for golfers to improve their strength and balance.
We can also take it a step further beyond the basic movements.
Lets look at this progression of reverse lunge
You could spend a lot of time working on the reverse lunge and get up to the heaviest weight you can hold. This would be great for strength development. I doubt you would have issues with balance if you did this.
But we also have two variations that require a little bit of extra single leg stability. The lower body is required to really keep good balance to drive the knee forward.
The same can be done with a lateral lunge progression, which is awesome for getting golfers moving side to side. It doesn’t always have to be forward and backward.
Hamstring Dominant Exercises
I really like the SL RDL for improving single leg balance through a hamstring movement.
This is less of a progression and more just a way to load the pattern differently. A lot of balance is needed to perform this exercise and we do not need any funny equipment.
Other Good Single Leg Exercises
I like the bowler squat because it hits the glutes pretty well and is similar to an RDL pattern. It also helps with hip mobility. This might be one of the better exercises for golfers in general.
The Bulgarian split squat is one of the harder single leg exercises. It takes a lot of balance and a lot of strength. Golfers should work their way up to this one because it will serve as a very good indicator of single leg strength and stability.
I like the single leg squat for developing single leg stability because it only has 1 point of contact. Most other lunges have 2 points. Just like RDL’s and the bowler squat it is a good progression to be able to do. I have not met someone that could do these well and was not strong.