Using Core Stability to Improve Rotation for Golf

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On Monday I had the opportunity to guest lecture a lab at Bridgewater State University.

As someone that went through the undergrad and grad programs there, I thought it would be cool to go through some stuff that the students are not typically exposed to.

The lab was centered around fitness testing. I opened up talking about how I never really got to use the things that we learned in the class. I have not used an EKG, bike erg, VO2 max, or Wingate test since that class.

I think its important to know what that stuff is but I simply have not used it in the field. Instead, I decided to show the students some things that I found really interesting when I was around their age.

I decided that I wanted to take them through the TPI golf screen. Even though these students were not golfers I was able to teach them about movement and actually training people. They seemed to be mildly interested in it- a huge win because I remember taking labs and hating them.

One of the observations that I noticed in the class was consistent with most people in general. Those with core stability issues struggle with good rotation.

There are a few categories of how core stability can help rotation in the golf swing.

Lateral Core Stability 

Golfers need to be able to internally rotate their hips. The trail hip internally rotates on the backswing and the lead hip does on the downswing. Lacking the ability to rotate the hips can result in just about any undesirable swing characteristic.

Lateral core stability has an influence on hip rotation. This is something I stole from Dean Somerset. With athletes I can do a passive hip internal range of motion test, have them perform a couple side planks, and re-test with improvement.

This shows that a golfer that lacks the ability to internally rotate the hips needs more lateral core stability.

Two of the best ways to improve lateral core stability are side planks and single arm carries. The goal is to avoid movement side to side when performing them.


Anterior Core Stability

Just as lateral core stability influences internal rotation, anterior core stability affects external rotation. The lead hip externally rotates on the backswing and the trail hip on the downswing.

Some may think that planks are automatically the best exercise to improve anterior core stability. I like to move one step back and go with supine exercises like deadbugs. Laying on the back actually adds some stability that cannot be accomplished in a plank. I like starting there before moving on to more advanced exercises.

Pelvic Control

Pelvic control is important for being able to rotate the torso. The upper back must rotate back in the backswing and forward in the downswing.

A pelvic that is locked in extension will limit rotation. This is something that we saw with a lot of the students. Many of them could not move their pelvis and also struggle with rotation and shoulder mobility.

Improving the ability for the pelvis to move will help rotation and give us the chance to hit the ball better.

Supine KB pullover variations are a good place to start. We get to use the ground to ensure stability and we also get some shoulder mobility benefits.

If you are looking for more guidance on core stability training I put together a FREE report that you can get below

Better Core Training for Golf