Progressing the Plank for Golfers

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Golf season appears to be winding down here in MA.

I think the biggest factor is football season. A lot of people try to make plans and do things for the game on Sundays. Never mind some of us psychos are very big on Saturdays too (Go Noles).

I also encountered a 38 degree morning that really didn’t get me too excited to get out there.

I still plan on making the most of the fall because there is still some good golf to be played, but I understand that we are winding down.

When the golf season does slow down, we can start to look at training.

It can sometimes be difficult to make training a priority when the summer is here. The days are long, the weather is nice, and its great for golf. The off season is the perfect time to get your fitness back.

Core stability is often a good place to focus when training for golf. Having good core stability is helpful for mobility, power development, and reducing back pain.

A lot of people do not train the core in the way that it is intended to. The real role of the core is to resist movement. One of the best examples of this is the plank.

Many people will do planks on their own. They’re easy to do because you can just hop on down on the elbows and hold yourself up.

There are some ways that we can make planks better. First we have to change how we look at them.

Longer Is Not Better

Holding a plank for a long time is not always better than for a short time. Planks can be more effective when you create as much tension as possible in them.

Take a normal plank and do the following:

  • Squeeze the glutes
  • Squeeze the abs
  • Think about pulling your elbows towards your body without actually moving

This should make holding a plank for anything more than 20 seconds a real challenge.

Without building this type of tension, we are really just hanging out in poor posture for as long as we can. Your golf game will benefit much more from these adjustments.

Progressing the Plank

We can also progress a plank to add some more instability. The plank by itself is supposed to resist extension, or arching at the back.

Different variations may introduce new demands like resisting rotation or lateral flexion.

Utilizing a plank with reach adds in a rotational component. By reaching out straight ahead we have to stabilize on one arm which also increases the amount of extension to avoid.

Plank to side rotations take it one step further because it involves resisting extension, then rotation, and finally lateral flexion.

The third variation I want to introduce is chest taps. Chest taps are done on the hands as opposed to the forearms. This increases the amount of rotation and extension to resist.

Use these plank variations to get your off season started off on the right foot.