- 45 second Plank
- 25 Crunches
- 45 second Bridge
- Bosu Ball
- Dyna Discs
- Balance Board
- Wobble Board/Weeble Board
- Foam Roller
Top 4 Tips On Correct Balance
There are many golfers that struggle with correct balance in the golf swing. The main reason for this ultimately comes from a weak core and lower body. Correcting our balance in golf can be very simple, but requires a few exercises to get our muscles stronger.
The older we get and less active we become, many of our balance muscles become weak and inactive. The most important areas to keep strong are the core (abdominals), ankles and calves. However, past injuries to the hip, knee lower back and neck can dramatically affect our balance due to years of compensating to avoid pain. Sometimes, poor swing technique can affect balance, but many professionals and elite amateurs have odd swings while maintaining perfect balance. Also, illnesses such as vertigo and flu viruses can have a temporary effect on balance and can be corrected over time. Lastly, poor sleep habits or lack of sleep can have a long term effect on a golfer’s balance.
Great balance in golf not only comes from years of repeating the same motion, but also taking care of our bodies. The more we play golf, keep active and eat healthy we can easily improve our balance in both golf and life.
Here are some tips to help improve your balance.
There are some basic exercises to help test and strengthen your balance. The most common exercise to test your balance is to stand on one foot with your eyes closed. The benchmark is to stand on one foot with your eyes closed for at least one minute. We also want to test both feet. If you can only hold your balance for a couple seconds on each foot, than you’re equally weak on both sides. If you can hold your balance substantially longer on one foot over the other, it means you have a predominant weak side. What this test tells us, is how strong our ankles, Achilles and Calves are. As soon as you close your eyes while on one foot, you’ll instantly feel the ankle and lower leg muscles working. If these muscles are strong, you should be able to stand with your eyes shut for over one minute. To see immediate results, try this exercise daily until you reach one minute on both feet. It will start waking up your lower legs and feet to allow for better balance throughout your golf swing.
Most balance issues come from weak abdominals. Recreational and semi competitive golfers cringe at the thought of exercising or going to the gym. Or they believe it takes hours upon hours building up core strength. Professional golfers are playing for large purse amounts and they need to treat their bodies like Olympic athletes. However, the average golfer can improve their balance by performing some simple core strengthening exercises:
Performing two sets of these core exercises approximately an hour before tee time will do wonders for your golf game. It will not only help improve your balance but will get your core warmed up which lessens the likelihood of injury while playing. If you included 50 jumping jacks or two minutes of running on the spot, you will get your entire body warmed up and this will increase your chance of a solid start to the round.
Anytime we can close our eyes while performing an exercise, it will truly test our balance. If you consistently struggle with balance in golf, it’s important to include in your practice some training with your eyes shut. Next time you go to the range, try making one practice swing with your eyes shut. If you can do it, take note of how it felt. If you lose your balance right away, it likely means your tempo is a little quick. Slow the swing down with your eyes closed until you can hold your balance from start to finish. Next, step up to a ball and make the same swing with the same speed and hit the shot. It’s very important when we have poor balance, we swing at a speed that allows us to get into a solid finish position. Once our balance improves and we get stronger, the swing tempo can increase.
There are many balance training aids that can be used prior to a round of golf. Many drills are available for each and the items listed. They also come with great tips and workouts to incorporate into your pre-round preparation. Each training aid assists in strengthening the core muscles and smaller muscles in the lower legs which helps in achieving healthy balance.