Every single golfer dreams of adding miles to their swing. This can be achieved through greater rotational power, but it mainly should come from a solid platform of stability which is composed by your core, hamstrings and glutes. It is only with a strong foundation that you can effectively transfer the forces from the bigger muscle groups in your lower body to those in your upper body, and eventually to the clubhead and into the ball!
There are two benefits of performing this exercise as a single leg exercise versus a double legged exercise such as a squat:
Firstly, performing this exercise on one leg will tremendously challenge your balance, and we all know that good balance is essential in a golf swing.
Secondly, the single leg component as demonstrated in this video will force you to stabilise an asymmetrical load (the weight in one hand and/or just the lever of your trail leg), while dynamically balancing on one leg. Essentially, this exercise naturally induces a torque load in your spine and torso and your upper body has to work hard to keep it from rotating, hence you are creating counter-rotational stability. By keeping your pelvis, torso and shoulders square, you are having to counteract the rotational forces, hence you are developing stabilising strength in your core, glutes, hamstrings and spinal extensors.
This exercise, if performed correctly, will help you develop stronger glutes and abdominals which are essential in keeping your posture stable throughout the golf swing. Loss of posture is a common fault observed in many golfers, and it is a real power dissolver, and it will also make your ball flight inconsistent. By keeping a solid foundation or stable posture throughout the huge dynamic forces that are involved in a golf swing, you will be able to yield more efficient (not lost) power, much more consistently.
How to perform:
- Start with no weights, and only progress to holding a moderate weight such as a small kettlebell if you can do this slowly, in control and with no lower back pain.
- Standing on one leg, and grow as tall as you can.
- Slowly hinge from your hips, reaching your upper body forwards and your other leg (trail leg) away from each other.
- Keep your hips level and square, this is the most important aspect of this exercise! - - Make sure you are actively reaching your trail-leg heel away, keeping your toes (of that trail leg) pointing down to the ground to make sure that trail leg stays neutral (and not turned out).
- Your upper body and trail leg should form one single line, and move as one unit.
- Pause when the line formed by your upper body and your trail leg is parallel to the ground.
- Return back to standing by engaging (clenching) the buttock muscle of your standing leg.
- Keep your abdominals engaged throughout, and your breathing slow and calm.
- Perform this exercise in a slow controlled fashion, keeping a sense of length from the crown of your head to your trail leg heel.
- Also think of standing as tall as you possibly can on your standing leg, whilst still maintaining both hips level and facing the floor (it is very tempting to allow the trail-leg hip to lift higher to the ceiling, higher than your standing leg.. please keep both hips at the same height).
- If you are holding a weight, hold it in the hand that is opposite to your trail leg, so for example if you are lifting your right leg behind you, hold the weight in your left hand.
- Perform 10 repetitions on each leg.
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