You need stable legs to make a powerful swing, but lower-body stability doesn’t require hours in the gym doing Olympic lifts or other complicated exercises. You can build a sturdy platform to swing from in your lounge room.
Start by doing these body-weight-only exercises [see below]. Do eight to 12 reps of each move, then switch the supporting leg and do them again. Fit these into your schedule a few times a week, and you should start to feel how it allows you to use your legs to make a more powerful downswing. Pushing off the ground as the club approaches the ball is a great speed-accumulating move.
“All good golfers push against the ground with their legs to get their hips and upper bodies turning powerfully through the shot,” says Ben Shear, Golf Digest‘s chief fitness advisor and architect of our new Fitness Trainer Certification program.
After a few weeks, you can increase the challenge by holding dumbbells or some other external load. Move slowly and focus on balance and good posture (no slouching!). As a bonus, these moves greatly improve ankle mobility, which can protect your knees, Shear says.
From a standing position, feet spread wide, toes forward, arms extended—squat laterally so one leg straightens and the other bends. It should feel like the glutes on the squatting side of your body drop behind the heel of that supporting foot. Once fully down, drive off that supporting foot to return to the start position.
PRISONER SPLIT SQUATS
From a split stance, with your hands behind your head, elbows back and torso upright, drop the knee of the trail leg straight down. Pause and then return to the start position.
From a standing position balancing on one leg, bend forward from the hip joints, keeping your chin down and body in line with your spine and your arms hanging. Your trail leg should extend behind you as a counterbalance. Pause and then return to the start position.
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This article was originally published on golfdigest.com