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The Core of Driving Your Golfing to New Heights
By Sean Lim (NASM CPT)
FITNESS. Ask any average Joe what encompasses fitness and you'll get the imagery of people involved in rigorous sweat-dripping activities; the gym and team sports come to mind. However, if you spoke of the word GOLF and FITNESS in the same sentence, you'd probably be met with furrowed eyebrows. To the general public, golf is often perceived as a slow-paced leisure activity but do not be mistaken. To play golf well requires lots of upper body movement as well as core strength (Harmon, 2010).

There's a saying that in order to be at peak performance in a sport, you should exercise to play the sport rather than playing the sport for exercise.

Before we talk about what are some of the exercises you can do to strengthen your "core", we need to what is the "core". So what exactly is the "core"? The core refers to more than just your abdominal muscles. In short, the core refers to everything that provides stability to your arms and legs; think back, hips, and spine. Strengthening the core should be a priority should you want to up your game and prevent those niggling injuries. Let's put it this way, the stronger your core, the stronger your swing and drive.

Some simple yet effective core exercises we can do are:

1. Plank

The plank. You've heard it. Your neighbour has heard of it. Your pet dog has probably heard of it too. To get into a plank position, begin by getting yourself into a push up position. Form a straight line with your body and rest your weight on your forearms.

2. Side Plank

If planks had a sister, the side plank would be it. To begin, start by lying on your side using your arm as a bridge. Similar to the plank, you should be resting your weight on your forearm.

3. Floor Bridge

The floor bridge is another great way to build up your core. Begin by lying on your back and then using your heels to slowly push your pelvis off the floor. The only thing touching the floor should be head, shoulders, and feet. Don't forget to squeeze those glutes!

4. Balance Lunges

Start by placing one foot on a chair or bench. While keeping your upper body upright, you are going to lower your hips until the leg on the floor is bent to around a 90 degree angle. Using your heels, finish off the movement by pushing yourself back to the starting position.
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