The newsletters for the first three months of this year addressed hand-eye coordination drills in addition to balance exercises. Last month we broke out the big rubber ball and demonstrated how these 65cm exercise balls could be utilized to help a golfer. For a review of last month's topic, click the March 2013 newsletter and you will find me kneeling on an exercise ball using my core muscles to develop better balance. This month we will keep the ball in play as well as stick with the goal of strengthening the core because, as I said in March, the butt (glutes) and the belly (abs) are the king and queen of the muscle groups a golfer should keep strong.
To warm up your hips for this month's core exercise, lie on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Steadily raise and lower your hips, keeping your shoulders and upper back on the floor, for ten repetitions.
Once loose and limber, go ahead and place both feet on the ball as I demonstrate in Picture 1.
Take a breath and while you exhale, engage your glutes, abs and upper legs to steadily lift your hips off the floor as in Picture 2. Notice how high my glutes are off the ground and how my upper back remains firmly on the floor. Steadily lower your hips, keeping your
feet on the ball and calling on those core muscles to maintain control of the movement. Perform ten repetitions. On the tenth rep, hold the hips high (and keep breathing!) for 30 to 60 seconds.
Your hamstrings, glutes, and abdominals will all get a wonderful workout with this exercise which, if you do not have a ball, can be done using the edge of a sturdy chair. If a doctor's permission is needed because of chronic back pain, especially in the lumbar area, then please notify the right person before attempting this workout. If you combine last month's and this month's exercise ball workouts, you will no doubt strengthen your core while only requiring 5 minutes of the entire day. Once again, this year's newsletters are designed to not necessarily require going to a range to improve your game.
Alignment sticks will be used in next month's tip and for that, you can simply use shafts out your bag. And just a heads up--this summer we will be addressing the brain! For that, too, you have everything you need!