Improve your swing without hitting a ball!

Tone up those tummy muscles for extra distance

Hoski's picture
Mon, 1 Mar 2010

Most golfers can improve their golf swing during the winter months without hitting a ball. With a simple exercise to improve the shoulder turn, we can all build up the power and accuracy of our swing technique.

One of the main differences between a good golfer, and a golfer who struggles for length and accuracy, is the quality of the shoulder turn. Being able to turn the shoulders so you can swing the club into the ball from the inside is vital for power and consistent striking.  

All pro golfers work on stretching the muscles of their body to enhance a good turn - it’s as important as a skier developing strong legs. Many of you will have seen how Ian Poulter drove consistently during the WGC Accenture Matchplay on the way to winning.

He has a particularly economic and natural shoulder turn to get the club in the right position at the top. He may not be the longest on Tour but he gets it out there when he needs to and is also one of the most accurate.

Most club golfers lack suppleness, and as a result are unable to turn the shoulders through 90 degrees. As resistance builds up between the top and the bottom half of the body the shoulders either stop turning, causing the left arm to bend, or the right leg and hip pop out to the right, causing a tilt or reverse pivot.  

Both these faults lead to poor striking and a loss of power. 

Try this exercise to help you gain a few extra yards off the tee without resorting to buying a new driver. Itmay seem simple but it builds up the core muscles of the tummy and enables a better turn.

First, stand upright with legs apart, slightly flexed. With arms outstretched at shoulder height start to turn back and forward. Keep looking straightforward and keep the tummy muscles braced. Try to feel the stomach muscles resist as the turning motion builds up momentum. Swing back and forth 20 times and start to build those core muscles. As you become more advanced tilt forward slightly into your golf stance before you start the exercise. If you can strengthen your tummy (core) muscles it will make a great deal of difference to your overall shoulder turn and golf swing.

John Hoskison is attached to the Newbury Golf Centre and plays on the European Seniors Tour. For further information visit John's website at www.johnhoskisongolf.com