BALANCE AND THE GOLF SWING

Bob Forman, MS - Exercise Physiology
Certified Golf Fitness Instructor


When’s the last time you practiced standing on 1 foot and holding your balance?  Better yet, when's the last time you assessed your dynamic balance?  Probably never.  Yet it’s a key ingredient in our daily lives and that includes playing golf. 

Balance is one of those things that we pretty much don't think about it, nor practice, even though it can keep us from seriously injuring ourselves and help us perform daily tasks better.  How many times have you heard of someone, who was in pretty good shape, fall and break a bone and never really fullt recover?  For this reason, alone, balance is something that should be practiced on a regular basis. 

Better balance will also impact your performance on the golf course.  Almost every aspect of the game is dependent on the golfer’s ability to maintain good balance while in various positions, and often while explosively swinging a golf club.    

Whether it’s the longer yardage shots off the tee and in the fairway or those finesse ones from 100 yards in or around the green, body control is a must.   Altering the stance to accommodate for the type of shot will help the golfer swing the club smoothly and efficiently, resulting in the desired outcome.  The golfer, however, must be able to perform the altered shot while maintaining proper balance.    

For many this is a tough enough task on level ground, but often times these array of golf shots have to be accomplished from uneven lies such as uphill and downhill, or when the ball’s above or below your feet.  This demands even a greater need for swing stability as both ground and gravitational forces impact an additional set of circumstances to the golfer which he now needs to compensate for.    

Throw in a little wind, one foot in the bunker, and/or a little fatigue on the back nine and that changes the affect on the body.  That’s the beauty or frustration about golf, you really never have the same shot twice.  There’s always something different requiring you to alter something to make the shot, and in every situation, stabilization or balance plays a huge part.   

Age may have something to do with lack of balance, but I’ve seen a lot of young players have trouble with the simplest of balance assessments.  Yes, there are physiological changes that occur as we age that will impact balance, but for the most part, we can prevent that from occurring.     

Lower body strength, for example, plays a key role in balance.  Improving strength and coordination in all three planes of movement, side-to-side, front-to-back, and rotationally, can enhance balance.  A good start is working the quadriceps (front thigh), glutes (buttocks), calves, and abductors and adductors (inner and outer thigh).  These will also help you better control the lower body during the golf swing. 

Practicing balance is also something that you can do to improve balance.  Get into your golf stance (as if you were standing at address over the ball, but with your hands folded across your chest instead of out in front of you) and then shift the weight over to one foot while you lift the other foot off the ground.  Work up to a solid 10 seconds on each foot without losing your balance.  It’ll take time, be patient and it will get better.  If you have extreme difficulty with this, you may want to check with your physician, as there are other factors that can influence balance.       

Once this is accomplished, to make the exercise more golf specific, as golf is not a static sport, balance on one foot and then slowly rotate your shoulders back and forth as if swinging a golf club.  Practice that till you can do 5 to 10 rotations to each side, and with each leg, without losing your balance. 

Another progressive dynamic balance exercise is the angled knee dips.  Stand on a solid slanted surface and perform 5 to 10 tiny, 1-legged squats in all four directions.  As you switch positions, you'll note that gravity will have a different effect on your ability to stand upright as you perform the dips.  This will simulate the same effect you'll encouonter out on the golf course while hitting various shots. 

Don’t take balance for granted.  Take steps to improve your balance and you’ll improve not only the quality of life, but the quality of your golf game as well. 

EXERCISE OF THE MONTH

Quad-Hip Flexor Stretch

This is a progressive stretch for the quad-hip flexor area.  Be cautious as you lean back on the bench as it will challenge the knee if the quads are tight.  Avoid this stretch if you've had knee replacement.  Tight quads/hip flexors will impede hip mobility and that may rob you of power and distance.

 

 

Check with your physician before starting any type of exercise program.

IMPROVE YOUR GAME

GOLF FITNESS
ASSESSMENT & TRAINING


A quality, customized golf fitness program will. . .
  • Enhance swing efficiency
  • Increase distance
  • Improve playing performance and satisfaction
  • Identify and correct golf-specific injury triggers

    All for much less than what another brand new driver that's going to "fix my game" would cost
     
click here for details

  


The golf exercises are going great.  I am hitting the ball the best I have ever hit it.  My back pain has gone away also. 
 
David R. 

more testimonials

HOST A WORKSHOP

If your Club or organization would like to host an informative golf fitness workshop, contact Bob at bob@golfitcarolina.com or 336-509-4610.

Bob came to my club and did a hour long session on the basics of his teaching and philosophy of fitness and how it relates to the golf swing and its performance.  My members thoroughly enjoyed the hour and wanted more.  I was impressed with his content and explanation.  My members were floored with his Q&A and his personal adaptation to their issues.  I was impressed with his interaction with attendants of the seminar.  If you are looking for someone to integrate your fitness program with the golf program, Bob is the guy to do it!  We will be booking Bob to come back to our club next spring.
Shannon Howell, PGA Head Golf Professional
Country Club of Sapphire Valley, Sapphire Valley, NC


"Bob Forman was fabulous!  He is a great presenter who shared some extremely valuable information related to how anatomical deficiencies such as: poor posture, flexibility, and balance impact our golf swing.  He not only shared what they are and how they impact the swing, but also demonstrated exercises to help correct them."
Ellen Gregory
EWGA-Wilmington, NC chapter

“Westchester is one of the Country’s largest private clubs with a membership that has high expectations for service and performance.  Bob Forman’s seminar on golf specific fitness and flexibility was extremely well received and motivated many of my members to begin a program of evaluation, exercise and follow-ups.  I highly recommend Bob for his knowledge, energy , and ability to connect with amateurs concerning golf fitness.” 
John Kennedy, Director of Golf
Westchester CC, 
Harrison, NY

Bob has a fantastic ability to understand and combine his expertise of the physical complexities of the human body with the PGA Professional’s trained eye with respect to the complexities of the golf swing.  Bob offers a refreshing angle that most amateur and professional golfers can understand and embrace.  Many times, a golfer will have physical limitations that prevents him or her from moving the way the PGA Professional is trying to instruct.  Bob can take the golfer’s weakest physical traits and focus a training program to better overcome those obstacles and allow the golfers to ultimately improve their swing. 
Dennis Nicholl, PGA Head Golf Professional
The Dunes Golf & Beach Club, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

IMPROVE YOUR GAME

Functional Golf Fitness Training is a comprehensive player improvement resource for golfers of all ages and levels, teaching professionals and coaches.  
A great manual for golf teams as well.  

Dedicated chapters on:
- the common physical deficiencies most golfers have, how to detect and correct with over 40 golf-specific exercises and drills
- preventing/alleviating the #1 injury in golf, low back injury
- how to fix the more common swing faults 
- how to put together an inexpensive home gym

Amazon reviews:

"Very clear explanations of causes and fixes for main physical deficiencies affecting golfers. Easy to follow instructions. While other books may give a whole laundry list of exercises that end up not being used, Forman has selected a few for each issue and puts together a program that doesn't take long to do"

"This book not only tells you what to do but also why you need to do and what results you can expect.
I have every book in print about golf fitness and this book is by far the best."


Available in print at TheBookPatch

TheBookPatch.com Buy Now style 1 button
or as an ebook on Amazon

Go to
http://www.amazon.com/Functional-Golf-Fitness-Training-ebook/dp/B00FH88Q0Q

SWING FAULT PHYSIOLOGY

Swing mechanics are often influenced by physical deficiencies in the golfer's body.  Below are some of the more common swing faults, their physical causes and how to correct.

GOLF POSTURE

S-POSTURE AND LOW BACK PAIN

EARLY EXTENSION

SWAY & SLIDE

REVERSE SPINE

While correcting the deficiencies, you also need to rewire the brain-body connection in order to break out of the inefficient swing pattern.  

REWIRE THE BAD SWING HABIT

RADIO / PODCASTS

 

 
June 22, 2017
(go to 1:10:00 into the show)
golf posture, muscle imbalance, improving distance, stretching, hydration, Tiger and specialization, Rory and weight lifting



March 14, 2015
(go to 1:08:00 into the show)
fitness vs. golf fitness, strength training and slowing down the aging process, C and S-postures,  


August 28, 2014
We talk about Shan's golf fitness assessment results

 


June 26, 2014


scroll down to 9/9/2013
(go to 23:15 into the show)
back injury