Functional Squat and One Legged Balance Exercises

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Published: February 16, 2014

Hinge forward at the hipsHinge forward at the hips

The Functional Squat Drill will help you learn what it feels like to be in proper posture and activate the correct muscles to make a good golf swing.

If you have medical concerns of course you should check with your doctor, but you may still be able to do this drill. This is not the kind of load-bearing, heavy weight squat you would do at a gym. It's a fairly shallow squat, and you're only lifting your own body weight.

As long as you make sure to keep your weight centered over your ankles and stay in good posture, you should have no problem doing this. It shouldn't hurt at all.

Start the drill seated, with your chest nice and high. Keep your shoulders down and back and get your spine into good alignment. Now simply hinge forward at the hips until you feel your weight shift over the center of your ankles, then drive your ankles down into the ground and stand up.

Drop hips backDrop hips back

Simply reverse the process to sit back down. Keeping your weight over your ankles, drop your hips back until you feel your weight shift back.

Don't allow your weight to shift forward toward your toes. Just drop your hips back then bend, keeping the weight over your ankles.

Again, maintaining good posture, hinge forward from the hips, drive down through the ankles, and stand up. Then hinge back, letting your weight shift back, and sit back down in the chair.

Be sure to keep your shoulders down and back and maintain proper spine alignment throughout the drill.

One Legged Drill

The One Legged Drill will help you increase your stability and get into proper posture.

Address postureAddress posture

Start by standing up next to a ledge or a wall - you can place a hand on the wall for balance at first if needed. Get into good posture; stand up straight and pull your shoulder blades down and back.

Hinge forward from the hips and get into your address posture. Get a little bit of knee bend and just let your arms hang down in front of your body.

Now bend your left leg until it's 90 degrees from the ground. As you do this, make sure to activate your right glute and keep your weight balanced over the center of your ankle.

Don't shift your weight forward to your toes - you'll find that's a very common mistake for people to make; they tend to want to let their weight shift way forward as if taking a defensive stance in basketball.

Bend the leg 90 degreesBend the leg 90 degrees

Don't do that for this drill. You just want to stay nice and centered, keeping your weight on the middle of the ankle.

Again, hinge forward from the hip, keeping the shoulder blades down, then bend your left leg. If you need something to hold onto, it's OK to lay a hand on a wall when you first start out.

Maintaining your address posture, hold this position for up to a minute, concentrating on activating your right glute muscle.

A lot of people tend to want to straighten up as they bend the leg. Make sure to stay down in your address posture, keeping your weight centered over the ankle. Repeat with the right leg.

Do these exercises every day to improve stability and balance in your address posture and throughout your swing.

Checkpoints for Practice

  • Functional Squat Drill: Sit in a chair in good posture, hinge forward at the hips until your weight shifts over your ankles, then drive your ankles down & stand up
  • To sit back down, hinge at the hips until your weight shifts back, then sit down
  • Maintain good posture and don't let your weight shift forward onto your toes
  • One Legged Drill: Get into address posture and raise one leg until it is 90° from the ground
  • Keeping your weight over the center of your ankle, hold the position for up to one minute
  • Repeat with the other leg

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