Golf Fitness - Bridge Exercise

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Published: February 16, 2014

Core strength and balance are important to the one plane swing. The Rotary Swing uses the core for power and coordination in the swing, rather than relying on hands, arms, shoulders and smaller muscles.

When we talk about the core, we are referring to the area of the body that runs from the hips up through the stomach. This area is the body's center of gravity, and many of the larger muscles meet and tie into the skeletal structure through insertion points in the hips and at the base of the spine.

Starting positionLie with your feet flat on the floor and your knees raised

Rapid rotation of your core generates power in the golf swing, especially the one plane swing, so this area of your body must be very strong and able to support the fast movement of the rest of the body through the swing.

Strengthen Your Core

The following exercise will help you strengthen your core, as well as revealing any weaknesses or imbalances that you need to correct. We call this the "bridge."

Lift hipsEngage your glutes to lift your hips

Use an exercise mat or carpeted floor for this exercise. Lie down on your back with your feet flat on the floor and your knees raised. Keep your arms down by your sides.

Now lift your hips into the air, as high as you can. You need to really start feeling your glutes and lower back working to support your hips. You will be supporting them like this throughout the exercise.

Lift one legLift one leg, keeping your hips high and your hands down by your sides

With your hips in the air and your hands down at your sides, lift one leg up and hold it for five seconds. Pay attention to the level of your hips as you do this; you want them to stay at a constant level, without dipping down when you raise the leg.

Identify Problem Areas

If your hips dip when you lift one or both of your legs, you will know that this is an area that needs some work. Most people will find that they have no trouble keeping their hips raised with two legs, but when they lift one up into the air the hips will dip down, showing a weakness in one side or the other.

Hips should not dip downIf your hips dip down when lifting the leg, it shows you need to improve your core strength

It's important to keep your hips raised up high throughout the whole movement. Hold your leg out straight for five seconds, then slowly bring it down, keeping your hips up, and lift the other leg. Do three sets of 10 on each side.

Again, lift each leg, hold for five seconds, then slowly bring it down - without lowering your hips - and lift the opposite leg. Do this exercise each day to strengthen your core and detect any imbalances in your body.

Most people find that one side is stronger than the other. This is a great exercise to help balance that out and also increase core strength for a more powerful one plane swing.

Checkpoints for Practice

  • Strengthen the core for a more powerful, balanced swing
  • Lie on your back with feet flat on the floor and knees raised
  • With your hands down at your sides, use glutes & lower back muscles to raise the hips as high as possible
  • Lift one leg, hold for five seconds, then lower slowly and lift the other leg
  • The hips should stay high in the air throughout the exercise - if they dip down when lifting the leg, this indicates a need to strengthen the core
  • Do three sets of 10 lifts on each side

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