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Golf swing fitness: Warm up the core for the golf drive

On top of the world with a good golf drive
On top of the world with a good golf driveMollie Uhl Eaton

Spring brings out the golfers whether in shape or not. Practice some core exercises to get your golf swing warmed up so when you are at the tee box and the driver contacts the ball, it soars down the fairway. If you're a golfer, you probably have a personal swing style already but your core body needs more strength and flexibility. So through conditioning and strength training your body, you will find ways to improve your golf swing. Core strength is an excellent physical regime for the golfer.

Truly, the golf sport is about soaking in the sunshine, birdsong and camaraderie of the course. Some think the golden rule of golf is: relax. Yes, relax your mind. At the same time listen to the birds and always enjoy the scenery of the game of golf. If you find this difficult then try transcendental meditation techniques like deep breathing for starters.

Now is the time to practice core exercises daily to help warm up your body for a better swing:

1. The lumberjack exercise. 
This exercise integrates the movements of the hips, back, and shoulders, while increasing strength and improving flexibility. It's best performed with a cable system, like a resistance band, but can also be done with a medicine ball or free weight. Place the resistance band beneath your left foot. Slightly bending your knees, pull the band overhead to your right, like you're about to swing an axe. Perform 8-12 repetitions, then rest for 30 seconds. Switch sides and repeat one to three times.

2. Lateral Lunges. 
This exercise can improve the range-of-motion, strength, and power of the hips by working them in the frontal plane with side-to-side movement. Keeping perfect posture throughout, take a large step to your left, shifting your weight to that side. Your left leg should be bent while the right leg is extended to the right. Make sure to keep your toes pointing straight ahead. Alternating legs, perform 8-12 repetitions then rest for 30 seconds. Repeat one to three times.

3. Glute Lunges
. These standard lunges can be used to improve mobility in the hips, which can result in greater strength and a more powerful swing. Start with your feet together and your hands on your hips. Take a giant step forward, bending your front leg at a 90 degree angle (or until your thigh is parallel to the floor). Your back leg should remain strong and straight. Step back into a standing position and repeat 8-12 times. Alternate legs one to three times, resting in between.

4. Inverted hamstring stretches. Although technically not part of the core, the hamstrings allow you to exercise your core muscles properly during the swing--if they are flexible. They also help you maintain your posture throughout the swing and effectively transfer weight. In many cases, tight hamstrings are linked to lower-back pain. Begin by standing on your left leg only with your arms extended from your sides. Now bend over at the waist, and raise your right leg so it's behind you and parallel to the ground. When you feel the hamstring stretch in your left leg, return to the starting position. Switch legs and repeat.

Warm up your core body before you go to the golf course. Warm up at the tee box with your driver for a better golf swing. Remember the golden rule of golf: relax!