How creating instability (the correct way) in the gym will improve golf performance!

So last week I wrote about ditching your bosu ball and the unfounded belief that they will help you develop core stability and improve your golf game. This week I wanted to give you a few examples of gym exercises for golf that involve creating instability without using bosu balls or other unstable surfaces.

Gym exercises for golf: Single leg

One of the best ways to create instability is to perform an exercise on one leg. Not only is this ensuring that you are still effectively working strength and generating forces through the floor, but it is an opportunity to develop unilateral strength and weaknesses.

One of my favourite exercises is the Single Leg Romanian Deadlift (RDL). It’s great for your golf because it:

* Develops glute and hamstring strength which is important for hip extension and rotation in your golf swing

* Improves lower body stability and can protect the knee from injury

* Develops unilateral lower body strength so allows you to challenge your weaker side more

* Helps improve hip mobility and this can improve set-up posture and the ability to maintain dynamic posture through your swing

It’s quite a challenging exercise but here is one variation that I love that includes a single arm row; just to create a little more instability and tension.

It’s quite a challenging exercise but here is one variation that I love that includes a single arm row; just to create a little more instability and tension.

Gym exercises for golf: Anti-rotational

Including anti-rotation exercises in a split or half-kneeling posture is another great way to create instability. The instability is created further up the chain/body and is a great way to challenge and develop core stability.

Split-stance anti-rotation chops are a great exercise for golfers and one that features a lot in my programming for golfers.

The high position of the hands challenges the anterior core, which has to work hard to prevent extension into the lower back.

The high hand position is also great for getting golfers into the overhead position and with the correct load can help pull golfers into a position they can’t always achieve.

As much as we want to rotate in certain areas of the body we also want to be able to resist rotation through the golf swing so that we can maintain balance, posture and create speed.

If you feel that you are losing your neutral spine, a great place to start is in a half-kneeling position. The bent knee will allow you to keep your lower back flat and anterior core engaged.

Gym exercises for golf: Hanging band

Now this is one is a little different but a great way to create instability and perturbations to your general barbell lifts.

This means that you can still create the strength you would do with a traditional barbell lift – but according to Joel Seedman, a reputable S&C coach boasting a PhD, these help to recruit more muscle fibres which means a stronger muscle contraction and greater force.

If you aren’t familiar with the technique the best method is to hang kettle bells to the ends of a barbell using strength bands, which are common place now in most gyms.

Here I demonstrate a Barbell Back Squat using the Hanging Band Technique, but split squats are also great for developing lower body strength. The key benefits are:

The technique can be used with fairly high loads, so strength adaptations can be achieved.

There is instability created through the lift as the weights move and bounce about. This creates an unsteadiness and a constant battle to remain stable and control the bar. The three-dimensional forces means that you have to work hard to withstand them.

It allows you to activate more muscles and create more stability in the joints which will amount to a better lift. It can help improve technique and form; and get the best out of the exercise.

As well as muscular adaptations there are also huge neuromuscular benefits such as improved muscle coordination and motor unit recruitment that will enable stronger contractions and more force.

Bear in mind that this technique is fairly advanced but as a relative beginner to barbell training, it can allow you to develop solid form and technique.

Give these gym exercises for golf a go next time you are in the gym and you should see a great improvement in stability through your golf swing.


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