The classic Side Plank Exercise will build strength and stability in your core, the foundation of stable and efficient movement in the golf swing.
The Side Plank Exercise forms part of the Golf Injury Prevention series of innovative and dynamic exercises that will help to protect you from pain and injury by building strength and stability around your most vulnerable areas, while improving mobility, balance and joint function.
Figure 1. Side Plank Exercise Video.
- Start by lying on your right side with your legs straight and your left leg stacked directly on top of your right. Bend your right elbow and place is directly under your shoulder. Align your head with your spine and keep your hips and right knee in contact with the floor.
- Exhale as you slowly lift your hips and knees off the floor, keeping your abdominals engaged to brace your spine. The side of your right foot should stay on the floor. Keep your head aligned with your spine and your right elbow positioned directly under your shoulder.
- Continue to breathe, keeping your abdominals strong while holding this position for the desired amount of time.
- Inhale and gently return to your starting position.
- After the desired number of repetitions, repeat on the other side.
As you hold the plank, avoid rolling your pelvis backwards or bending at the waist.
Keep your torso solid and your abdominal muscles engaged throughout this movement.
You should feel it working your shoulders and torso.
If you are performing this exercise as part of a Golf Loopy Train like a Champion System programme workout, and you are unable, at first, to hold the raised position for the prescribed amount of time, then perform as many repetitions as are required to complete the prescribed amount of time in total on each side. Gradually increase the amount of time that you hold the raised position as your strength increases.
You can increase the intensity of this exercise by increasing the length of time you are in the raised position.
Once you are able to hold the side plank for long durations without losing form, progress to the more challenging Side Plank with Hip Drop Exercise, Side Plank with Hip Abduction Exercise and Side Plank with Hip Adduction Exercise variations.
How Will It Benefit Your Golf Swing?
One of the main problems that amateur golfers have is not being able to drive hard onto their target side during the downswing. They also lack sufficient hip rotation, and the ability to stabilise the pelvis at impact, without sliding towards the target. This move requires a tremendous amount of strength in the hip and pelvic stabilisers.
The Side Plank will develop strength throughout your entire pelvic region, giving you more stability and control on the golf course.
This exercise not only gives you the strength and stability in your pelvis and lower back that you need for a more consistent and powerful golf swing, but it also prepares you for playing from more difficult lies – helping you to remain stable when you need to swing on sloping ground or from deep rough.
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