Although it is winter currently where I am, the golf courses are gearing up to open in a few short months and many friends and students I know are travelling to warmer climates to enjoy some golf now!

To be prepared for the start of the golf season, there is a lot you can do at home to get your body golf ready. A golfer needs 4 things: great core and hip strength, a flexible spine, mobile hips and shoulders, and good balance.  

The below 4 exercises are very effective to help create stability and balance around your spine and trunk, from the hips to the shoulders. Practice these moves every other day to see and feel strength  improvements FAST! Move slowly focusing on control, not momentum, one breath cycle per repetition, building from 10-20 reps per side.

1. Bird Dog

From a 4 point position, exhale to draw navel towards spine, squeeze right buttock to lift right leg and raise left arm out in front. Return to floor on inhale then repeat on opposite side. Focus on being stable!

2. Glute Bridge (Double and Single Leg Variation)

From a supine position, feet hip width apart with a yoga block between the thighs and arms along side, squeeze glutes and lift hips straight up from floor to create a long diagonal line. Be careful not to push the ribs ribs too high, but instead focus on pushing the front hip bones up with engaged glutes and strong feet. Exhale to lift, inhale to lower. Repeat 10 x. 

Next, extend the right leg and lift up and down 10 x with left leg only, keeping pelvis level. Repeat on the other leg 10 x. Finish by pulling both knees toward the chest and roll gently on the low back.

3. Toe Taps

Lying Supine, inhale deeply then exhale and draw navel toward spine and slowly lift right leg and left leg over hips to a right angle, (this is table top position). Option to keep arms pressing down alongside hips, OR raise both arms over chest. On exhale engage deep core muscles to hold inward and then slowly lower one foot toward floor and then inhale back up to table top position.  Keep core muscles drawn in while you practice lowering and lifting one leg at a time slowly. For added challenge try moving one or both arms back over head as one foot is lowering.

4. Push Up Plank

Plank positions are a great way to build strength and endurance in all your core muscles including the back and shoulder girdle stabilizers, deep and superficial abdominals, hip and glute muscles, plus arms and legs too. Planks can be practiced with you knees up or down, from your forearms or hands. Start with 2 sets of 30 seconds and build toward holding the position for 1- 2 minutes by adding 10 seconds per week. Be sure your head and neck are aligned, your shoulder blades are not collapsing together and your core is held up. 

5. Child's Pose 

Finish with 30 seconds in this resting position, allowing your arms to extend forward and your spine to lengthen, head up or down before rolling up.