Golf fitness programs underutilize golf balance drills.
How many times have you caught yourself off-balance after you hit the golf ball? What was the outcome?
When you hit a poor shot, you find yourself catching your balance, leaning to the side, or taking a step forward in order not to fall over.
Have you noticed your pose after hitting a great drive? You hold the follow through, your weight is on the lead foot, and you twirl the club.
That should be a clue that good balance is necessary to hit good shots and play consistently.
What many people don’t realize is that they are off-balance during the full swing. Being off-balance can cause poor ball striking, as well as reduce power and distance.
Balance and stability are crucial to producing clubhead speed.
Watch Rory in the video below. His swing produces one of the fastest clubhead speeds among professional golfers, and he does have the fastest hip rotation in professional golf. Even with all that speed, he doesn’t waver in his follow through. His club sticks on his shoulder, and there’s no body movement as he finishes on his left leg.
5 Golf Balance Drills
Below are five golf balance drills including videos that will improve your balance. The drills are listed from easiest to hardest.
I have also created a free reference sheet for you that includes not only exercise based golf balance drills but balance drills you can use when you practice at the range or during a practice round.
The reference sheet contains links to videos that will show you how the drill is done.
Click the button below to download your free golf balance drills reference sheet.
Titleist Performance Institute (TPI) Single Leg Balance Test
One of the physical screens that TPI includes in their body-swing connection is a single leg balance test.
Now, this isn’t as easy as it seems. In fact, it is quite hard because it removes a sensory input that our bodies use to stay upright.
That sensory input is our vision.
Let’s do the screen right now.
Stand up in an area where if you happen to fall you don’t land on anything. Safety first.
Lift one leg so the thigh is parallel to the floor. Standing in this position for a few seconds might even test your balance.
For practice, close your eyes for a couple of seconds to let your body realize what is going to happen.
Now, close your eyes and count how long you can stand on one leg while keeping the other lifted thigh parallel to the floor.
Did you last 16-seconds?
That’s the minimum to pass the test. We like to see people keep their balance for 25-seconds on each leg. Most professionals can do this; very few amateurs can.
Here is a link to see a video of the Single-leg Balance Test.
Golf Balance Drills
Ok, how did you do? Did you last for the 16-seconds?
If you did, you can skip the first video as it is a practice golf balance drill.
However, my guess is you fell over, and in the process, you knocked something off the table because you couldn’t believe you lost your balance that quickly.
If that was you, please click on the link below to watch a video of the first golf balance drill. It is a single leg stand with your eyes open.
It’s ok; practice makes perfect. Click this link to see the golf balance drill Single-leg Stand with Eyes Open.
With a little practice, you can start closing your eyes and see if there are any improvements.
A Little More Help
Sometimes you can’t stand long enough on one foot to improve your core and leg muscle strength.
In the video below, you’ll see a golf balance drill with pattern assistance that will help you hold the one-legged stance longer.
This drill will strengthen your core and leg muscles.
The exercise is called Dynamic Leg Swings with Pattern Assistance and the video was produced by Capital Rehab of Arlington.
The use of resistance bands will help you hold your position when you swing your legs. Holding the bands will help you balance so your core and leg muscles can gain strength. The band used in the video is sometimes referred to as the Gray Cook band, or FMT band. You can purchase one at Amazon by clicking this link.
As a note, I would like to see your leg get a little higher on the forward swing than the guy in the video. Try to keep the thigh parallel to the floor, your body upright, and don’t slouch forward.
OTIS stands for Oscillating Technique for Isometric Stabilization and is an excellent golf balance drill as it forces the body to stay stable while the arms move. Yeah, pretty much like a golf swing.
There are a couple of ways to do this. In the video, you will see the raised leg is again thigh parallel to the floor in front of the subject. I would like to see more oscillations and effort in the movement.
The TPI version of OTIS has the leg raised behind the subject. Either is fine. Or try both. The problem with the leg forward is it interferes with the oscillations. Don’t forget to OTIS in all four directions on both legs.
Single-leg Balance Golf Stance Progression
This exercise is four golf balance drills in one. The drill has four progressions.
The first progression starts by standing on one leg with the raised leg behind you. Bend down into your 5-iron stance. Balance on one leg like you are at address. This is the wide version. For the narrow version, you raise your heel, so you are only balancing on your toes.
Don’t forget to do both legs in the wide and narrow stance.
The next progression is to do a torso twist. So get into the same wide position, then cross your hands over your chest and rotate your upper body. Try to keep the hips quiet when you turn. In other words, only move your upper body and keep your hips square to your starting position.
I turned the volume of this video off. It is only music.
I like this exercise set; the narrow stance is difficult to do!
Overhead weight is added to this golf balance drill.
Instead of using a basketball, use a medicine ball. The extra weight will better test your core stability and balance.
Hold the raised leg thigh parallel to the floor and have your arms parallel to your shoulders. You will want to bring your arms forward when doing this drill. Try to keep the arms parallel to your shoulders throughout the exercise.
Start with your arms at 90-degree angles (upper arms parallel to the floor), push the ball straight up, pause, then move both hands over your head to make the pass. Move your arms down and out back to the 90-degree angle and pause.
Rinse and repeat 8 times then switch legs. Do 2 or 3 sets of these rainbow passes.
The last of the golf balance drills is the hurdle step. I like this version where they’re using a low stool instead of a gym hurdle.
I like the low stool because it forces you to extend more weight forward making it harder on your core and leg to balance. What you can’t see in the video is the foot placement. He isn’t placing his whole foot down on the floor, only his heel touches the floor.
Touch the floor with the heel and draw the leg back.
Don’t underestimate this exercise. To keep your balance the drill works the core and leg hard. It might take you several attempts to keep your balance.
If you can do this 10 times without losing your balance you have done well.
Add These Drills to Your Program
It isn’t necessary to do all of these golf balance drills in one workout. Add one of the drills to your existing workout, or practice at home by get up during a television commercial, or better yet, do one of the balance drills during a break a work.
Besides improving your balance, these golf balance drills strengthen your core, legs, and glutes.
Don’t forget to download the reference guide that contains links to other golf balance drills.
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