This Golf Exercise Targets the Lower Back

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Strengthening the Lower Back, a Problem Area for Golfers

Arm and Leg Extension Exercise
The start position for the Alternating Arm and Leg Extension exercise. Photo Courtesy of BioForce Golf; used with permission

The aging process can rob the body of strength. A common area of concern for the golfer is the lower back. Statistics show that one out of every two golfers will incur a lower back injury during their playing careers.

The golf swing places a tremendous amount of stress on the lower back. For golfers who are not in top shape, the lower back will fatigue very quickly. For these golfers, stamina in the lower back decreases very quickly as they age if they don't work on reversing the natural muscles loss.

In order to combat the stresses of the golf swing and aging process, I strongly recommended starting a lower back strengthening exercise program. This type of golf-specific exercise program will lower the possibility of a golf-related injury and keep you playing as your body ages.

A great golf-specific lower back strengthening exercise is the Alternating Arm and Leg Extension. This exercise improves the strength and endurance of the muscles in your lower back, hopefully keeping you on the golf course a lot longer.

On the next page are the step-by-step instructions for this lower back exercise. The photo above shows the start position.

Take this exercise very slow if you have not performed exercises like this in the past. Pay particular attention to your form and performing the movements correctly. Make sure you are in good health and cleared by your physician before starting your golf-training program.

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How to Do the Alternating Arm and Leg Extension Exercise

Lower Back Exercise
This exercise can help strengthen the lower back muscles. Photo Courtesy of BioForce Golf; used with permission
This lower back exercise has the following benefits for golfers:
  • Golf muscles trained: Lower Back, Deep Stabilizers of the Spine, Mid-Back, Upper Back, Glutes, Abdominals, Hip Flexors, and Hip Extensors
  • Exercise benefits: This exercise helps strengthen the muscles of the lower and mid-back. For those golfers whose backs fatigue before the round is over, this exercise should provide some relief.
How to perform this lower back exercise:

Step 1: Begin this exercise by placing your hands and knees on the floor.

Step 2: Place your hands directly under your shoulders with your knees directly under your hips (as in the photo on Page 1).

Step 3: Your back remains flat with eyes focused on the floor. Visualize balancing a glass of water in the middle of your lower back. No spilling!

Step 4: From this position, simultaneously extend your left arm and right leg to positions that are directly out in front and behind the torso, respectively.

Throughout the extension of your arm and leg, maintain a flat back position. Keep balancing that glass of water on your lower back.

Step 5: Once both the arm and leg are extended, hold the position for two seconds and then return to the starting position.

Repeat this sequence with the opposite arm and leg. Alternate back and forth for 10 to 15 repetitions with each arm and leg.

This is one exercise of many you can include in your comprehensive, lower-back strengthening program. By doing so, you will feel much better and perform at your peak longer.