Your core – the mid-section of your body encompassing the abdominals, backside and lower back – is literally central to a powerful golf swing. Being strong here will enable you to maintain good alignment throughout your swing, while weak ab muscles can put stress on the lower back by not providing enough support for the spine. “The roots have got to be strong in order for the branches to be strong,” says Josh Salzmann, Ernie Els’ personal trainer. You don’t need a gym or equipment to strengthen your core – simply do the exercises below twice a week. For further fitness details check out Josh’s website at truthaboutfitness.com.

ABDOMINAL CRUNCH WITH TWIST
WHY IT’S GOOD

As well as strengthening the core, including the oblique abs at the sides, this exercise reproduces the rotational movement of the swing.

HOW TO DO IT

Lie on your back, feet flat on the floor, with a towel between your raised knees – this draws the inner thigh muscles, which help stabilise your hips during the swing, into the exercise. Put your hands behind your head without supporting it (pictured).

Keeping your lower back against the floor, slowly curl your upper spine upwards while twisting your right shoulder across towards your left hip. Return to the start position and then repeat moving your left shoulder towards your right hip. Perform two sets of 10-15 repetitions.

PRESS-UP
WHY IT’S GOOD

Strengthens the upper chest and

mid-back, helping you maintain a good club position at the top of the backswing.

HOW TO DO IT

Begin on all fours, knees together, hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Pull your navel in towards your spine throughout to activate your core and don’t let your lower back sag towards the floor.

Breathe in as you lower your chest towards the floor, then breathe out as you push back up to the start position. Do two sets of 10-15 repetitions or repeat until fatigued.