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February 7, 2024

Golf Fitness: Balance pt. 2

This is a quick overview of how we progress balance drills with all of our clients, but especially are golfers.

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All of these are with eyes open

Stage 1: Foundations

Balance on 1 leg...

This is more of a test than anything else. 9/10 people will be able to do this to some degree which means that you can move onto stage 2. If they can't do a single leg balance at all, then it will become part of their training protocol, and their main exercises will be core stability and bi-lateral movements.

Stage 2:Movement

A: 1 Leg dominate movement with support. Like a single leg deadlift, or split squat while holding onto a dowel.

B: Anti- rotation with legs in athletic stance. This will help train resistance to external forces like gravity and an uneven ground. This will be done using a paloff press

C: Core stability drills. Deadbug, plank, side plank, and hollow body holds are all good examples. Another one that I mess around with is a single leg balance drill while holding a weight on the same side. This will enhance their ability to find stability in the single leg position.

All these exercises are designed to introduce what I call dynamic balance. Dynamic balance simply means finding stability -balance- with an altered environment and/or with movement.

Stage 3: Training Wheels Are Off

A: Single leg exercises without support and an ipsilateral hold. Ipsilateral just means holding the weight on the same side.

B: Single leg, higher speed velocity drills with kickstand. That's a mouthful… This would be like a staggered stance slam. Have 1 leg forward and the other foot behind with your toes touching the ground, but nothing else. Then doing a medicine ball slam.

This drill will really start to challenge the dynamic balance discussed above.

Everything comes down to environmental factors. Velocity is an environmental factor that will challenge your balance ability depending on if its fast or slow.

C: Anti-Rotation drill with staggered stance and/or movement. Think a paloff press with a staggered stance.

Again, this falls into the category of changing the environment in order to challenge balance. Decreasing your base of support or your structural ability is a very effective way to accomplish this.

Movement works similarly, but does so by changing the lever arm. This will affect the amount of force applied onto your body. The varying force effects on your body will challenge your balance to be able to accommodate for the change.

Stage 4: Change Of Environment

A: Single leg variation with contralateral hold or more complex movement.

Holding the weight on the opposite side of the working leg will increase the need for stability to remain balanced.

A more complex movement would be progressing a reverse lunge to a rear foot elevated split squat. There is less stability with the rear leg being elevated instead of being on the ground. This will force your body to stabilize more effectively on your working leg.

B: Single leg, high velocity drills.

These are where things get interesting. Everything said about these drills in stage 3 apply here except more.

Instead of having the added support of the kickstand, you are now only using your working leg for stability. This will be much more challenging to stay balanced while applying the same level of force.

This is also when we start introducing plyometrics into the mix. This would be things like a 2 leg jump to single leg land (on the ground or to a box). It would also be things like lateral single leg hops and things similar.

C:Anti-Rotation with change in environment.

This would be something like doing a reverse lunge with a paloff press. The reverse lunge already requires balance to remain stabile. Adding an external rotational force by including the paloff press will only increase the need for balance to produce the movement. This will also lead to greater muscle activation in areas like the glutes and adductors.

Stage 5: Mastery

This is where things get very interesting. In my opinion nothing is unavailable to you. The only limiting factor during this stage is end range strength and mobility.

All plyometrics will be trained during this stage in a progressive manner. This would include a box jump off 1 leg and landing on 1 leg, and doing that in all directions (forward, left and right.) Then, more complex plyos can be implemented when those are mastered.

Assessing is the most important during this stage. It is always useful to know where you are at, however, because this is the “mastery” stage, your limiting factors NEED to be determined to see any progress.

This means end range control, overall strength, and mobility must be tested and corrected in order to progress.

Get on one leg and start balancing!

Yours In Strength,


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