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The Effect of Isolated Core Training on Selected Measures of Golf Swing Performance

Weston, Matthew; Coleman, Neil J.; Spears, Iain R.

Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: December 2013 - Volume 45 - Issue 12 - p 2292–2297
doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e31829bc7af
Applied Sciences

Purpose This study aimed to quantify the effect of an 8-wk isolated core training program on selected ball and club parameters during the golf swing and also the variability of these measures.

Methods Thirty-six club-level golfers were randomly assigned to an exercise (n = 18) or control (n =18) group. The exercise group participated in an 8-wk core training program, which included eight basic exercises. Both groups continued with their normal activity levels including golf. Baseline and postintervention measurements included club-head speed, backspin, sidespin, and timed core endurance.

Results Baseline measures for club-head speed, backspin, sidespin, and core endurance test were 79.9 ± 8.4 mph, 3930 ± 780 rpm, 1410 ± 610 rpm, and 91 ± 56 s for the intervention group and 77.6 ± 8.8 mph, 3740 ± 910 rpm, 1290 ± 730 rpm, and 69 ± 55 s for the control group (mean ± SD). The effect of our core training, when compared with control, was a likely small improvement in club-head speed (3.6%; 90% confidence limits = ±2.7%) and a very likely small improvement in muscular endurance (61%; ±33%). The effect on backspin (5%; ±10%) and sidespin (−6%; ±20%) was unclear. Baseline variability for club-head speed, backspin, and sidespin (based on 10 swings per golfer) was 5.7% ± 5.3%, 43% ± 19%, and 140% ± 180% for the intervention group and 6.5% ± 5.3%, 53% ± 53%, and 170% ± 130% for control group. The effect of the intervention on within-subject variability was a moderate decrease for club-head speed, a small decrease for backspin, and a small increase for sidespin when compared with control.

Conclusion The benefits achieved from our isolated core training program are comparable with those from other studies.

Sport and Exercise Subject Group, School of Social Sciences and Law, Teesside University, Middlesbrough, UNITED KINGDOM

Address for correspondence: Iain R. Spears, Ph.D., Sport and Exercise Subject Group, School of Social Sciences and Law, Teesside University, Middlesbrough, TS1 3BA, United Kingdom; E-mail: i.spears@tees.ac.uk.

Submitted for publication November 2012.

Accepted for publication May 2013.

© 2013 American College of Sports Medicine