17 Best Core Exercises

Generate more club speed and longer golf shots by activating the strong core muscles that coil up during the golf swing. Twisting and turning, your core can help protect your back muscles as well in the golf swing. Check out our golf fitness program to follow here.

Let’s dive into our list of the best core exercises to improve your ab muscle strength and golf fitness.

#1: Plank

A plank is the best core exercise that works on rectus abdominis (six-pack), transverse abdominis, scapular muscles (shoulders), and internal and external obliques.

How to Do It:

  1. Start with a normal pushup position.
  2. Rest your forearms on the floor with your elbows underneath the shoulders. Keep your hands forward so that your arms are parallel.
  3. Stabilize your body with your leg muscles and squeeze your abs to keep your lower back lifted.
  4. Straighten your back and keep your butt as low as possible.
  5. Position your head to keep your neck in a neutral position to avoid unnecessary strain on your spine and neck.
  6. Adjust yourself and get comfortable.
  7. Hold this for 45 to 60 seconds or more and release.

#2: Leg Raise

Leg raise is a great exercise for your lower abs. It targets your internal and external obliques and hip flexors.

How to Do It:

  1. Lie on your back with your hands at your sides and legs extended. You can also keep your hands underneath the hips for extra support.
  2. Lift your legs slowly. Keep them as straight and together as possible and raise them till your soles face the ceiling.
  3. Slowly take your legs back to the initial position and remember not to let your feet touch the floor. Instead, keep them up a few inches off the ground. If you cannot do it, then it’s best to keep them on the floor.
  4. It completes one rep. Do it 20 times and then relax.

#3: Side Plank with Rotation

As the name says, it’s for obliques, and it also works on your glutes and lats.

How to Do It:

  1. Come to a regular plank position. Rotate to your left with your left hand on your right waist. Keep your left leg on the top of the right.
  2. By now, you must be holding yourself up with your right elbow and right leg.
  3. If you’re a beginner, you can hold this position for 30 to 60 seconds as this will become a side plank exercise. Then, repeat it for both sides.
  4. For others, extend your left arm toward the ceiling and maintain this position.
  5. Twist your torso forward by taking your left arm beneath your body, so it extends behind your back.
  6. Return to the initial and repeat. Do it 11-12 times on each side.

#4: Bicycle Crunch

Bicycle crunch works your hip flexors, lower abdominals, and internal and external obliques.

How to Do It:

  1. Lie on your back with your legs shoulder-width apart, and keep them straight. Join your fingers and keep them behind your head.
  2. Now, pull your right knee toward your chest while lifting your shoulder blades off the ground.
  3. Take your left elbow toward your right knee while twisting and crunching up your abdominal.
  4. Repeat it for the other side.
  5. Complete 12-15 reps on each side or a total of 24.

#5: Flutter Kicks

Flutter kick is a great beginner core exercise to target lower abs.

How to Do It:

  1. Lie flat with your hands by your sides and legs straight.
  2. You can also place your hands underneath your lower back to make the exercise a little easier.
  3. Lift your legs until they make a 45-degree angle to your body.
  4. Move your feet apart and hold for a second.
  5. Now, bring them back in so that your left leg crosses over your right leg.
  6. Move your feet apart one more time and bring them back in so that your right leg reaches the top.
  7. It completes one rep. Do it for at least 1-2 minutes.
  8. Make sure your spine stays straight during the exercise.

#6: Dead Bugs

It is one of the best core exercises that target your obliques, upper and lower core.

How to Do It:

  1. Lie on your back. Keep your legs and arms in the air with your knees bent to form a 90-degree angle.
  2. Now, take your right arm over your head and left leg forward, and make sure the leg hovers a few inches off the floor.
  3. Pause for 1-2 seconds. Then return to the initial position.
  4. Repeat the same for the other side.
  5. Complete 12-15 reps on each side.

#7: V-Ups

V-up will take a pretty while for you to master as it is an advanced core exercise. However, your core will be fully engaged, making it one of the best core exercises.

How to Do It:

  1. Lie on the floor while keeping your legs straight and together.
  2. Keep your hands overhead and make sure they do not touch your ears.
  3. Raise your legs slightly off the floor.
  4. Engage your core and lift your hands and legs towards each other until your body forms a V-shape.
  5. Make sure both hands reach up towards your toes and then go back to the initial position.
  6. Do it 10-12 times.

#8: Bird Dog with Elbow to Knee

Bird dog with an elbow to the knee is a variation of the basic version that incorporates fluid movement to engage your back and abs while improving your core mobility.

How to Do It:

  1. Start with a regular pushup position, and then bend your knees and keep them below your hips.
  2. Make sure to keep your hands below your shoulders, and then tighten your core.
  3. Extend your right arm to shoulder level, keeping your palm down. Simultaneously lift and straighten your left leg to your hip level.
  4. Take your right elbow and your left knee toward each other.
  5. Then return to the initial position.
  6. Do 10-12 reps on one side and then repeat on the other.

#9: Plank Shoulder Taps

This one is a variation of plank that challenges your core control and balance. It is a perfect exercise for beginners who are looking to strengthen their core.

How to Do It:

  1. Be in your pushup position and widen your legs a little bit more than your shoulder width.
  2. Keep your body straight and as you balance, bend your right elbow and touch your left shoulder with your right hand.
  3. Hold for 1-2 seconds. Then return to the neutral position.
  4. Repeat the same for the other side.
  5. Perform at least 10-15 reps on each side.

#10: Plank Knee Crosses

Plank knee cross is an ultimate core exercise that targets your obliques, front, middle, and lower abs.

How to Do It:

  1. Come in your regular pushup position, and keep your back straight.
  2. Now, take your right knee to your left elbow while keeping your body still.
  3. Take your knee back to the initial position and do the same for the other side.
  4. Repeat ten times on each side 2-3 times.

#11: Windshield Wipers

It is a challenging exercise that targets your lower back muscles, hip stabilizers, abs, and obliques.

How to Do It:

  1. Lie on your back and keep your legs straight in front of you. Keep your arms out to your sides while keeping your palm facing down.
  2. Lift your legs until they are perpendicular to the ground.
  3. Bring both legs to the left side without touching the ground, hold for one second, and keep your hips stacked.
  4. Then return to the initial position where your legs are perpendicular to the floor.
  5. Now, bring your legs to the right side and repeat.
  6. Do it for at least 30 seconds.

#12: Hollowman

Hollowman is an isometric exercise, and it does not require any movement.

How to Do It:

  1. Lie on your back and keep your legs together and straight.
  2. Keep your hands by your side.
  3. Raise your legs until they form a 45-degree angle with your torso.
  4. Now, lift your head forward off the floor with your hands slightly off the ground.
  5. Hold this for 30 seconds and then go back to the neutral position.

#13: Knee to Elbow

It is similar to bicycle crunch, but it is quite easier to do. The exercise works your side abs.

How to Do It:

  1. Lie on the mat or floor with your knees bent. Then keep your hands up to the sides of your head.
  2. Crunch your right knee into your chest while bringing up your left elbow.
  3. Push up to touch your right knee with your left elbow, and return to the starting position.
  4. Do it for the left knee, and then switch the sides.
  5. Perform the exercise for at least 1-2 minutes.

#14: Russian Twists

It is an excellent exercise to work your side abs, erector spinae muscles, latissimus dorsi, scapular muscles, and hip flexors.

How to Do It:

  1. Sit with your back straight while keeping the legs bent.
  2. Slightly lean back so that your thighs and torso form a V shape.
  3. Keep your core engaged, so it lifts your shoulders, head, and back.
  4. Now, lift your feet off the floor.
  5. You can also cross your ankles to make the exercise more challenging.
  6. Keep your body balanced in this position, and twist your torso from side to side by using your obliques.
  7. Try to keep your legs in a stable position.
  8. Do for 12 to 15 reps on each side or a total of 30 and repeat.

#15: Butterfly Sit Up

With butterfly position, you cannot use hip flexors which forces you to have a good body form during exercise. The butterfly sit-up targets rectus abdominis muscles or six-pack abs.

How to Do It:

  1. Lie on the mat with the soles of your feet together and bend your knees out to the sides.
  2. Join your hands and take your arms overhead. It is the starting position.
  3. Roll your body up by using your core until you’re sitting straight and touch your toes with your hands. It completes one rep.
  4. Slowly move to the initial position and repeat.
  5. Do 13 to 15 reps of 2 sets.

#16: Reverse Crunches

Anyone can rely on momentum when doing traditional sit-ups. However, you can remove that temptation with reverse crunches. It primarily focuses on building control and strength.

How to Do It:

  1. Lie down with your back straight and hands on your sides.
  2. Keep your knees bent, so it forms a 90-degree angle.
  3. Lift your knees while keeping them bent close to your chest and also raise your hips with them.
  4. Hold this for at least 3-5 seconds and return to your normal position.
  5. Repeat for 12 to 15 reps.

#17: High Boat to Low Boat

It works your lower and upper abdominals, transverse abdominis, erector spinae muscles, and internal and external obliques.

How to Do It:

  1. Sit down with your back straight, legs bent, and feet flat on the ground.
  2. Keep your legs together. Now, try to lift your legs off the floor, so they form a 45-degree angle to the torso.
  3. Keep your back flat, engage your core, and maintain a balance on your tailbone.
  4. Straighten your arms in front and parallel to the floor.
  5. You can place your hands on the floor to get some extra support. Make sure that they are underneath your hips.
  6. It is a high boat position. Hold here for 3-5 seconds and take deep breaths.
  7. Then, straighten your legs out by lowering them along with lowering your upper body.
  8. Your legs and shoulder blades should hover some inches off the ground.
  9. It is a low boat position. Hold here for one to two breaths.
  10. Now, lift your torso and legs back to the high boat and repeat.

Golf Practice Plans to Follow

Thanks for reading today’s article!

Nick Foy – Golf Instructor

nick foy golf academy
Powered By MemberPress WooCommerce Plus Integration

Free Download:

Golf Swing Faults Guide

9 Common Mistakes & How to Fix Them

Plus get access to my weekly golf newsletter with lessons on putting, chipping, and the golf swing. Unsubscribe at any time.