The weight transfer that occurs in the golf swing requires good balance – whether you’re teeing off, chipping on or playing from uneven ground. Our balance can deteriorate for a number of reasons, but the primary two are through repetitive ankle strains and ageing. This is due to proprioception – our bodies ability to know where is in space without looking! The good news is – there are some really simple exercises you can do to improve your proprioception & balance.

Basic Balance Exercises

Ankle Rotation (Helps to improve range of motion at your Ankle):

Sit on the floor with your legs out in front of you
Place a rolled-up towel/ or foam roller under one of your ankles, just above your Achillies tendon
Rotate your ankles in a clockwise direction, for 3 rotations, followed by 3 rotations in an anticlockwise direction.
Repeat the whole process with your opposite ankle

Standing on One Leg (Helps improve Proprioception at your ankle):

  1. Stand next to a piece of furniture you can hold onto, in case you lose your balance
  2. Lift one leg off the ground and focus all your attention on the ankle of the leg you are standing on.
  3. As your concentration increases, notice your balance will also improve
  4. To help increase your proprioception, once you have balanced on your standing leg, close your eyes
  5. At this point your balance may go off again, now refocus your attention on the ankle of your standing leg, and try stabilise yourself.
  6. Try to hold your balance for 10 seconds to start off with then slowly build the time up.
  7. Repeat with the opposite leg

TIP: This can be made more challenging by using a wobble board or cushion to de stabilise the foot.

Intermediate Balance Exercises

Calf Pump (Strengthening your Ankle)

This exercise can be performed in a few different ways:

Flat on the ground smaller range of motion, body weight for resistance:

  1. Stand with both feet Shoulder width apart 
  2. Push off the floor on to your toes
  3. Hold for 10-15 seconds
  4. Gently bring your heels back down to the ground
  5. Repeat 3-5 times

Tip: be mindful your ankle stays in line with your foot & lower leg & doesn’t “tip” outwards.

Using a resistance band (or scarf!)higher range of motion, adjustable resistance with different bands

  1. Sit on the ground with your legs stretched out
  2. Hook the middle of the resistant band around the sole of one of your feet
  3. Push your foot down, while providing resistance by holding the tension through the resistant band
  4. Hold for 10-15 seconds
  5. Gently bring your ankle back to a neutral position
  6. Repeat 3-5 times
  7. Repeat process with the opposite foot

On a stephigh range of motion and body weight

  1. Stand on a step with half your foot off the step
  2. Push off the floor of the step on to your toes
  3. Hold for 10-15 seconds
  4. Gently bring your heels back down, and gently let them hand off the step such that you are gently stretching your calf muscles
  5. Then bring your ankles back to a neutral position and repeat 3-5 times
  6. Make sure to hold onto a banister if using the staircase for the exercise

Tip: be mindful your ankle stays in line with your foot & lower leg & doesn’t “tip” outwards

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