Use a Medicine Ball to Improve your Golf Swing

Since core strength and balance are at the heart of the Jimmy Ballard swing I wanted to find a simple way to improve both. Using a basic weighted medicine ball, I have found a great way to improve my core, leg and back strength while gaining flexibility and explosiveness.

As Jimmy constantly says, you want to get into your ‘brace-connected address’ with your fanny under you so your legs can move like pistons off the ground. Critical to this move is having good posture where you have a solid and balanced base much like you would be ready to catch a 50 lb sack of potatoes. In other words, you don’t want to be bent over with your weight on your toes but rather, weight balanced with your arms in front and connected to your chest at the elbows. This position is just like Ben Hogan demonstrated on the Ed Sullivan show.

NOTE: It is important to keep your elbows pointed at the ground for the whole exercise, to mimic your golf swing not with your elbows off your body pointing to the side.

Not like this

Not like this

The medicine ball makes this all very easy to feel and work on. Simply take the medicine ball in both hands with your hands on each side of the ball and get into your braced connected address. Try to stand tall with your elbows resting on the front of your chest.

Starting Position

Connected Address with Your Elbows on Top of Your Chest, Pointed at the Ground, not Beside Your Chest

Using a weight shift into your right leg, hand the ball to the right, using your whole shoulder. This includes the back and front of your shoulder – not just your arm moving to the right from the socket.

connected hand to right

Coil Into Your Right Leg to Simulate the Takeaway, Using Your Whole Chest and Moving Your Weight Into Your Right Thigh and the Inside of Your Right Foot

Then step onto your left leg and hand the ball to the left, using your legs and hips to move your whole chest until your sternum is pointed to the target. After you’ve done this a few times, you can toss the medicine ball to the left and then back to the right, to develop your core and both sides of your back and both legs, along with your spinal flexibility.

connected hand to left

Again, the Connected Toss to the Left Towards the Target

Make sure that you are staying connected to your chest with your elbows from waist high on one side to waist high on the other side. Remember to make a full weight shift where you coil fully into your right leg and then toss and finish with your weight fully on your left leg.

Now you can grab a club and feel the same motion. After you’ve made a few swings, alternate between your golf swing and tossing the medicine ball. This is also a great way to warm up before a round.

Written by Wade Baynham
Single-digit handicap, who learned golf in his early 20′s from my former father-in-law, a long time PGA tour and Champions tour player. I enjoy studying the golf swing and occasionally give golf lessons.