Golf Body-Swing Connection 3/8 - The Glutes
When it comes to #stability and generating #power from the ground up…THE GLUTES ARE KEY! 🍑 Strong gluteal muscles (gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, gluteus minimus) are important for everyday activities and especially during the golf swing.
Having strong gluteal muscles:
Reduces back pain because they assist with pelvic and trunk motions. When your glutes are strong, you have a stable pelvis and better support for your lower back, so any load can be more evenly distributed through the lower back and lower extremities. A sign of weak glutes is rounding of the back when lifting heavy objects, or a sway/drop in the pelvis when walking/running.
Reduces knee pain, again, from creating pelvic stability. This is important because your lower extremities function in a closed chain, which means that if an instability arises at the pelvis & hip due to weak glutes, it can lead to excess forces on the knee and ankle. Instability at the hip can cause excessive medial (inward) rotation of the femur, which in turn creates lateral (outward) patellar (kneecap) tracking. Lateral patellar tracking is a common source of knee pain for many individuals.
Increases power and athletic performance by creating explosive hip extension. The glutes are essential to many athletic pursuits such as acceleration, jumping, and heavy lifting. If you let your glutes get weak, you may find yourself less powerful, and less efficient compared to your competitors.
To test your gluteal strength and pelvic stability, perform the 'bridge with leg extension' test! Start by lying on your back, bending your knees, keeping your feet flat & together flat, bringing your arms together, extended out over your chest. Next lift your pelvis up off the ground so your torso is a straight line (keeping your belt line parallel with the floor), and extend one leg keeping your thighs parallel. Hold this position for 10 seconds. This test is over/failed if any one of the following occur: the pelvis drops toward the raised leg, the down leg glute or hamstring cramps, the down leg beings to shake.
Bridge Body-Swing Connection: The glutes are known as 'the king' in golf because they can cause ANY swing characteristic if they are weak and undertrained. Weak glutes can causes you to loose posture & mishit the ball, become off balance during transition (sway, slide, hang back), lose power, hit the ball fat, etc. This group of muscles should ALWAYS be trained (that's how important they are).
When training the gluteal muscle group, it is important to do more than squats! We must not forget to train the pelvic stabilizers such as the gluteus medius muscle. Exercises to increase gluteal strength (and therefore pelvic stabilization) include:
Clam Shells 🐚
Crab Walks 🦀
Donkey Kicks 🐎
Fire Hydrants 📛
Glute Bridges 🌁