By now in this series, I hope you are aware of the necessity of looking after your body and staying fit. And whether your intention is on improving your sporting ability or perhaps injury prevention and recovery, an area that needs a lot of focus are the Glutes.
The glutes consist of 3 different muscles:
This is the largest muscle in the body, requiring a lot of work to ensure it is working optimally. Providing most of the stability and power, it is the prime muscle that aids hip extension, helping us drive up from the bottom of a squat to in turn generate power in the golf swing.
The Medius plays more of a stabilising role, keeping our hips stable such as while walking, and also assists with internal rotation of the hip and any form of hip abduction. In golf terms, the Medius prevents swaying and sliding, helping a golfer to rotate with a strong full turn in the backswing and back down into impact.
Consider the Minimus an assistant to the Gluteus Medius, performing many of the same actions with regards to stability and rotation.
All three work in synergy, yet it is important for each muscle to be working optimally. If one muscle is weak and not firing, then the other muscles will have to compensate. This is when tightness and injuries begin to set in.
When I undertake the Titleist Performance Institute Physical Screen with new clients, one test in particular targets the hip to assess glute stability and strength.
Bridge With Leg Extension
Having strong glutes are an integral part of the golf swing. If either of the glutes is weak in the Bridge test, numerous issues can develop.
Inhibition of the right or left glute can lead to swing tendencies such as:
- Swaying or Sliding
- Coming over the top, leading to scooping and a chicken wing
- Early extension, where the hips move towards the ball through impact
- Falling back
If you’ve ever experienced frustration even while working extremely hard on technique with a coach, it could be a weakness that is actually stopping you from achieving your optimal swing. Understanding your physical limitations helps you and your golf coach know what you can or cannot do.
Single Leg Deadlift
The SLDL is one of the toughest, yet one of the best exercises for improving an individual’s glute strength and hip hinging power.
It can be done in a variety of different ways depending on fitness level:
- Starting on 2 legs
- Split stance
- Using a handle for assistance
This exercise is fantastic for the following benefits:
- Stability and balance in the ankles, knee and hips
- Strengthening the glutes, hamstring and core
- Challenging all-round strength in a golf-specific posture
If strength is an issue in the king of all the muscles for you, then try out this exercise and feel free to get in touch for a tailored program specific to you.
Personal Trainer & Certified Functional Strength & Conditioning (CFSC)