“King of the Golf Swing”
During the golf swing the most important multi-function muscle is the butt. There I said it. It may be crude to some. But the butt is one of the most under utilized, under rated, muscle groups. Let me explain, most people, unless there out on the PGA tour, there at a desk sitting, working Monday through Friday. Sitting for prolong periods of time tends to be the biggest culprit of dis-function in human performance both in the gym and on the course. Most recreational players (and some pros for that matter) will have weak hip flexors, weak hamstrings, weak buttocks, weak para-spinals, and a weak protracted shoulder complex from sitting too long. So where does this leave us, well lets start with the butt. This entire muscle group is vital in helping the player to maintain lower body stability throughout the swing. It is also plays a large role in maintaining core stability throughout the swing. It is this one muscle group that helps to blend the lower body movement into the upper body movements, via the central portion of the body. So if your butt is weak you will tend to over compensate in the shoulder complex, or your lower back, or knee and so on. In a nut shell it is of utmost importance to have this muscle group functioning at its optimal levels in order to attain a repeatable and consistent swing, and to play injury free.
The buttocks are primary made up of two main components; Gluteus Maximus and the Gluteus Medius
Both of these muscle groups play a major role at both developing power and consistency in the swing. Both of these muscle groups need to work in unison to develop optimal swing mechanics.
The following exercises are some of best exercises at developing strength and power in the glute’s and surrounding musculature.
The Kettlebell Sumo Deadlift
Take a wide stance. Squat down and grip the kettlebell. Grip the handle inside your knees, 12-18″ apart. Drop your hips lower than your shoulders. Start with the bell in between your legs. Focus straight ahead, draw your bellybutton in. Keep your back arched and tight.
Remember to squeeze your glute’s. Lift with your legs – squat the weight up. Stand to full upright; thrust the hips squeezing your butt. Don’t rush the reps, this is a slow exercise, focus on full body tension – regroup and establish a good starting position for each rep.
Glute Ham Raise
For this exercise you will need a Glute Ham Developer, it looks similar to a roman chair or back extension. Begin by adjusting the distance between the thigh pad and the heel pad. You will want to position the heel pad so that the thigh pad is in the middle of your thigh or slightly closer to your knee when your heels are in the heel pads. Begin by hanging over the stand in a similar position to a back extension. Begin the movement by contracting your lower back to raise your torso, as you near full extension of your back and hip, begin bending your knees and contracting your hamstrings (Posterior Thigh). You will continue to bend your knees until your upper body is nearly vertical and your knees are at a 60-80 degree angle. Lower to original position.
The Kettlebell Swing
Stance should be shoulder width apart. Squat down and grab the handle with both hands. As you reach down remember to hinge at the hips keeping your shins relatively vertical, you should feel a mild stretch in the hamstrings. Swing the kettlebell between your legs forcefully like your going to hike a football. Explosively snap your hips forward straightening your legs
Stability Ball Bridging
Start by lying on your back with shoulders and head on top of a stability ball; feet on the ground, hip- width apart for stability
Squeezing up from the gluteus, lift hips until there is a straight line running through knees, hips and shoulders. Do not lift hips too high or flare ribs so that your back hyper extends. Hold for 30 seconds and lower.
Try out these drills in hopes of developing some rock solid glutes! These exercises are sure to create a more stable lower platform as well as improve the function of the core. Be sure to check out http://www.back9strength.com and sign up for our free newsletter, or better yet pick up a copy of Back 9 Strength: The Ultimate Golf Fitness Rolodex on sale now, for tons of info on strength, flexibility, and power exercises for golf.