Are you the type of golfer that goes into each golf season with just hitting a couple buckets of balls and feels ready to play? If you are then you are setting yourself up for a disappointing season as well as multiple injures that can plague you through out the remainder of the year. If you want to get the most out of your golf season then you need to get in the gym before the season starts and develop a level of fitness that will allow you to perform your best. The better level of strength and conditioning you develop in the off-season or pre-season will greatly impact the amount of time you can devote to the fine tuning skills developed during the in-season.
Don’t waste your money on the newest driver that claims it will increase your driving distance this season instead focus on the most important piece of equipment used in your golf game…your body! The amount of coordinating muscle actions that have to occur to perform a golf swing is amazing but I believe the most important multi-functioning muscle group is the gluts. Specifically Gluteus Maximus and Gluteus Medius. It is extremely important for both of these muscle groups to work together in harmony to develop power and consistency in the golf swing. The gluts are vital in helping the golfer to maintain lower body stability throughout the swing as well as maintaining core stability. The gluts help to blend the lower body movement into the upper body movements, via the core to produce that perfect timing or rhythm.
So now the big question is how to get your gluts to work? First you need to focus on getting your brain and muscles to start communicating with each other through exercise drills done in your workouts and then eventually through repetition and muscle memory your gluts will remember and fire so that we can call on them again and again for the same purpose. With proper function in the gluts a golfer can increase their level of play while preventing injuries. Add a few of these exercises in to your workout routine or come into the Seattle Athletic Club and talk with one of our trainers to find out how to “wake up your gluts” before you hit the golf course this season;
- Bridging Two Legs – 2 sets of 10 reps each. Hold each repetition for 10 seconds. While on your back with your knees bent. Raise your hips off the ground focusing the movement from your gluts. It is easy to over activate the hamstrings so try to focus on tightening the gluts.
- Bridging One Leg – 2 sets of 3-5 reps each. This time raise with just one leg on floor and one leg out straight. Hold each repetition for approximately 3-5 seconds. This time period will increase as your glut strength increases. If you feel a cramp coming on in the hamstring or lower back region, discontinue the exercise immediately. This is a sign that the glut muscle is being shut off and the hamstring/lower back is taking over. It is our goal to work through this issue by reprogramming the mind’s control over specific muscle groups (gluts).
- Squats and Squat Jumps – 2 sets of 10 reps Start with body weight then work up to dumbbells, barbells or cables for extra resistance.
- Lateral Lunges – 2 sets of 10 reps each leg. Lunge out sideways or at a 45 degree to load the hip in multiple planes of movement.
- Single leg balanced lunge reaches – 2 sets of 10 reps each. While standing on one leg lunge and reach out with opposite hand for a cone or a fixed object about a foot in front of you. Slow and controlled!
- Side Steps with Ankle Tubing – 2 sets of 10 reps each direction. Place tubing around feet but under your arches. Get in ready golf position then take big smooth steps sideways without dragging your feet. Feel the burn in the gluteus medius.
- Side Leg Lifts – 2-3 sets in each direction, until you reach point of burn. In a side-lying position, with hips directly on top of one another, make sure to bend lower knee to a 90 degree angle. With top hand, isolate the top of the pelvis and secure its position (this bone shall not move!!!). During the leg raise, keep foot positioned at a 90 degree angle and only raise leg straight towards the ceiling. Never allow the foot to pop forward, while the hip shoots backwards. This drill should be felt into the side of the butt and no place else. It is imperative to lock the Iliac Crest (top portion of pelvis that hand is grasping) in place and allow the leg to rise from the actual “hip” joint.
To begin training to improve your golf game, please contact Personal Fitness Trainer Jason Anderson.