Home Travel & Leisure Golf The Most Important Muscle for Swinging a Golf Club

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You might remember Tiger Woods withdrawing from the Farmers Insurance Open last year because of “deactivated glutes.” Many in the sports and golf world had their fun at the expense of Tiger and his glutes. Now, this is not written to defend whether or not Tiger experienced “deactivated glutes.”  The primary purpose is to emphasize that glute activation is paramount for the golf swing.

Weak or deactivated glutes can contribute to all of the swing faults. They are the biggest muscle group that connects the lower body to the core of the body.  Personally I consider the glutes as one of the three major core muscles along with the abs and back extensors. They are so important that the Titleist Performance Institute calls them “The King” in the golf swing. 

The glutes play an important role in maintaining golf posture, and stabilizing the pelvis during the golf swing.  During the backswing, the glutes are loaded in the trail leg. During the downswing, the glutes in the front leg fire off to produce hip extension, lateral stability and hip rotation. If your glutes are not activated, your body will need to rely on the lower back and hamstrings to compensate.

To check if your glutes are activated, perform the bridge with leg extension test:

-First, lay on your back with your knees bent and your feet on the ground.

-Push your hips up towards the ceiling, creating a straight line from your shoulders, through your hips, to your knees.

-Extend one knee so that the other leg is supporting your body.

-Take note in which muscle group that you feel doing the work.

If you feel the lower back or hamstrings doing the work, then your glute isn’t activated. Worse, if your back or hamstrings cramp, then your glutes are not working at all.

Your exercise selection will depend on what you discover while performing the bridge with leg extension test. However, the best exercise you can do to get the glutes activated is The Deer in the Headlights exercise.

If you have any questions, please feel free to give me a call to schedule a complimentary Titleist Performance Institute (TPI) Assessment. The TPI assessment will help you identify where your body can improve and you will discover the specific exercises to maximize your swing.  You can reach me directly at 480-620-3000 or email me at cory@corefitnessaz.com.     

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Cory Schidler is a personal trainer with 20 years of experience and has been sculpting the bodies of North Scottsdale’s elite for over 15 years. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Science, from the University of Nebraska and is certified by the American Council on Exercise, as well as Titleist Performance Institute. His clients include physicians, international business owners, busy stay-at-home moms, teenagers and retirees. Cory owns and operates Core Fitness AZ, a personal training studio in North Scottsdale. www.CoreFitnessAZ.com Facebook Twitter