My Glutes aren't Activating…
Welcome Golf World to:
“My glutes aren’t activating”
Tiger Woods has officially made glute activation a catch phrase in the world of golf, but this is by no means the first time it’s been driven home to professional golfers.
Glute (butt muscle) activation is a critical component not only to your golf swing, but for lower back health. If your glutes aren’t firing this lends you susceptible to overactive muscle groups, poor movement patterns and subsequent decreased spinal stability. Translation = PAIN.
To fully understand how the glutes affect your game, let’s take a look at the role they play during the swing itself. Generating a powerful, efficient golf swing stems from the ground up. In order to achieve this ground up approach, we have to maintain stability in our mid sections to allow proper weight and energy transfers to occur from the hips/pelvis to the torso, then to the arms and finally to the club. Without stability in the mid-section, none of this can occur. There will be a breakdown in the kinematic sequence and inconsistency in your golf swing. At the same time this breakdown occurs, your back is left vulnerable to increased stresses. The key component in all of this is proper glute activation.
The glute muscles are the alpha group that stabilizes the pelvic region and anchors us into a strong, powerful position during the transformational zones of the golf swing. They hold our lower region firmly in place as the upper regions begin to rotate and accelerate through the zones. If the stability is gone or our glutes aren’t “activating” this critical aspect of speed, power and endurance is diminished and the possibility of mechanical lower back pain comes to the forefront.
So what happens to our swing when we lose stability? The two most common swing faults that occur with decreased glute activation is early extension and loss of posture.
Picture yourself with your butt up against a wall. Get into your golf posture and begin taking the club back to the first transformational zone of the golf swing, the top of the back swing. As your taking the club back, you should feel a slight increase in pressure to your right butt region as we are beginning to lengthen the backside and prime the muscle group for a load and explode movement. Now, as you begin your downswing, your butt should stay up against the wall remaining stabilized in order to allow the upper body to rotate and accelerate through the zone. If your butt comes off the wall and there’s a gap, you either stood up out of your posture or drifted your pelvis towards the ball. This is a lack of stability in the pelvis or under-active glutes.
When it comes to the golf swing and to lower back health, the glutes are KING. Take a look at some of our glute strengthening exercises at http://www.coastalhealthnc.com/correctiveexercises.
To learn more about how your golf swing is affecting your body schedule a consultation for our golf performance programs and take your game to a new level.