Build a more powerful and stable golf swing

By Golf Fitness MagazineSeptember 27, 2010, 5:03 pm

Glutes are key when it comes to the golf swing. The gluteal muscles (which include three muscles: the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and gluteus minimus) are essential for power and stability during the golf swing. Many golfers’ glutes can be inhibited, while the hamstrings and/or the lower back try to take over their job. This can manifest into several different swing faults. The right glute is needed for stability during the back swing and power on the down swing. The left glute is needed for stability through impact. Swing faults that can occur from weak glute muscles include slide, sway, early extension, loss of posture, reverse spine angle and hanging back. As you can see, glute muscles are needed for a strong and efficient swing. The following exercises are great for the glutes, and you can do them anywhere.

Bridge

This exercise challenges the stability of the pelvis, lower back and core while strengthening the gluteals. There are several variations of this exercise. The basic Bridge starts lying on your back with your knees bent and feet hip-distance apart. Focus on recruiting your gluteals throughout the exercise, not your hamstrings. This will take practice and concentration. Inhale to prepare, and exhale to lift your hips to a bridge position. (Feel as if there is a line from your shoulders to your knees). Inhale to stay in this position, and exhale as you lift one foot slightly off the floor without shifting or dropping either hip. Inhale to return the foot to the floor, and exhale as you lift the other foot, repeating ten repetitions. Inhale as you lower the foot, and exhale as you lower your hips back to the floor.

Health and Fitness

Bridge With Leg Extension

Take the basic Bridge exercise and gradually lift the leg higher off the floor. Eventually take the exercise to the full Bridge, where the lifted leg is extended to the ceiling, then lowered parallel to the supporting leg, and lifted back to the ceiling and finally it is returned to the floor. Focus on keeping your hips lifted and level. Try not to rotate or drop the supporting hip. Start with the basic Bridge first, and then progress to the full leg extension as your glutes get stronger.

Concentrate on feeling your glutes throughout each exercise, without letting the hamstrings do all of the work. The glutes are easy to miss during your workout, since the hamstrings and lower back may want to take over. These simple exercises will help strengthen your glutes and help you stabilize during your golf swing. Next time you head to the gym, don’t forget about your glutes.

Health and Fitness

Bird Dog

Start on all fours. Shoulders should be directly over your hands, with hips directly above your knees. Engage your abdominals to keep your back and pelvis in a neutral position throughout the exercise. Inhale to prepare. Exhale as you extend your right hip, reaching your foot to the ceiling, keeping your knee bent. Inhale to return, and repeat 10-15 repetitions on each side. Intensify this exercise by wrapping a band around your foot and holding the other end with your hands on the floor. Repeat the exercise with this added resistance.

Health and FitnessHealth and Fitness

Clam Shells

Start lying on your side with your knees bent in front of the hips, with feet stacked. Inhale to prepare while keeping your feet touching, and exhale as you open your top knee as far as possible. Inhale as you bring your legs back together, and repeat. To intensify this exercise, wrap a resistance band around your thighs. This exercise specifically targets the glute medius, and is great for golfers who tend to sway or slide.

Health and Fitness

Kelley Ranaudo is a GFM Advisory Team Member and co-founder of Pilates Digest. She has a Masters Degree in Exercise Science and is a Certified Pilates Instructor and Owner of The Fitness Studio of Orlando and a Level 1 Certified TPI Instructor.

Getty Images

Watch: McIlroy gives Fleetwood a birthday cake

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 19, 2018, 2:58 pm

Tommy Fleetwood turned 27 on Friday. He celebrated with some good golf – a 4-under 68 in Abu Dhabi, leaving him only two shots back in his title defense – and a birthday cake, courtesy of Rory Mcllroy.

While giving a post-round interview, Fleetwood was surprised to see McIlroy approaching with a cake in hand.

“I actually baked this before we teed off,” McIlroy joked.

Fleetwood blew out the three candles – “three wishes!” – and offered McIlroy a slice.  

<
Getty Images

DJ shoots 64 to surge up leaderboard in Abu Dhabi

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 1:48 pm

Dustin Johnson stood out among a star-studded three-ball that combined to shoot 18 under par with just one bogey Friday at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

Shaking off a sloppy first round at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Johnson matched the low round of the day with a 64 that put him within four shots of Thomas Pieters’ lead.

“I did everything really well,” Johnson said. “It was a pretty easy 64.”

Johnson made four bogeys during an even-par 72 on Thursday and needed a solid round Friday to make the cut. Before long, he was closer to the lead than the cut line, making birdie on three of the last four holes and setting the pace in a group that also included good rounds from Rory McIlroy (66) and Tommy Fleetwood (68).

“Everyone was hitting good shots,” McIlroy said. “That’s all we were seeing, and it’s nice when you play in a group like that. You feed off one another.” 


Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


Coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, Johnson is searching for his first regular European Tour title. He tied for second at this event a year ago.

Johnson’s second-round 64 equaled the low round of the day (Jorge Campillo and Branden Grace). 

“It was just really solid all day long,” Johnson said. “Hit a lot of great shots, had a lot of looks at birdies, which is what I need to do over the next two days if I want to have a chance to win on Sunday.” 

Getty Images

Closing eagle moves Rory within 3 in Abu Dhabi

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:57 pm

What rust? Rory McIlroy appears to be in midseason form.

Playing competitively for the first time since Oct. 8, McIlroy completed 36 holes without a bogey Friday, closing with an eagle to shoot 6-under 66 to sit just three shots back at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

“I’m right in the mix after two days and I’m really happy in that position,” he told reporters afterward.

McIlroy took a 3 ½-month break to heal his body, clear his mind and work on his game after his first winless year since 2008, his first full season as a pro.

He's back on track at a familiar playground, Abu Dhabi Golf Club, where he’s racked up eight top-11s (including six top-3s) in his past nine starts there.


Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


McIlroy opened with a 69 Thursday, then gave himself even more chances on Day 2, cruising along at 4 under for the day when he reached the par-5 closing hole. After launching a 249-yard long iron to 25 feet, he poured in the eagle putt to pull within three shots of Thomas Pieters (65). 

Despite the layoff, McIlroy edged world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, by a shot over the first two rounds. 

“DJ is definitely the No. 1 player in the world right now, and one of, if not the best, driver of the golf ball," McIlroy said. "To be up there with him over these first two days, it proves to me that I’m doing the right things and gives me a lot of confidence going forward.”

Getty Images

Duke to fill in for injured Pavin at CareerBuilder

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:25 pm

Ken Duke will fill in for Corey Pavin for the next two rounds of the CareerBuilder Challenge – with nothing at stake but his amateur partner’s position on the leaderboard.

Pavin was 4 over par when he withdrew after 17 holes Thursday because of a neck injury. Tournament officials contacted Duke, the first alternate, and asked if he would take Pavin’s spot and partner with Luis Lopez for the next two rounds, even though he would not receive any official money.

Duke accepted and explained his decision on Twitter:

Playing on past champion’s status, the 48-year-old Duke has made only four starts this season, with a best finish of a tie for 61st at the RSM Classic.

Pavin received a sponsor exemption into the event, his first PGA Tour start since the 2015 Colonial.