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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 10:37 pm

Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:

Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts

Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts

Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

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Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.

While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.

The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

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Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.

As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.

Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.

And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.

And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.

McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.

The Ryder Cup topped his list.

Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.

When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.

“Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”



McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.

Or similar assertions from TV analysts.

“The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”

European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.

And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.

The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.

Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.

And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.

Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.

The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.

The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.

More bulletin board material, too.

Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.

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Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions

By Rex HoggardJanuary 22, 2018, 9:14 pm

Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.

The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.

It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.

The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.

“I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”

Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.