Glutes Are Key

By Golf Fitness MagazineApril 12, 2010, 7:53 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

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.

BRIDGE WITH LEG EXTENSION

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!

BIRD DOG

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.

CLAM SHELLS

Clam Shell with band

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.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Golf Fitness Magazine is the only national consumer publication dedicated to golf-specific fitness, mental focus, and improving ability, performance and health among all golfers. Get cutting edge fitness & mental tips sent to your inbox each month with our free golf performance eNewsletter, Shape Your Game.

Getty Images

Watch: Moore does impressions of Tiger, Poults, Bubba

By Grill Room TeamJuly 16, 2018, 10:36 pm
Getty Images

Johnson begins Open week as 12/1 betting favorite

By Will GrayJuly 16, 2018, 5:15 pm

Dustin Johnson heads into The Open as the top-ranked player in the world, and he's also an understandable betting favorite as he looks to win a second career major.

Johnson has not played since the U.S. Open, where he led by four shots at the halfway point and eventually finished third. He has three top-10 finishes in nine Open appearances, notably a T-2 finish at Royal St. George's in 2011.

Johnson opened as a 12/1 favorite when the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook first published odds for Carnoustie after the U.S. Open, and he remains at that number with the first round just three days away.

Here's a look at the latest odds on some of the other top contenders, according to the Westgate:

12/1: Dustin Johnson

16/1: Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler, Justin Rose

20/1: Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Tommy Fleetwood, Brooks Koepka, Jon Rahm

25/1: Jason Day, Henrik Stenson, Tiger Woods

30/1: Sergio Garcia, Francesco Molinari, Paul Casey, Alex Noren, Patrick Reed

40/1: Hideki Matsuyama, Marc Leishman, Branden Grace, Tyrrell Hatton

50/1: Phil Mickelson, Ian Poulter, Matthew Fitzpatrick

60/1: Russell Knox, Louis Oosthuizen, Matt Kuchar, Bryson DeChambeau, Zach Johnson, Tony Finau, Bubba Watson

80/1: Lee Westwood, Adam Scott, Patrick Cantlay, Rafael Cabrera-Bello, Thomas Pieters, Xander Schauffele

100/1: Shane Lowry, Webb Simpson, Brandt Snedeker, Ryan Fox, Thorbjorn Olesen

Getty Images

Woods needs top-10 at Open to qualify for WGC

By Will GrayJuly 16, 2018, 4:34 pm

If Tiger Woods is going to qualify for the final WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club, he'll need to do something he hasn't done in five years this week at The Open.

Woods has won eight times at Firestone, including his most recent PGA Tour victory in 2013, and has openly stated that he would like to qualify for the no-cut event in Akron before it shifts to Memphis next year. But in order to do so, Woods will need to move into the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking after this week's event at Carnoustie.

Woods is currently ranked No. 71 in the world, down two spots from last week, and based on projections it means that he'll need to finish no worse than a tie for eighth to have a chance of cracking the top 50. Woods' last top-10 finish at a major came at the 2013 Open at Muirfield, where he tied for sixth.


Updated Official World Golf Ranking


There are actually two OWGR cutoffs for the Bridgestone, July 23 and July 30. That means that Woods could theoretically still add a start at next week's RBC Canadian Open to chase a spot in the top 50, but he has said on multiple occasions that this week will be his last start of the month. The WGC-Bridgestone Invitational will be played Aug. 2-5.

There wasn't much movement in the world rankings last week, with the top 10 staying the same heading into the season's third major. Dustin Johnson remains world No. 1, followed by Justin Thomas, Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm. Defending Open champ Jordan Spieth is ranked sixth, with Rickie Fowler, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day and Tommy Fleetwood rounding out the top 10.

Despite taking the week off, Sweden's Alex Noren moved up three spots from No. 14 to No. 11, passing Patrick Reed, Bubba Watson and Paul Casey.

John Deere Classic champ Michael Kim went from No. 473 to No. 215 in the latest rankings, while South African Brandon Stone jumped from 371st to 110th with his win at the Scottish Open.

Getty Images

Spieth takes familiar break ahead of Open defense

By Rex HoggardJuly 16, 2018, 3:50 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – As his title chances seemed to be slipping away during the final round of last year’s Open Championship, Jordan Spieth’s caddie took a moment to remind him who he was.

Following a bogey at No. 13, Michael Greller referenced a recent vacation he’d taken to Mexico where he’d spent time with Michael Phelps and Michael Jordan and why he deserved to be among that group of singular athletes.

Spieth, who won last year’s Open, decided to continue the tradition, spending time in Cabo again before this week’s championship.


Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


“I kind of went through the same schedule,” Spieth said on Monday at Carnoustie. “It was nice to have a little vacation.”

Spieth hasn’t played since the Travelers Championship; instead he attended the Special Olympics USA Games earlier this month in Seattle with his sister. It was Spieth’s first time back to the Pacific Northwest since he won the 2015 U.S. Open.

“I went out to Chambers Bay with [Greller],” Spieth said. “We kind of walked down the 18th hole. It was cool reliving those memories.”

But most of all Spieth said he needed a break after a particularly tough season.

“I had the itch to get back to it after a couple weeks of not really working,” he said. “It was nice to kind of have that itch to get back.”