Golfers need to have strong glutes.
The glutes are the real driving force behind the golf swing. When we initiate the downswing, the hips must extend and the trail leg must externally rotate. Those are the two primary functions of the glutes.
To powerfully extend the hips into the golf ball, there has to be a foundation of strength. Power is the ability to develop strength rapidly. Strength must be there in the first place to rapidly develop it.
Building glute strength can be done with hundreds of exercises. A lot of exercises hit a combination of muscle groups. That’s why the hamstrings, glutes, and low back are often lumped together as the posterior chain.
I am still a huge fan of RDLs, deadlifts, and lunges for developing glute strength. Those are definitely not leaving my programs.
I did want to go a different route with the types of exercises I am talking about today. I like to consider them mostly glute. Yes, they will hit the other muscle groups. The particular exercises I chose to highlight for this post are going to activate and build strength in the glutes better than the others.
Weighted Glute Bridges
The common thing I hear about weighted glute bridges is that they are harder to set up and take down that they are to actually perform.
This is because a lot of weight can be used. The range of motion is small and the glutes are one of the largest muscles in the body. This means that people can load it up with hundreds of pounds.
It also does not load the spine which makes it a friendly choice for almost anyone.
The goal when performing them is to train the glutes. Squeeze them hard to move the bar. If you feel it in your hamstrings or low back more than your butt, then the weight is too heavy or you need to actively squeeze.
Add these to your program and start adding plates to the bar
Progressions include elevating your back on a roller/bench or going single leg
Single Leg Hip Thrust
I am a growing fan of the single leg hip thrust as a key accessory exercise. It targets the glutes really well and is easy to setup/perform.
You can load a SL hip thrust with a barbell, dumbbell, chain, or anything else you can think of.
One thing most people struggle with on this is getting their elbows out of the way. Cross your arms or put them behind your head. This ensures that your upper back is on the bench/box and you can get good hip extension.
There is no exercise that makes my glutes more sore than a bowler squat.
This is probably because it force hip external rotation and extension. Sound familiar? This is what happens during a golf swing.
These are a really good variation when you add a KB to reach for.
The bowler squat will also help improve your balance. You’ll find that one out quickly.
Start adding these glute dominant exercises to your program. They will vastly help your ability to hit the ball far, get better hip mobility, and/or reduce back pain.
If you are looking for guidance on a program to help improve your golf game click the link below.