If you’re like me and have limited golf conditioning time you might have ignored your hip abductor muscles. If you have, you might be making a big mistake. This blurb was taken from an article, “Golf’s Muscle Man,” in Golf Digest by Max Alder.
The report comes from Dr. Scott Lepart, who is Director of the Neuromuscular Research Lab at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) Center for Sports Medicine and also operates two human-performance and injury-prevention labs for the U.S. Army and U.S. Navel Special Operations.
From the article:
Says Lephart, “Identifying and strengthening specific muscles not only improves performance, it pre-empts injury”
After plowing through data collected from 700 golfers, including 35 PGA Tour pros, the time had come to reap the discoveries.
As expected, strength and flexibility of the shoulders and torso were important in golf, but Lephart also identified a specific pair of muscles, the hip abductors, which engage when you move your legs apart, as a key discriminator in power.
Immediately before impact, stress equal to 2 to 3 times the golfer’s body weight is placed on the hips. On average, Lepahart found elite players to be 30 percent stronger in the hip abductors.
“The balance and trunk stability provided by the hips is often overlooked in golf,” says Lephart. “Golfers with weak hips are predisposed to commit swing errors that hinder their game game and make them prone to injury over time.”
One of the best is the Side-lying Hip Abduction. Perform the exercise as follows:
Lie down in a left side-lying position. Make sure your hips are “stacked” (right hip directly over the left hip) and that your body is in a straight line.
Placing your top hand on the floor in front of you can help ensure that you are not leaning forwards.
Take 1 second to lift the top leg up (breathing out), 2 seconds to hold it in top position (keep breathing out) and then 3 seconds to slowly return it to start position (slowly breathing in).
I recommend the heel to remain the same height as the toes throughout.
Variations include (while lying on side) bringing top knee to chest and extending it. This not only work the abductors but hits the all-important glutes as well.
Instead of having your top leg straight bend your knee to 90 degrees and do short bursts or “pumps” with that top leg until fatigue.
When these become too easy just add an ankle weight or resistance bands for further resistance.
Maybe it’s time to start incorporating some hip flexibility/strength conditioning exercises into your routine.
If it does make a difference for you, please let me know by commenting.
Equipment mentioned above:
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