Women’s golf tips: How to use your big muscles to generate more speed
Everyone has muscles, but not everyone uses them to their advantage — especially when it comes to the golf swing. In fact, if you aren’t maximizing your big muscles during the swing, there’s no question that you’re leaving both consistency and distance on the table.
In order to maximize your distance off the tee, there are a number of influential factors to consider. Is your swing direction working for you? Is your angle of attack positive or negative? Are you utilizing your wrist angles effectively?
But let’s look at just one of these — an area that I believe is a very misunderstood and underutilized movement – your glutes!
Ideally, after you make a nice backswing and your shoulders and hips have rotated back, your pelvis should begin the forward swing movement, not your arms! But how do we do this? By making small motions to feel the activity. I’ve broken this overall feeling down into several movements to help you isolate the action of your pelvis rotating through to the finish, while maintaining your posture, and allowing your arms to ride along, as opposed to pulling down first.
-Identify when your glutes are firing
What does is feel like when your glutes are firing properly? Here’s how to find out.
-First, set up in a hip-width stance and rest your driver across the front of your thighs. (See photo above, on left.)
-Slowly bend your knees into a squat, and be sure to keep your spine neutral and your feet flat on the ground
-The club should slide down to your knees (see photo above, on right). Continue to squeeze your glutes as you stand up. That’s the feeling!
Hone in on your pelvis rotation
The next step is designed to help you get the feeling of your pelvis rotating both in the backswing and on your follow-through.
-Start in a forward bend with your lead arm holding the top of the club. (See photo above, on left.)
– Rotate your pelvis back and then through. (See photo above, on right.)
-In the follow-through, be sure not to lift your chest too much (a little is OK, but not so much that your shoulders become even with the ground – that’s too flat).
-In the forward rotation, be sure to put pressure on your lead foot. With that pelvic rotation, your trail heel might even get pulled off the ground — that’s OK!
Use a club to check your rotation
Now it’s time to check your progress with a club.
-Place the club across your hips and rotate your pelvis into a backswing and then a forward swing. The club serves as a visual reference for you to take note of the rotation. (See photo above.)
-While you make this move, ask yourself where you need to feel active to achieve your ideal rotation.
Work those abs!
It’s time to feel everything working together for your desired effect.
-Try bracing your lead arm so that your abdominals and glutes can feel active and rotate. (See photo above, on left.)
-If you can pull your arm back so that it’s against your chest, the other hand will keep it there. (See photo above, on right.) This way you’ll reduce swinging mostly with your arms, and instead feel like you are initiating your follow-through swing from the ground, pushing from your legs and using your glutes to make that rotation happen.
Use these drills to dial in the feeling of proper glute rotation, and once you get it, greater distance and consistency is sure to follow!
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