Fitness Friday: A little tee with your lunge
While the squat remains one of the best power exercises golfers can do, several top golf fitness trainers think lunging is a safer, and possibly a better move to build strength in the crucial areas of the hips, glutes, and legs--especially if performed in the correct manner of dropping a leg behind you vs. extending a leg in front of you.
Craig Davies, director of nutrition and fitness at the Core Golf Academy in Orlando and a trainer to several top PGA Tour pros including Sean O'Hair and Hunter Mahan, says lunges are one of his favorites, "much more than squats." Generally speaking, it puts less stress on the lower back than squatting.
"I like lunges that move in a backward direction generally much more so than forward," Davies adds. "Forward lunges will generally result in the athlete loading predominantly through the quads (front of the thighs), especially if the athlete loads through their forefoot, which nearly all do. Excessive quad activation, compared to glute and hamstring activation with a back lunge, will generally result in shortening of the quads. And they are almost always chronically too short to begin with."
If that went over your head, then just remember that back lunges allow better activation of the hamstring and glutes than front lunges. The hamstring and glute muscles are crucial to power and stability in your golf swing.
To see demonstrations of two back lunges--one for strength training and the other a bonus cardio/strength training move--click on the video below.
--Ron Kaspriske Fitness Editor, Golf Digest