Fitness Friday: Train your hips for a better swing
*Editor's note: Every week my colleague Ron Kaspriske, Golf Digest Fitness Editor, presents Fitness Friday on the Instruction Blog. He gives you a great health and fitness tip or an exercise or stretch to get your body warmed up for the weekend. This week he discusses your hip flexors and why you need to strengthen them to play your best golf. And remember to follow me on Twitter @RogerSchiffman.
Two large and important muscles necessary for a good golf swing are the hip flexors (the psoas major and iliacus). They are attached to the femur, the pelvis and the spine, so you can imagine the important role they play. Not only do they stabilize the lower back and allow for the proper biomechanics of the lumbar spine, but they also help a golfer relay energy generated from hip/trunk rotation into the arms and club. In short, they protect the lower back and help provide power in the swing.
"Tight and/or weak hip flexors can be a real problem," says Golf Digest fitness expert Ralph Simpson, a certified manual therapist who worked for several years in the PGA Tour's fitness trailer. "Golfers need to have adequate length in their hip flexors to swing properly. Furthermore, the tighter the hip flexors, the weaker the abdominal muscles because of reciprocal innervation (a reflex action where one muscle relaxes another muscle). And a weak core is really going to cause a whole host of problems, including bad posture."
Stretching and strengthening these muscles are crucial and easy if you use three exercises suggested by Simpson. Click on the video below to see me demonstrate them.
Golf Digest *