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The glutes are some of the most powerful muscles in your body, and they help with creating speed during the downswing. But if you are going to use them during the downswing, you need to "load" them during the backswing. Find out what that means and how to feel it with this progression
Tags: Backswing, Drill, Intermediate
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The drill is the details of loading your glute in the backswing.
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So I got a little prop here that'll help us in a second.
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But basically, when we talk about loading and muscle, all we're really talking about is stretching
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it under tension.
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So if I'm standing right here and I wanted to extend my hips, there's a very little stretch
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So I can't get very much out of it.
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If I then flex my hips and my knees, now I have a lot more load and so I can, or I have
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a lot more stretch, so then when I fire I can create more speed.
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So in the backswing, the right glute is what we're trying to load.
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The right glute by itself kind of does extension.
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And there's a couple of different muscles, couple different glutes.
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But as a group, they tend to do extension and external rotation kind of like this.
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So to load it, we have to do the opposite, which means I have to flex and internally rotate
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kind of like that.
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So a lot of golfers kind of struggle with this feeling of kind of loading the glute
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or then firing from the glute.
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So I have a little progression that I like to use to kind of get a feeling of what it's
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like in that hip.
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Now when we're doing these kind of at home drills to feel the load in the glute, it's very
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common for your brain to use what it normally does instead of this pattern.
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As an example, if you're kind of in the early extension pattern, what will happen is your
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brain will think you're rotating, but you're actually doing extension.
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If you're in a sway pattern, you'll think you're rotating into the hip, but you'll actually
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So you want to use a mirror, want to use some type of feedback so you can see what's going
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Now in order to best load the glute, we're going to want to have pretty much a straight line
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of force or compression from the ankle through the knee through the hip.
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So as you see, if I get into this kind of loaded position, there's pretty much a straight
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line through that ankle knee hip.
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If I was to let my knee drift too far out, and if I was to get onto the outside of the
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foot, I'm actually going to be loading some muscles more in my thigh, less my glute.
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The other one would be if I fully lock that leg, in order for the glute to have tension,
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you need about 15 degrees of flex in the knee, that creates some tension for the IT
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band, which the glute attaches to.
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So if you fully flex that or fully straighten that leg, it can feel like you're loading
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your glute, but it's going to be a slightly different muscle that's not quite as powerful.
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So we're going to have a little bit of flex in the knees about 15 degrees, and we're
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going to try and rotate while keeping the inside of the foot on the ground.
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So now that's kind of the framework of what we're going to try to do to load this glute.
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Now let's go through this little progression that I like.
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So first one we're going to do is a step up with a rotation.
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So I'm just going to get my little box here organized.
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The step up will allow me to feel rotation, but if I stay kind of over the center here,
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as long as this is stable enough, it will be very hard for me to rotate to the outside
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of the foot.
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I use this one to first give you a coordination feeling of what it's like to rotate
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into the inside of the foot.
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Next we'll move it and we'll do a step down.
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So now I'm going to start in the up position, and I'm going to try to recreate that same
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feeling on the inside of my foot, but now stepping down and rotating.
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Then the last one that I'll do is a lateral step.
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So now I'm just going to do almost like a lateral lunge, and I'm going to step and I'm
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going to try to recreate that same rotation.
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If you're doing the skaters at home, this is kind of an advanced version of a one-sided
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So then the last piece would be taking my normal golf stance and trying to recreate that
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same feeling with or without the club.
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So combining this with that good shoulder plane, good arm mechanics is what's going to help
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set you up for a really good backswing to set you up for that transition and release,
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which are ultimately what's really important during the golf swing.
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So let's take a look at a couple different views.
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So now in the swing from the down the line, what you'll tend to see is that knee will stay
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a little bit flex, but because it rotates, it looks like it gets strater than it really
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The average loss on tour is going to be about eight degrees, five degrees somewhere
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in that range.
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It's not a dramatic straightening of that knee.
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So that was to rotate kind of like so.
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And then from the face on view, one actually hit towards the wall.
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But you'll tend to see that that line between the ankle and the hips, stays relatively
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You won't see a ton of shift.
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And if you see even just a little bit of shift from the hip, that's fine.
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You can see I'm still in that straight line.
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The real problem is when you start getting on the outside of the ankle, since the receptors
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for the glutes are more underneath the big toe and along the inside of that foot.
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So hopefully that helps if you're struggling with loading the glute, swaying, early extension
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in the backswing, this will give you the proper feeling of loading that hip and that glute.