We first used the chart below in our post on exercises to increase swing speed.
It is adapted from a 2005 study called “Work and Power Analysis of the Golf Swing”
that shows more than 70% of the “work” generated during the downswing comes from the major joints around the back, core, and hips!
Note that the muscles that power the hips are predominantly the glutes.
And in Davies & DiSaia’s book on golf anatomy the glutes were identified as a primer mover for generating more speed in the golf swing.
As Meredith Parker points out HERE
The glutes stabilize the pelvis during the golf swing.
They prevent excessive lateral movement during the backswing.
Without proper stabilization provided by the glutes, the result can be an excessive amount of swaying vis a vis rotation (power) in the swing.
The glutes are the main muscle group that allows the knees to externally rotate.
Let’s have a look at what that means.
Below is a Lu Xiaojun, one of my favorite Olympic lifters.
This is a blog on using your glutes in the golf swing, why are we talking about Olympic lifters?
Well, they are some of the best squatters in the world so we have to use them as a model.
I want you to note two things:
1) His hips move back first before he bends his knees. Not the other way around.
2. His knees track the same direction as the toes aka knees drive out (not in) when squatting.
Both of these are signs of proper functioning glutes.
These movements carry over to your golf swing because for many of the game’s best
Their knees will externally rotate in transition.
In transition, there is a slight squat that occurs.
At impact, one hip will externally rotate while the other will internally rotate.
The glutes play a major role in performing all the above.
Now let’s examine some of the best in action.