This is General Maximus Decimus Meridius, played by Russell Crowe in the 2000 blockbuster film, Gladiator.
This is your Gluteus Maximus, which starts in your daily life and serves to; take you from sitting to standing, bending to erect, walking, running, climbing stairs, hitting a long drive, and on and on.
Without a strong and powerful Gluteus Maximus you cannot stabilize your pelvis (the body’s center of gravity) nor can you effectively stabilize the lower portion of your spine.
In the fitness world we know the Gluteus Maximus to be “the King”.….more affectionately known as “the King of the Swing” and the King is more powerful than any General.
Does Your Glute Max Work?
So how do you know if your GM is up to the task of golf and other daily activities? You test it.
Lie flat on your back, knees bent, feet flat on the floor, feet and thighs touching, and your knees should be directly over your heels. Cross your arms over your chest. Next, lift your pelvis up off the ground. Once the pelvis is off the ground, extend one leg straight out from the knee. Hold for 10 seconds.
What Do You Feel?
If you: ‘feel it’ (the work of lifting and holding) in your low back or the back of your upper thigh (hamstrings) and NOT the butt you have a weak Gluteus Maximus.. or Glute Amnesia..(your butt isn’t working the way it should).
You can check out Dave Phillips of the Titleist Performance Institute administer the screen to a golf pro by clicking this Youtube video below.
When I’m administering the test I look for the following:
- Does the hamstring cramp?
- Does the pelvis tilt or drop on the side of the UP leg?
- Can the person being tested even hold the position for 10 seconds?
- Do their shorts quiver? Yes, most often the perturbation or vibration is so strong their clothes quiver!
Dorsi-flexion is the ability of the top of the foot to move towards the shin by 15- 20 degrees. A normal gait (walking) cycle requires a 15–20 degrees range of motion (ROM) in dorsiflexion of the foot/ankle. The dorsiflexed position allows the glutes to “fire”, or extend the hip, which is the primary function of the glutes (to propel the body forward or UP)
Less than adequate dorsiflexion results in a chain reaction of less hip extension. The result is a compensatory pattern whereby the hamstrings are now forced to become the prime movers of hip extension. This can lead to chronic hamstring tightness, hamstring strains, and certainly a decrease in performance.
Hmmmmm.. that’s very interesting. Now what?