The lower body is an important piece to an effective and highly functioning body (and golf swing)!
It contains some critically important muscles that help build rotational power, and joints that allow for fluid movement.
Here's a summary of the rest of the article:
What is the lower body? Let's define it.
Why is the lower body important for your golf swing?
What important muscles are present here that we should be training?
What joints are present that help us complete a full, fluid motion?
What exercises can we use to train those muscles/joints?
Before we dive in...
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What is the lower body? Let's define it.
This isn't as easy as simply saying "everything below the hips" because muscles that exist within the lower body cross the hips.
And more than that, fascial chains exist that run from the top of our head to the bottom of our feet... these don't just magically stop at the level of our hips.
Our body is a holistic unit.
It all effects everything.
The way your spine moves will effect the functioning of your lower body movement.
The way your ankles move will effect the output of your upper body.
Pretty wild if you ask me.
For purposes of this article, we are going to say that all muscles that cross the hip (acetabulofemoral) joint and below, count as the lower body.
So, for example, the psoas is a core muscle that originates on the spine but runs down to attach on the femur (thick thigh bone), thereby crossing the hip joint. For our purposes today, that's considered a lower body muscle!
Why is the lower body important for your game?
First, there are quite a few prominent rotational power building muscles that reside within the lower body, contributing to the creation of clubhead speed.
For example, the 4 quadriceps muscles, the glute muscles, and the many muscles surrounding the foot/ankle complex all contribute massively to creating ground reaction forces.
Which we know... are important!
As discussed in that article, the way we create rotation in our golf swing is by interacting with the ground in a specific way.
The musculoskeletal system of our lower body is largely responsible for accomplishing this!
Secondly, there are many joints within the lower body that contribute to the more holistic mobility and fluid motion we see in the golf swing.
You can't fully coil and uncoil without a highly functioning lower body.
The biggest two contributing joints:
Making sure these joints are both MOBILE and STABILE is important for a functioning movement system.
What important muscles should we be training in the lower body?
All of them.
Sorry, I know that's probably not the answer you were looking for.
You were expecting me to say "train the quads to develop clubhead speed!"
Sorry, that's not how it works.
When we workout and complete exercises, we aren't ever really "isolating" a specific muscle.
We are more targeting groups of muscle that work in a synergistic fashion.
For example, an important muscle grouping is the quadriceps muscle group, which function to extend (straighten) our knee and flex our hip. When we complete a squat, we aren't necessarily isolating one of the quadriceps muscles, we are training the grouping as a whole, as well as the other muscles that function synergistically with them like the glutes.
Remember, it's all connected.
So, let's list 5 central muscle/muscle groups that we should be targeting within the lower body...
Quadriceps Muscle Group
Glutes Muscle Group
Hamstrings Muscle Group
I think I basically just listed all of them....like I said, they're all important.
EXERCISES YOU SHOULD ADD RIGHT NOW TO ATTACK THE LOWER BODY!
[1.] Quads / Glutes Muscle Groups: Goblet Lateral Lunges
[2.] Quads / Glutes Muscle Groups: Barbell back Squats
[3.] Hamstrings Muscle Group: Glute-Ham Raise
[4.] Foot/Ankle Complex: Duck Walks
[5.] Lower Back: BB RDL
WRAP IT UP!
No doubt, the lower body is important.
Give it the time and focus it deserves in your training!
And, if you just want to be told how to grow those tree trunks you call legs, join the community and hop on one of our programs at SCRATCH.
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Let's go low.