This week I'm gonna be showing you how this past weekend's champion, Angel Cabrera, and a very well known player on the LPGA tour, used their left or lead side glute muscles for, not only stability in the lower half, but pulling power out of the ground. Let's go ahead and get started.
Okay so this week we're gonna be focusing on a really important muscle group in both Angel Cabrera and Natalie Gulbis, and that's gonna be the glute muscles on both the lead side and the trail side. I'm gonna go ahead and draw a line that's gonna touch both the players' back sides here. And normally, I would draw this line straight down but we have a little bit of a conflicting angle here from Angel Cabrera. I'm gonna show you guys how they use their glute muscles in their takeaway and their backswing. But, also, the most important part is using those lead side glutes to control the speed of the hips and also to be able to use them to leverage the ground for power.
Now there's a lot of people on this site we have that are hip spinners and I know that we talk a lot about different ways or different golf swing drills that you can control the speed of the hips. But if you get some really good kinesthetic awareness of the lead side glute muscles, you can, in turn, control the speed of the hips in the hitting area. So let's go ahead and take a look here. I'll go ahead and load both players up to the top part of their swings here and I want to show you a couple of things. Both players get the club a little bit long and across the line. Natalie gets it extremely long and across the line. But both players have been able to restrict the total amount of hip rotation by loading that trail side glute, and that's absolutely important.
You're gonna see a video on the website called "Load the Right Glute: Shorten Swing, Start Transition" and that's a great video. That's in the program backswing section. That's a great video for those of you players that are really trying to shorten up your move and really try to get some good kinesthetic awareness and create separation between the hip line and shoulder line.
But what I want to really focus on is those lead side glutes today and I want to show you a couple of really common moves that both players have. So I've gotten Natalie into the hitting area here and I'm gonna get Angel down into the hitting area. You can see that both players have that left glute pushed back against this line where their hips have not come forward, causing a lot of early extension out of the spine. Both players have been able to leverage the ground and you can see that both players don't have their hips spun open more than 35 maybe 40 degrees max, which is, in turn, allowing them to stall the body and letting the hands and arms pass in front.
So what we're looking to do is we're looking to get into that left side. Use that left glute muscles to stabilize the hips and then use those left obliques to pull that left hip away from the target. Then, what you're doing is basically, you're stalling the body, allowing the hands and arms to act independently and you've moved all that power up the kinetic chain and then turned it into maximum speed in the hitting area. And then, in turn, also created a really good consistent lower half move.
So let's go ahead and take a look at another angle here. Okay, so here we are looking at the reverse angle of both players, both Angel Cabrera and Natalie Gulbis. Now I know in that last frame on the Natalie Gulbis side you probably saw her right foot come off the ground and I know we addressed that in the last analysis that we did on Justin Rose. How we can use the roll of the right foot as a breaking mechanism. We want to be rolled to the inside of that foot. But you can also, for you hip spinners, aside from using that right foot rolled to the inside part of the foot, if you have some good awareness of those glute muscles, you can really control the speed of those hips in the hitting area and not running yourself into a bunch of big blocks, or a bunch of quick cuts.
So you're gonna see here, I'm gonna go ahead and load Angel up to the top part of his golf swing. You're gonna see that his left knee dips inward which allows his head just to drop a little bit below this original line that I've drawn. We have a great video on the website called "The Left Knee Laser Beam Drill" that's for lower body stability. We don't really want this left knee to really dip in unless you know how to control both sides of the lower half of the body through the glute muscles. And you're gonna see as he gets back down into the hitting area here or as he works in transition, right here is a very critical move. So you can see where his hands are and he's actually fully loaded into this left side where he's got this glute muscle really engaged right here. And he's gonna use this glute muscle for stabilizing that speed of the hips and he's also gonna use it to drive that heel into the ground. And then, ultimately, work to pull that left hip away from the target with the left obliques, which is gonna move that left leg to a straight position.
So that's allowing him to leverage the ground without making any sort of drastic squat move, which is probably one of the more overdone moves that we've seen on the website. Where people are trying to make this drastic amount of squat and, in turn, running into a lot of problems where they get a lot of early extension out of the spine because when you sink down in the quads, the quads are gonna want to try to fire very early and then it becomes a really big mess and a really big headache for consistency issues. So you can see as he's getting down into the hitting area he's fully seated into that left side. He's now going to be driving that left heel into the ground and, in turn, he's gonna be using that for leverage.
So same kind of thing over here with Natalie. I'm gonna go ahead and mark the top part of her head here. She's gonna shift just a little bit. Okay, you're gonna see that she has the same sort of left knee dip. She gets the club a little bit long and across the line there. And then as she works back down, you can see that she's fully seated into this left glute at this particular junction so Angel's got his hands just a fraction lower but she's fully seated on that left side.
She's using the left glute muscles. You could see that that right foot's starting to come off the ground to try to help a little too much at this point. But as long as she's got those glute muscles, those lead side glutes really engaged, she should be able to stabilize the hips just as she did in the back swing, and, in turn, use that to be able to stall the body correctly. And let me go ahead and work her down into impact here. You can see that that left leg has gone to a straight position. She has leveraged the ground a ton, because she's nearly come up onto her toes on her left side. She's pulled the power out of the ground and then turned it into an immense amount of speed.
And you're going to see a very similar move here with Angel. He's worked his left leg to a straight position. Now he's delivering all that power, moving that power up the chain and then turning it into max speed in the hitting area, which has, in turn, made him an extremely long hitter out there on the PGA tour. And Natalie is no slouch on the LPGA tour as well. So both players utilize their glute muscles, not only to control the speed of the hips but also to leverage the ground. So once you start to develop that good kinesthetic awareness of those lead side glute muscles as I've outlined in the "Straight Left Leg at Impact" video, use that in conjunction with sitting into the left side. Work on those drills. Work on making sure that you have awareness of the correct muscle groups and get those things engaged to be able to create consistency and move a lot of power up that chain.
All right, so let's get out there and put it to use. Let's use those lead side glute muscles to stabilize. Turn it into power, bomb it past all your friends and have a great round. I look forward to working more with you guys again in the future and I hope you have a great day.
-Dr. Jeffrey Broker, Assoc. Prof. in Biomechanics at University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and Former Senior Biomechanist for U.S. Olympics Committee
-Hub Orr - Happy PREMIUM MEMBER of RotarySwing.com
-Sam Jarman, PGA Golf Instructor in the UK