I just saw a Video of Tiger Woods leaving the golf course due to a ‘bad limp”. The video I originally posted with this blog is no longer linked. I did manage to grab some screen shots from it to illustrate my point though.
It is patently obvious to me what the problem is. To test my theory of how obvious his problem is, I showed the video to my brand-new 16 year old client to see what she thought. She turned to me and said, “His hips are very twisty!”
Yep. Watch that left hip in particular.
Here is a freeze-frame (sorry about the blurriness) from the video. Notice the golf glove in his rear pocket waaaay over to the left.
You’ve got structural problems Tiger!
Here is more fuel for my “You’ve got structural problems, dude!” theory: Take a gander at this recent photo of him holding still. Look at that right shoulder, and how dropped down it is.
Does he have a shoulder problem? Not that we know of, and apparently he is very aware of what is going on, as quoted in sportingnews.com:
“Woods said the delay of more than two hours proved impossible to overcome.
“Then I got cold standing out there and everything started deactivating again. It’s frustrating that I just can’t stay active. That’s just the way it is.
“We usually don’t have to wait like this back home practicing. You can keep going and going. My glutes are shutting off and they don’t activate.”
Huffington Post reported:
“I was ready to go,” Woods said. “I had a good warmup session the first time around. Then we stood out here and I got cold, and everything started deactivating again. And it’s frustrating that I just can’t stay activated. That’s just kind of the way it is.”
Asked if it was new pain from the back injury that forced him to withdraw at Firestone in August, Woods said his “glutes are shutting off.”
“Then they don’t activate and then, hence, it goes into my lower back,” he said, sounding more like a physical therapist than a 14-time major champion. “So I tried to activate my glutes as best I could in between, but they never stayed activated.”
If I were Tiger Wood’s Trainer
So, Tiger, here are five of my most favorite glute activation exercises in case you need ideas. It is interesting to me that you couldn’t keep them online. Every morning I wake up and think, “The glutes were working yesterday. Where did they go?” I know I have to work on mine…every single morning, and life is good.
I mentioned my brand-new 16 year old client above. Her physical therapist gave her glute activation exercises, too, but she couldn’t feel them working until we tweaked a few things. I think some PT’s are far more patient than I am, and hope with repetition comes activation.
I personally change the exercise until we get what I am after. So, my dear readers, if you don’t feel your glutes activate, bun-buns burn up, or bottom engage, move on to the next exercise. Hopefully at least one will work, and if not, I have a million ideas on what else to try!
Try all of these exercises, 2-3 sets of 10. See what happens. Remember: Don’t assume your glute is working because I say this is a great glute exercise. If you are having difficulty feeling it, I promise it isn’t.
Exercise One: Kneeling Ankle Squeezes
Kneeling on the floor, with something to squeeze in between your ankles and heels. Squeeze and release with your ankles and heels feeling a little bit of calves, a lot of hamstring, and anchoring in the glutes. Do not let your glute skip working and have all this workload anchor in your low back. Make sure both sides are working equally. Tiger will tell you, it is no fun to have your back work instead. 🙁
Exercise Two: Prone Ankle Squeezes
Same as above, except lie on your tummy. Do you feel your glutes equally? If not, give the side that is lagging a little more love. Catch it up!
Exercise Three: Sumo Squats against the wall
Face the wall, split your feet apart, turn your toes out, and drop down into your hips comfortably. Then as you come up out of the squat, drive through your heels feeling your glutes equally. This exercise puts your adductors, or insides of the thighs, on a big stretch and you might feel the tightness there first. Get them out of the way. They are the antagonists of the glutes and tightness here frequently interferes with glutes.
Exercise Four: Walking Sideways
Standing, shift your weight onto your heel. See if you can feel the glute before you even move. If you can, drive thru the right heel as you move to the left to feel the right glute. Vice-versa for the left glute. No need to bend your knee much. Walking sideways is such a great easy way to get those glutes to work, but beware of the monster strong quads. They often jump in and want to help.
Exercise Five: Single Leg Squat Touchdown
Hang onto something stable – I have chosen the wall here. Do opposites, as in left hand to right toes or right knee. Feel hip flexor or the front of the hip on the way down, and the key is to drive thru the heel and feel the glute on the way up. If you cheat and bend in the back rather than use the front of the hip, you will not definitively feel your glutes. If it makes your back sore, you are no question using your back. Stop and try again.
Let us know if you get your glutes to work with any of these exercises in the comments below!
Thanks, Laura, for the great demonstrations. I have followed up with some of the exercises but will pump up my exercises again. You are such a good coach!! Hugs Marta Fiala
Thanks Marta! Always great to hear from one of my favorite PTs!
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