This week, golf great Tiger Woods got a lot of publicity for a comment he made after withdrawing from a recent golf tournament. Tiger stated that his glutes were “deactivated” and resulted in him experiencing increased low back pain which led to his eventual withdraw from competition. Many sports talk shows laughed about his “deactivated” glutes and even Business Insider published an article about the seemingly weak excuse. But what if perhaps he has a valid complaint? Maybe he’s not alone?
The gluteal muscles are arguably the most important muscle in your body. The gluteal muscles allow us to do hundreds of activities from getting up out of a chair to running upright. Think about that for a second, what other animal on earth is able to run upright with 2 legs? In the context of golf, the gluteal muscles are king. They provide postural stability for our body which allows efficient transfer of power from the ground to the golf club head. Monkeys do not have well activated glutes. Picture for a second a monkey trying to swing a golf club. That is a hilarious thought. Monkey’s have no glutes and therefore do not have the ability to swing a club well.
Though not particularly well researched, “Dead-butt syndrome” (DBS for short) is an epidemic that is sweeping across the nation. Every day, millions of Americans spend multiple hours simply sitting on one of the most important muscles in their body, the glutes. Unfortunately, many Americans don’t even realize that there is a potential powerhouse of strength available to them, if only they were to use their butt for more than just a seat.
Are you one of the millions of Americans suffering from DBS? If you are unsure, here is a potential way to self diagnose
For starters, Titleist Performance Institute issues a simple test to determine how well your glutes are working or “activated”. The simple bridge test is a way to determine if your glutes are “activated” or if they are lacking and therefore resulting in increased hamstring activity. If glutes are underutilized the result may be that low back extensor muscles or hamstrings have to compensate.
Now, how do we treat dead-butt syndrome? Do you have any ideas? Can I take a pill or is there an app for that? We’ll talk more about that next time.