How Great Players Rotate In A Golf Swing
Published July 25th 2015
-by Kelvin Miyahira
Since I’ve started the debate on about lateral vs rotational golf swings, I’d like to help the rotational believers of the argument by showing the many ways rotation can be performed. Since virtually all mention in golf instruction is rather vague or possibly incorrect and misleading about rotation let me detail the ways the best golfers use their body to rotate. Note: As I have written before, in order to maximize the power of your golf swing, you have to use gravity and the slight bit of lateral weight transfer. So uploading and getting onto your right side is still important. But once there, the rotation should dominate.
Before we can get started with what’s producing the powerful rotation, let me first state what it is NOT. While left shoulder retraction and right shoulder protraction can create “shoulder rotation” that is not a good thing to do until just before impact! Sure, this can move the shoulders and the golf club but this is the surest way to ruin a swing by having this move start your downswing. Yet this is a very common move for struggling golfers and it is the cause of early releasing or casting. It is a very weak move as those doing this can attest.
Feel this (incorrect way to rotate)
Try sitting on a chair then while leaning into backrest and restricting any spine movement, pick up something on the right side of your desk with both hands and move it to the left. Can you see how this can create an arm movement and “shoulder turn” without any spine rotation?
If you suffer from a poor swing, this is most likely what you do. It’s a shoulder and arm swing that pretty much sets up an out-to-in swing with a chicken wing follow through (left arm sagittal plane extension, left shoulder abduction with lots of left elbow flexion along with right shoulder adduction/internal rotation/protraction).
So that’s certainly not the way to go.
Another Incorrect Way to Rotate
Obliques are also capable of creating limited spine rotation but one has to be careful about how this is accomplished. As you would imagine, the obliques have a limited pull range. One cannot possibly rotate the entire range of motion for the downswing with these muscles. How much do you think you could rotate with your obliques? Maybe 40 degrees from start to finish? Yet isn’t there at least 180-270 degrees from top of backswing till the end of the follow through? So where is the rest of the rotation coming from? Your kinetic chain? Ha ha, no.
So if you notice in this cable pulley exercise which works the obliques, the spine movement is right lateral bend to left lateral bend. If you did this motion in a golf swing, what kind swing would it produce? A squat backswing with a jump/stall downswing! Want that?
Here’s another not so great exercise yet most people are trained to do it this way. Brace/squat the lower body, then jump up and use the obliques/chest to throw the ball. This is what many “experts” and trainers view the golf swing as. So it’s a perfect exercise in their minds but I don’t see tour pros swinging like that. If you’ve done these kinds of exercises in the hopes it would improve your game, you’ve been TPI’d!
If you slide enough, rotation will occur
Popular theory with the instruction is that if you slide enough, you will eventually rotate. Sure that sounds logical but doesn’t it matter when you’re rotating?
Does Albert Pujols rotate before impact or after?
Does Mr. Stack and Tilt rotate before or after?
Many of my amateur students have a lot of rotation after impact because they haven’t used it prior to impact. So the rotation after impact is rather meaningless. In order to be powerful, you must rotate before imapct to create the clubhead speed. Sure you can slide and try to create speed but generally speaking, you will use hands/arms to hit the ball and flip at it. See the loss of lag here along with early right shoulder internal rotation?
Now that’s great rotation before and through impact!
One of the biggest names in golf instruction is Chuck Cook because of his work with Jason Dufner. But in a TPI presentation where he tries to get very detailed/complex, he explains spine movements that the entire golf training and teaching world is latching onto.
In this video he mentions the movements of the spine incorrectly or maybe so oversimplified that the one thought alone could absolutely ruin your swing or injure your spine. He says that the spine goes from flexion at the top of the backswing to flexion at impact and then extension on the follow through.
Simple is Best or Simpleton understanding?
I say that if the spine is in flexion (no lordosis or slight extension in lower spine) at impact, one cannot possibly rotate the entire body together (top will be disconnected from the bottom) and one cannot protect the lower back. So it is dangerous to your golf swing and your spine. Perhaps Tiger has bought into this nonsense and despite going through surgery to relieve the symptoms (pain), the root cause of the injury (bad spine motion) still exists. His excessive slide causes the loss of lordosis and therefore spine is in flexion at impact and then he posterior pelvic tilt thrusts his lower body (little goat humping move) while moving his spine to extension. OUCH!
Thus one can do exactly as the experts would want you and could still injure your back while playing bad golf. This does not seem right.
Revving the Engine in Neutral
There is also another competing idea from a spine expert that one’s spine should remain in neutral throughout swing. I don’t really believe one could do such a thing and create a powerful swing. You could probably hit a powered down 50% swing in a neutral spine but not much more so good luck to those that wish to pursue the fantasy that a high performance swing can be performed with the spine in neutral. It just can’t be done.
So how do we rotate?
Take a look at this Jiu Jitsu master from the Gracie family (on his back) as he uses his powerful spine/pelvis to flip his opponent over. While we Americans love big pectorals, lats and deltoids, these larger, more superficial (outer layer) muscles aren’t the key players in a golf swing. I’ve seen huge bodybuilders try to swing a golf club. Not very powerful. So it’s the deep tiny muscles in the spine and body are where the movement originates.
Deep inner rotators
As a general rule, we must move the small, deep inner myofascial (muscle and fascia) before we move the larger and more superficial or outside ones. Since our culture values large, ripped muscles vs. our deep inner myofascial (no one could ever say, “Hey check out my ripped rotators, psoas and QL’s”), we tend to want to use the outside musculature to swing a club. We’ve lost touch with what the inner myofascial system is doing. Yet this is where all the action occurs with the great athletes.
Asafa Powell’s psoas on the left while Japanese sprinter Asahara’s is on the right. This is from a great video done by BBC on Olympic sprinter Asafa Powell where he goes to Japan and they do MRI comparison between him and the top Japanese sprinter’s psoas muscle. It’s practically double in size! Now imagine someone playing golf with large inner myofascia development, it will NOT show up on the outside, i.e. large superficial muscles. But a player with this type of body will be able to swing very powerfully vs. the bodybuilder that only trains the superficial muscles. Get it???
So before anyone judges Angel Cabrera’s body (184 mph ball speed a few years ago), you better think twice. His inner myofascial development could be extremely well developed. Same with John Daly. Don’t judge the book by its cover.
Deep paraspinal muscles and all associated fascia (myofascia) in the thoracolumbar region are tremendously critical for swinging the golf club powerfully and correctly. Rotational power of the spine can be felt by the myofascia in the lumbar and thoracic region. There are deep thin muscles called rotatores. They are capable of rotating the spine. But if you will notice, they are only connected from one vertebra to another. More importantly, some of these muscles are connected to the pelvis. Thus, there is an organized structure of one’s deep inner myofascial for your golf swing that includes the muscles/fascia to the pelvis and then to the legs. This is where the rotational power originates.
Also, if you will notice the muscles are attached in such a way that will create both a lateral bend and extension (lordosis) to the spine when they contract.
Stability or Locked Up?
With the different definitions of stability out there, it is quite confusing to most normal people. The majority of the people think stability means the obvious, “do not move” or from Webster’s “he quality or state of something that is not easily changed or likely to change.”
This is such a confusing topic because control of spine’s movement is part of stability, it is difficult to nail down. Given the task of hitting a golf ball, it surely seems that it is far different than just “not moving.”
Feel this differently
This time, while sitting on a chair again, let’s feel the powerful movement of the deep inner rotators. Hold your arms directly in front of you and parallel to the ground. Then try not to move your arms at all while rotating your spine and pelvis. If you have done this right, you should have felt your rib cage and pelvis rotating together. By the spine facet gear and myofascial connections we are designed with, the movement to rotate the spine will start to create a lateral bend and lordosis. The right lateral bend begins to pull on the right arm/shoulder to produce the “elbow move” we want in the golf swing (external rotation and transverse adduction).
For those still not sure of what the lateral bend/lordosis feels like, try this. Imagine you sat on something unexpected with your right butt cheek. If you try to dust off while trying to see what you sat on, you’d automatically perform LB and LL. So then if you keep your body in that same position then put your right elbow in front of your right hip and then rotate, you’re in a pretty good position to rotate into the ball and rip it.
Macro Moves LL/LB, Pelvic and Sacrum movement
Spine engine mechanics explains the lateral bending and lordosis will create axial spine rotation in the opposite direction. In the case of the golf swing for the right handed golfer, a right lateral bend plus the lumbar lordosis will create a rotation to the left or begin the downswing. This is the first and foremost element in the swing driving rotation. The rest of the body’s movements can add or subtract or detract from this element.
It is movements like excess sliding, improper sacrum movement, right pelvic tilt on the downswing, early right hip internal rotation, ab crunching, opposite side lateral bend that can interfere with this process of rotation.
Lateral Bend and Lordosis
See the right lateral bend in Puig and Tiger’s spine? The right elbow drives forward and you can see Puig’s shoulders tilt from the higher camera angle. Tailbone is moving away (sacrum move) from pitcher in Puig’s case and away from target in Tiger’s. That helps to create the slight arch in the lower back or lordosis.
At the surface level, one might think that LL and LB are all that we need to do. But specifically for the golf swing there are some supplementary moves needed in order to keep the connection in the spine gears as well as provide some of the necessary ingredients for a solid, powerful golf swing.
Pelvic Movement Pattern
The downswing movement of the pelvis is the most critical for rotation. The reason is that the sacroiliac joint and thoracolumbar fascia (TLF) are there to transfer forces from upper to lower body and lower body to upper body. I think of a Tahitian dance where the dancer moves the pelvis in a way that creates small fast figure eight movement to shake her skirt around circularly. It isn’t slow like a hula hoop action. This is more about speed in a tight circle.
Anterior pelvic tilt or APT is tilting of the pelvis forward in the sagittal plane. Left pelvic tilt (LPT) is the tilting down of the left side of the pelvis in the frontal plane. If these two movements occur together they will create a tilt-a-whirl movement of the pelvis that will rotate and allow more rotation with assistance from the legs/hips/feet that will be detailed later.
APT helps to develop the lordosis and the sacrum move. LPT will help to create left hip flexion and right hip extension that are integral to pelvic rotation. It is important to know that the legs and hips can help ONLY if the pelvic movements are correct. If not, they will tend to trigger jump, slide or stalling. Not that there’s anything wrong with that but it is not what the legends did.
The sacrum move or the tailbone moving away from the target (while retaining lordosis/lateral bend) on the downswing is the biggest rotational move the body can make. Without this important movement, the lower body will not be able to aid in rotation nor will the golfer be able to retain lumbar lordosis. So start by working on this movement first. Sliders especially have their sacrum moving in the opposite direction or toward the target. This causes a stall.
Compare Bubba (turned righty) vs Tiger 2015. Quite striking the difference in amount of sacrum movement away from the target.
How is it that some players like JB or Bubba have found strategies to rotate their body that have similarities to many of the legends in terms of micro moves while popular golf instruction practically says to do the opposite? Some deep athletic and instinctual programming must exist yet it isn’t being taught.
You want simple? Popular golf instruction gives you all the simple you need. But unless you’re the 1 in a 1000 that’s a great thoroughbred, you won’t find much success.
Closer Look at Deep Spinal Muscles and Gracovetsky
Dr. Serge Gracovetsky listed all the muscle and fascia that he found were part of the spine engine. So let’s take a look at how each of these muscles are attached and positioned to create movement. In a general way, these spine muscles (myofascial) are balancing the abdominal muscles. If either dominates, it will not create a great swing. If dorsal side dominates the swing, you have someone that jumps up and loses his/her “spine angle.” If the ventral side dominates the swing, you will see ab crunching, over the top type swing that does not produce a great swing.
longissimus lumborum and thoracis
iliocostalis lumborum and thoracis
and ligaments of the lumbodorsal fascia; and
supraspinous and interspinous ligaments.
The multifidus and rotatores can extend (arch back) and rotate the spine.
Note: Lumbar extension contributes to lumbar lordosis. Flexion would remove lordosis.
The longissimus and iliocostalis are key in rotating the spine and rib cage as well as extension of the spine. This is exactly what we want in a golf swing.
Simply put these “muscles” are positioned so that if they fire ipsilaterally (only on one side), they will produce a movement that creates both a lateral bend and lordosis. If performed bilaterally (on both sides of spine), you will see entire spine extend without any lateral bend so obviously this is not desired.
Since the spinal muscles are always going to create some spine extension while creating rotation, those extension forces have to be countered by the muscles on the front side namely the abdominals.
So the rectus abdominis, transverse abdominis external and internal obliques can aid the rotation by rotation AND stabilization. These front muscles work along with the spine erectors to allow lateral bend and lordosis to develop then isometrically tighten to produce unified, whole body rotation.
There so much fascia in the abdominal area too (white matter). This can be providing elastic stretch shorten cycle to the downswing as they contract.
But this is not all there is. The lower body can contribute even more to rotation via the contralateral connections through the thoracolumbar fascia and the pelvis.
Correct Function of the Core: Andrey Vleeming and the Abdominal Ring
There is so much Miss Information on the core and how it functions. Training world calls everything “functional.” But in order to call something “functional” don’t you have to understand how the body works in a golf swing? One cannot simply look at individual muscles and determine its functionality in a complex movement. Or you could, but you would be wrong.
Thus, if the trainers misunderstand and train the swing improperly, it will NOT help anyone be better. Thoroughbreds can and will succeed despite poor training. But the 99% of you will absolutely get worse or see no positive benefit. So let’s get this right guys.
Tighten the Core!
When? Is it so simple that all you have to do is tighten the entire time? Or is there some complexity to this?
Of course, the master of complexity will say it is complicated! Okay, so what’s going on here? During the backswing the spine is rotated, bent in a slight left lateral bend, has slight thoracic extension while the general position of the spine is in flexion. But then if we tighten the core as trainers say, would it be possible to change one’s spine position from a left lateral bend to a right lateral bend as we see the great ones do? Think about that one. Wouldn’t core tightening restrict the change of the spine’s position from a left to a right lateral bend?
I say “Yes!” Tightening the core all the time will hinder you from developing the right lateral bend. The great ball strikers are increasing their lateral bend until impact. This means the core tightening should be increasing at impact to lock in the lateral bend/lordosis at impact.
Therefore we have to have a coordinated system that allows for this change of the lateral bend. Also, spine extension should also be increased from top of the backswing into transition. And what about rotation? Sure. So how is this all performed?
First, get big picture. Deep inner rotators must direct the motion from the inside, then LPT/APT/sacrum move + right elbow driving + left trapezius/levator scapula drives the swing on a macro level. You can always add to the power moves by using the legs but this is the main rotational power source.
Once you’ve gotten this part of the swing down, you can do core tightening to lock LB/LL to strike the ball.
What Amateurs typically do
Most amateurs that do not shift the spine are using the arms to fire in transition. This causes more of the ab crunch, bracing of the lower body and early lockdown of the core. If you lock it down early, you can’t change from LLB to a RLB. This is what is missing from most amateurs. Therefore they use smaller muscles (early right shoulder protraction, early right shoulder internal rotation and left shoulder retraction) to generate the power and can’t hit it as far.
The other highly common error of the amateur is the “early” spine extension swing. These golfers can typically develop the lateral bend and good early rotation but then instead of keeping the left hip in flexion while locking down the core to retain LB/LL, they extend both hips, both knees and end up flipping it. But this is also chicken and egg issue. If you’ve flipped in all your golfing life, you would need to jump up before impact in order to avoid a massive fat shot. Or you could slide……….
As you know, these are the typical ills of the amateur golfer. These players cannot rotate their body cohesively, jump the gun on firing the shoulders/arms and end up flipping it.
So one must condition the body to shift from a L LB to a R LB before you tighten the core! This might be one of the greatest challenges a non-thoroughbred golfer must learn. Do not try to hit with hands and arms! Let deep inner spine rotation develop before you use the smaller shoulder/arm muscles.
Recently emerging research on the pelvis and abdominal research is pointing toward a fantastic structure involving an interconnected thoracolumbar fascia and the abdominal myofascia forming ring or a pseudo rib. This allows the transfer of forces from back to front, left to right and top to bottom of the body via the complex lumbodorsal fascia.
Some food for thought. This lower lumbar fascia area near the SI joint is really the epicenter of where all the forces are channeled through. It’s like the New Jersey turnpike of myofascial connections. A slight pull in one direction will automatically pull some muscles in another direction. These connections have already been laid out for use by Tom Myers, Kurt Tittel and others.
So instead of describing what they found, I’ll keep it more relevant by applying these connections to the golf swing.
As an interesting side note, this myofascial abdominal ring appears to have continuous rotation through the impact zone whereas the pelvis can appear to slow down slightly. But could this be the true powerhouse for the golf swing as it is this myofascial ring that acts as a rib that is connected also to the TLF to transfer forces from upper body to lower and vice versa. If this turns out to be true, the challenge for quantitative biomechanical experts is to be able to measure the TLF/abdominal ring movement instead of measuring the pelvis (easy bony marker).
Contralateral Connections for Rotation – Whole Body Rotation
Fascia Connections and the Spiral Lines
Fascia researchers have found some very distinguishing fascial lines called “spiral lines.” These are ligament, tendons and other fascia that run throughout our body and show clear signs of showing how we can move. Since we want rotation, we should be very interested in these spiral lines or spiral slings.
So here are a few of the very important diagonal or contralateral connections.
The initiation of the downswing should begin with LPT and APT. The LPT created by left hip flexion (psoas and iliacus) will pull on the right lat muscle through the TLF (in white). Thus LPT will help to create the right lateral bend as well.
Quadratus lumborum on the left side helps lateral bend on the backswing while on the downswing the right QLs are hard at work for right lateral bend and the QLs will neutralize the potential ab crunch from obliques.
Rotatores pulls on left rhomboids/serratus posterior superior and they will pull the rib cage backwards while the right serratus pulls forward creating a force couple that rotates the rib cage while contributing to lateral bend.
Left latissimus dorsi/left trapezius/levator scapula/right serratus anterior can powerfully rotate the rib cage as well. Notice the position of the serratus anterior and trapezius will help to rotate spine but also create more tilted “shoulder turn” and right lateral bend.
Right elbow move
The right elbow move is comprised of the right shoulder transverse adduction, external rotation, right bicep contraction (creating elbow flexion) and pull from the serratus/pectoral muscles from right side. But this movement starts with the pull from LPT and rotation from the pelvis!
Next as the left latissimus dorsi muscle begins to pull on the spine, the right glute thereby the right hip is rotated toward the target by this connection.
rhomboid/serratus posterior to oblique through aponeurosis or linea alba and then pulling on the right hip.
Spiral Line of Fascia
Connecting the spinal column ventrally with the lower extremeties
The spiral lines that researcher Kurt Tittel has found shows a connection that goes all the way down via the tensor fascia lata and then to the tibialis anterior. Also, it shows a biceps femoris connection to the tibialis anterior as well. This should tell us that we want to use the hamstrings instead of the quadriceps as major source of rotational power.
An interesting side note here. The iliotibial band (IT Band) breaks up into a “Y” shape coming up to the glute or hitting the anterior superior iliac spine (hip pointer or ASIS for short). If the tension is transferred into the glute, we get more rotation. If on the other hand, the tension goes straight up to the ASIS, it can create a jump. It all depends on positioning! Where your body is will dictate this virtually instantaneous load transfer.
But on the ventral or front side, there are connections from the pectoralis major to the external oblique to the internal oblique on the opposite side then to the IT band and then out to the tibalis anterior. This is another key spiral or rotational sling that needs to be engaged during the golf swing.
Lower Body can help rotation with very little energy expenditure
Left foot dorsiflexion/right foot plantarflexion
While we may not see this move so apparent in all great swings since there are some that do this very subtly, with Bubba you can really see what’s going on. This so very instinctual to just walking, running or marching.
If one has uploaded there is a simple drop from gravity and movement of the feet to switch feet movement at the same time.
Left knee ext/right knee flex
The knee movements are simple to see and quite obvious. But the hip movements are very subtle. It is a part of the marching move.
Left hip flexion/right hip extension
Notice the blue line that is right where the bottom of JB’s belt loop is on the left. Then on the right (yellow line), while the right heel hasn’t quite come up a lot yet and the right knee has flexed more, the right hip has risen just a tiny bit via the quadratus lumborum, erectors pulling up on the pelvis and a bit of plantarflexion of the right foot. This occurs while on the left side the psoas is pulling the left hip down in flexion thereby creating the left pelvic tilt.
If right hip flexion, right knee flexion and right foot pronation/dorsiflexion occurred, then the hip would have to drop. This is important to avoid because we do not want to allow the right hip to drop because it is so easy to create a right pelvic tilt/slide that would reduce rotation.
Or if both hips move to flexion, it will create a jump via dual hip extension being triggered thereafter. Dual hip extension is what we are seeing when we see a jump/staller or goat humper. So in this case bilateral (affecting both sides) movement is NOT what we want. Correctly performed, left hip stays in flexion while the right hip extends. The left hip staying in flexion is the way to connect the IT band to the hamstrings and the tibialis anterior. If you get this wrong, you’ll be jumping the rest of your golfing career.
But we’ve been told to kick the right knee in and start a lateral shift for so long that we cannot move like this or we cannot relate a golf swing to rotational movements in locomotion.
Lower Body Early downswing
Dual Hip Abduction/External rotation early/Sacrum movement away from target
One must view this by imagining where the knees are pointed diagonally. The left knee extending while the left hip moves into flexion along with the right knee flexion should give the dual abduction/ER a non-symmetrical look. One can see Stallings pelvis rotation is greater.
Contrast with Bennett’s left knee staying in front of the right knee thereby slowing rotation. The lateral shift of the pelvis from right hip AB and left hip ADD loads the left quadriceps (preparing for jump/extension) instead of loading the spiral line via the hamstrings/tibialis. Also the weight on the front of the left foot loads the peroneus only and there’s your reason for slide/stall instead of rotation.
Early downswing – revolving door
Deep inner spine muscles must fire first! Then left serratus posterior superior and right serratus posterior inferior. The push/pull of the serratus muscles are assisting the deep rotators of the spine in order to create rotation while LB/LL are created. It is easy to ignore this element when you’re so concerned about developing LB.
Slam the door open. When you post up left, you basically have a hinge on the left side of door. Only one side moves curvilinearly vs pure rotation of a revolving door. Leg muscles drive this type of sliding swing. But how does it transfer up the chain to the hips and shoulders?
LPT/glute/psoas>>hamstrings>>tibialis along with right side quads/adductors/ASIS
This is the key to early downswing with the upper body connected via contralateral fascial connections.
Right elbow serratus/lats>>>/left shoulder/pecs/rib cage - lats stretch before contract for 2nd fire
Right elbow left trapezius
This is one of the key moves to produce rotation of the rib cage.
Pecs to obliques to TFL to tibialis
The pectorals/oblique combo must be contrasted against the pec/rectus abdominis combo. If pec/oblique, it can rotate the entire body. If pec/rectus abdominis, it will ab crunch and fire the shoulders/arms while slowing body rotation!
Right scap depression/left scap retract and elevate and you can see how this tilts the shoulders, helps to create right lateral bend and gets the chest rotating. This might even cause a right lateral bend in the neck so you can see the head tilt slightly to the right in DJ.
There should also be neck/head rotation in the early downswing since the spiral lines go all the way up to the back of the neck with the splenius capitis/cervicis and occipital ridge. See DJ’s cap rotate in the previous picture.
As a beginner, everyone has been told to keep your head still. Sure you want to limit movement of the head. But taken to extreme it will surely ruin your swing by limiting part of the spiral sling.
Dual Hip Adduction/Internal Rotation
While I’ve previously labelled this as a synchronous movement that occurs together. Left hip IR and ADD will be performed earlier due to the pelvic rotation (the pelvis runs into the planted left foot/leg). Then, the left leg should begin to rotate producing more range of motion via ER. The ER/ADD comes along
Late left foot supination and right foot pronation
The right foot should move to pronation just before impact. The left foot should pronate in early downswing then it will build up tension until just before impact where it will supinate. You can clearly see that in Gary Woodland’s feet.
If this movement is performed early, it will likely lead to a slide/stall.
Just before impact is when the right hip moves to IR and ADD while still extending. Late RPT can be caused by the right hip lowering in this phase of the swing and can shallow out the plane at the wrong time.
Adding or subtracting to rotation is the left hip. If allowed to move once again to ER/left foot supination, the pelvis can have more freedom to “rotate” though not in its original position but more onto the left side. Simple Simons don’t get how complex this is and want you to get on the left side early.
After getting the pelvis rotated while the weight stays back, then the right hip can move to IR/ADD l’ and extend a bit up and toward the target. This helps to drive the right elbow ADD and forward just before impact.
Left leg diagonal back/left hip ADD/ flexion to right hip ext/ppt thrust
Davis Love III shows Hall of Fame moves to rotate like the revolving door then drives the pelvis forward with PPT thrust and the right hip extension. Dual ADD is apparent as the knees pull closer together.
Loading the tibialis anterior to peroneus to the hamstrings and tensor fascia lata, then firing.
Left adductor to contralateral right rhomboid and left rhomboid pulling on contralateral right adductor along with dual hip ADD/IR at impact. Just beautiful Gdub!
Loss of connections
If the “shoulder rotation” is too level on the downswing you lose right lateral bend and you lose the diagonal contralateral connections and this causes a loss of upper and lower body ability to move together.
Sacrum going toward target and stalling on downswing is surest way to lose rotation.
Early release of right lateral bend causes the upper body to be disconnected from the lower body. When the back of shoulder and back of pelvis line looks close to parallel, you’ve lost the connection.
Using too much front line
As I mentioned before, the obliques alone cannot connect the trunk to rotation of pelvis/lower body. If they fire separately instead of being a part of the engine, it will cause the body to brace, slow down and disengages the connection.
Using the wrong line: Lateral Line
RPT/slide will definitely lock out the pelvis from rotating. This is due to physical limit of full internal rotation of the right/abduction and left hip internal rotation/adduction. Without any external rotation of the hip available, there is a natural end of range of motion. So if you want to do this, it’s fine. Just remember it is a single stage firing rocket rather than a multiple stage rocket.
If the left hip is in flexion, the loading of the hamstrings is possible. If the left hip goes in to extension, the quadriceps will get triggered into firing a jump/stall, see Morgan Pressel’s left hip extension? Also, she sure keeps her head down.
Also, Morgan, your right shoulder cannot fire through if your left glute/hip is not pulling back. So stop trying to tell your right shoulder to keep rotating through. It ain’t going to happen. See Garrigus?
Perhaps the way to use this extremely detailed layout of rotational muscles is to see which myofascial connection(s) you are not using. Then implement changes to get the correct spiral sling involved. Tensioning one part of the myofascial chain or sling will immediately cause a pull along the entire chain. The problem for most is that they are tapping into a different chain that may cause an unwanted slide or jump in the swing. Sometimes these can be as simple as changing where the weight is on your feet or where your center of mass is. These positions and balance points will determine which sling you are using.
When you see this movement in baseball hitters, you know it’s got to be a very instinctual movement because there’s no time to think. The players must make a decision to swing or not in tenth of a second. In this back view we can see how Puig’s triangle is moving. The left shoulder is pulled up/back. The left hip is pulled down/back. These two moves are coupled with the right elbow to produce rotation.
In the golf swing, we see the same power triangle of rotation with JB. This can be the simplest way to get started on the right track. These power triangle will create lateral bend, LPT/ APT, sacrum move and right shoulder external rotation. It will also automatically involve the rotational slings to make you rotate faster and hit it farther.
The more moves you make that take away from rotational movement the body will be fighting itself to make that motion. If you will help the body work together, this will remove unnecessary roadblocks or speed bumps and allow the body to work more efficiently (though I hate that word). By doing so one can move faster in the rotational manner thus creating more clubhead speed.
As we have seen, firing the arms and shoulders early can force the body to brace therefore slow the lower body down unintentionally and trigger the wrong fascial lines. So you’ve got to be mindful of that. Feel is not real. Firing the arms and shoulders feels powerful. But if used early in the downswing, you’ve using smaller muscles to try to get the same power as using your entire body, by definition, you’re going to be less powerful. Using your legs to push from the ground up sounds enticing, but it won’t get you anything but a jump/stall.
So learn to move your body as did the legends and it can bring the potential for you to develop a great swing.