Improving Rotation for Golf

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Golf is a rotational sport and has many strength and mobility demands.

Rotation is really important in both the hips and the upper back. Good rotational ability helps make for a better swing and results with your shots.

Rotation is influenced by a couple of different factors.

Hips

Hip mobility is a big one. During the backswing, the trail hip internally rotates and the lead hip externally rotates. On the downswing, the trail hip externally rotates and the lead hip internally rotates.

There are plenty of swing characteristics that can arise if you do not have the mobility in this area including swaying, sliding, reverse spine, early extension, and reverse pivot.

That is a lot of things that can happen due to a lack of mobility.

Personally, I am working on getting a more consistent swing. We are working on a more stable foot position on both sides. This requires more demand from the hips to rotate and I have definitely been feeling that.

A combo that I like to use is laying on a lacrosse ball on the front and back of the hip and then going into a hip flow series.

Upper Back 

The upper back or T Spine is responsible for rotating back in the backswing and forward in the down swing.

The inability to rotate back can cause some of the same swing faults that I mentioned before. It can also be a leading cause for shoulder pain because golfers will try to rip their lead shoulder across their body in order to get into their turn. They substitute shoulder movement when the upper back should be doing it.

We can screen for upper back mobility. This is a good article outlining it.

To improve rotation through the upper back there are a couple of mobility drills that I like. The goal on these to move through the upper back and not the lower.

Bonus points for the hip mobility benefits on the spiderman w/ reach.

Core Stability 

The core plays a much larger role in mobility than it seems. The body alternates between mobile and stable joints. The hips and upper back are mobile joints. The core/low back is sandwiched in the middle.

When the core lacks stability, it has to come from somewhere. The hips and upper back will lock up to provide that stability. Creating core stability can help improve mobility in those two joints.

The golf swing also requires a lot of control. Motion is not produced in the core but instead transfers through it. We must be able to control the motion for an efficient swing.

A lack of core stability is going to limit mobility and make for an inconsistent swing.

Some good core exercises are as follows.

I am personally a big fan of the wide stance AR chop. The name seems deceiving because it says anti rotation but there is definitely a rotational component.

The goal of this one is to turn away from the anchor point and control the resistance back to the center of your body. I think this is one of the best exercises for teaching the core to control movement.

Using the wide stance takes the hips out of it. You only want to move from the torso (the other anti rotational component).

If you are looking to expand upon the core training info I gave you here, check out Better Core Training for Golf. It is completely free and very comprehensive into good core training.

Better Core Training for Golf