The biomechanics of a proper golf backswing involve a whole bunch of moving parts.
We are asked about two of those moving parts fairly frequently. It's understandable. They are a bit mysterious, mostly because they both involve movement patterns we don’t often perform in our daily lives.
One has to do with shoulder mobility. Or, “How do I get my right arm (or left arm if you’re a left-handed golfer) into the proper position at the top of the backswing?”
The other is about the transfer from backswing to follow-through. Or, “How do I get all the way into my right (follow-through) side?”
How the Right “Feel” Becomes Real in Your Golf Swing
As we’ve discussed in other articles, we are not golf swing coaches. We know and love a LOT of swing coaches. They love us back because we know and understand our job is to help get players into more powerful positions more frequently and help prevent injury.
As your swing coach has likely explained many times, a powerful golf swing requires you to "load" into your backswing, get the club up into a good position, then transition your weight and "explode" into impact and follow-through in the right sequence for maximum speed.
There are two parts to our job here at the Training Center. The first is to help golfers discover the right "feel" that matches the action or position your swing coach wants you to be in. The second is to put you to work building the musculature, mobility, and flexibility to make that "feel" more permanent in your golf swing and improve your golf fitness. If you’ve heard Coach Joey D say it once, you’ve heard him say it 1,000 times.
The exercises and videos below address both of these common questions from Coaches Joey D, Chris Noss, K-Wayne and Andrew Cummings.
1. I's, Y's and T's
This exercise is designed to help isolate and strengthen some of the smaller muscles of the back, and improve mobility in the shoulders and scapula.
Lay face down on an incline bench. If you don't have one, you can also lie chest down on a 65cm fitness ball with your feet anchored against a wall or something stable. If you don't have a ball, stand in your golf address position. Grasp a light dumbbell in each hand and let them hang directly down from the shoulders. This is the starting position.
Keeping your arms extended, slowly raise your hands forward and up so your biceps are as close to your ears as you can comfortably get them. This is the "I" position. Hold for a beat before slowly lowering arms back to the starting position. Repeat up to ten times.
Next, from the same starting position, keep arms extended and slowly raise your hands up and out to the 10 o'clock and 2 o'clock positions. This is the "Y" position. Hold for a beat before slowly lowering arms back to the starting position. Repeat up to ten times.
Last, from the same starting position, rotate your hands inward toward your body so palms are facing behind you. Keep arms extended and slowly raise your hands straight out to your side. Hold for a beat before slowly lowering arms back to the starting position. Repeat up to ten times.
If you've never done anything like these before, it will feel a little challenging and your range of motion will likely feel a bit limited. Fear not! Keep this exercise in your mix and you will discover solid improvements over the next few weeks.
2. Load and Explode
This is a terrific exercise designed to help you feel an explosive transition.
Secure a resistance band to a chest-high anchor point. Grab the handle using the hand closest to the anchor point. Stand in address position parallel to the band and close enough to the anchor point for very lite tension. Raise band handle to your abdomen. This is the starting position.
Take a lateral step out with your lead leg (the leg furthest from the anchor point). As soon as that lead foot hits the ground, transition your weight to the lead side by rotating your torso, releasing the trail heel and fully extending the band into your lead side. Repeat ten to fifteen times, then switch sides and complete the exercise ten to fifteen times on the other side.
Check Out These Videos for More.
Plus, a bonus exercise Dustin Johnson likes you can do right now to create more mobility in your backswing -- and get more speed out of it!