Connect to Your Core - Get in Box

This video gives you a drill to get connected to your core and "in the box." It is imperative for power transfer from the big muscles in your body and for good posture to prevent injury.

  • The "rectangle" area includes the neck and upper shoulders
  • Core abdominal muscles form the "box" area
  • Shrug your shoulders up to feel "rectangle" muscles engage
  • Drop shoulders down and pull belly in to achieve correct posture

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Eric
I have a problem with rounded shoulders - 20+ years of computer work. Questions: 1. It feels like if I am in the box and bend from the hips, it is almost not possible to round from the shoulders? 2. I need axis tilt to get my right hand on the club. 3. I naturally come under to grip with my right hand. 4. I need weight shift and rotation (a good thing) to start my swing - it would be difficult or not natural to use my hands and arms when in the box?
May 20, 2021
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Eric. If you stay in the box the shoulders will be in retracted position. Should be virtually impossible to round. Axis tilt is required to get trail hand on club. You would have to disengage from box to start overly using arms and hands.
May 20, 2021
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Cody
Hello, thank you for the great explanations and videos. It has been great to be able to understand why I am doing the things that I am doing. I have been working on the first few steps including stance, axis tilt and being in the box. This video helped immensely helping me understand that there should be no tension in the shoulders and you need to engage the lats and core more. When I reach down to feel the engagement like shown in this video and reach for the club, it feels like my biceps/arms are sitting on the outside of my chest. Is that the proper position or should I reach out a bit first to get them a little bit on top of the chest? Thank you.
April 2, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Cody. The arms shouldn't be thrust out to rest on top of the pectorals. I think you look fine. Having some awareness/connection upper bicep and pectoral is normal. I would widen the stance a hair, and let us check the DTL to make sure spot on.
April 2, 2020
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Cody
Craig, thank you for the quick response. Here is a DTL shot. Please disregard the dog. NO ANIMALS WERE HURT IN THE TAKING OF THIS PICTURE!!!!
April 2, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Cody. Yorkie? Awesome man. Glad nobody was hurt . I would like for you to hinge a little more forward from the hips. Increase spine angle. That way the arms will hang better. Also, just a hair of trail side dominance. Take a look at Right Side Dominance at Setup Video.
April 2, 2020
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Cody
Yeah, she is a Yorkie. Great little puppy. Thanks, I will watch the Right Side Dominance video. I think I have been very right side dominant in my swing, come over the top, etc. Thanks again.
April 2, 2020
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Francis Hastings
Ah Craig, it's you again. Thank you for the courtesy of your replies which have been very effective in clarifying my problems of comprehension; sometimes language or mental images just don't click with one individual whereas for others the point is as clear as day. The boss has just sent me an unconscionably long email suggesting he has a 30 day programme in the works mentioning also 2 day personal instruction - more details in succinct form on both please. Have a good weekend. Thanks again Francis
August 9, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Francis. My pleasure for the added help with the forum. Glad you are able to clarify your thought. I would relay the information to you on the 30 Day Program. I am however in the dark about it as well. I find out when the membership does.
August 10, 2019
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Francis Hastings
This subject area seems poorly explained to me - my fault perhaps. I am asked to drop my shoulders till they engage - with what? Should the box be engaged with the rectangle? Conceptual issues on my part. Please help. On another point in the introduction the grip is said to be not fundamental , in the chapter on the grip it is. Please advise or change vocabulary.
August 9, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Francis. I am sorry for the issue with the grip in the introduction. I will try to update the page. As far as the shoulders. The lats will help you depress the shoulders to stay engaged with the box. You want to get out of the rectangle. Basically, using the core muscles and not the upper shoulders. The goal is to have a flat/neutral spine and the shoulders not shrugging which creates a disconnect.
August 9, 2019
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M. (Certified RST Instructor)
Good day Graig, In chapter 4 of the Level 1 Ebook the "box" is explained and the muscles that belong to the box are defined. Why are the glutes no part of the box? Beside functions like extention and rotation the glutes have an important rol in stabilize the hips. If you rotate torso the hips need to stabilized to get torsion. Maybe I make a mistake in my thinking! Thanks for helping. Marcel
July 15, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Marcel. Exactly. The glutes are where it's at! The must fire and engage properly to stabilize the hips. However, the rectangle and box typically refer to the upper half muscles and not the lower half. I usually tell people play within the box, but don't forget your a$#.
July 15, 2019
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Chris
Hi guys, Am I right in saying that when my shoulders roll forwards at address (bad habit and gravity affect) , that it also makes it considerably harder to feel the shoulder blade glide takeaway? I feel like when I am in the box (triggered by shrugging shoulders up and down), that I can feel the shoulder blade glide much better.
May 16, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Chris. Exactly. When your posture is incorrect and the shoulders start to protract at setup. It will make it harder for the lat to pull the shoulder blade properly and create the glide down and in.
May 16, 2019
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Paul
In my first swing review the instructer said I had a big barrel chest, as a result I would need to tilt more to the ball. I am also about 3 stone overweight. I am thinking he was trying to be nice by not mentioning it. I am struggling to keep in the box, lats engaged, and get my hands on the club. Also I suspect I would need shorter clubs. My question is If you think it may be better If I lose the weight first before I realistically can swing the club the way you guys promote. I am beginning to realise how fit you have to be to rotate properly in the swing. Thanks
April 22, 2019
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R.J. (Certified RST Instructor)
Paul, I am a large man and I am still able to get into the proper positions. Now, due to the width of my chest, it's practically impossible for me to be completely in the box at address, which is okay. However, I did then focus on making sure I got reconnected to the box at the top of the swing by making sure I really loaded the right shoulder blade after finishing my backswing rotation. Also because my hips are slower to turn because of the weight I carry on my gut, I pause at the top to make sure 100% I get the lower body started first in the downswing. You can do this for sure. I wasn't trying to dance around weight discussion when I did your first review, I was simply sharing my experience and advise there are ways to handle making great golf swings for people with different body types.
April 22, 2019
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Paul
Thanks rj. If I was the thinner do you think i would be able to have a taller posture to the ball at address. Ive already lost a stone since you did the review and I plan on losing more. I ask this as I dont want to get my clubs cut, when I dont need to when I lose the weight. By the way your last review of my swing was amazing. Already seeing improvements. Thanks.
April 23, 2019
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R.J. (Certified RST Instructor)
Easier, maybe. But not any more or less possible. I'm a 28.6 stone man myself at 6'1", I'm big no matter the way you slice it, however, I don't have issues with posture in my swing because I worked on it. And it's something that I worked on in my life, too. I have much better posture when I stand and walk than I did before I started doing RST many moons ago. You don't have to lose weight to have a great golf swing. Does it help, sure, but my reference in your swing wasn't to your overall size. You have a large chest. Even small women who have a large chest are going to have a similar situation to what you and I face. Just a small adjustment to achieve the same results based on our bodies. And you're welcome, that's what we're here for
April 23, 2019
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Paul
Hi rj, follow up on this. I feel I am protracting my shoulders at address, possibly getting a gorilla grip. Also as I place my right hand on the club, after the left that you advised, I am opening my shoulders left of target. Its not ideal but is it ok to bend my arms to get on club easier. When my arms are straight I feel tension in biceps, chest and shoulders, which i what I believe we are trying to avoid. Also should belly be sucked in, throughout swing? Thank .
June 16, 2019
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R.J. (Certified RST Instructor)
Keeping the abs engaged will help support the lower back so it would be a good idea. If your arms are bending in the stance, it's likely that you're not hinging from the hips enough. We definitely don't want to have a gorilla grip as they are hard to fix with compensations. It would be easier to see in your progress if you posted a picture of your stance in response to this message.
June 17, 2019
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Chris
I’ve been through 20-25 videos , this is the only one I got lost in- can someone briefly tell me the how/why and when we should have this in the box feeling?
January 3, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Chris. You should be in the box at setup and throughout the swing. If you tend to shoulder shrug in the golf swing you will disconnect from the core. This will limit your ability to rotate properly and add core rotation speed into impact. Keep the shoulders retracted to stay engaged.
January 4, 2019
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David
Is getting in the box more of a (soft and continuous) lat and rhomboid engagement to pull the shoulder blades down and down, or is more of mentality of making sure you don’t shrug shoulders up? I guess another way to ask is this more of a passive or an active move? -Dave
July 25, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello David. If you are used to having bad posture and a shoulder shrug you will need to actively train a little depression. I have most students shrug all the way to the sky and relax feeling the blades depress slightly. Once, you are aware of the shoulder shrug and you can keep the tension out. You will stay in the box and not need any manual depression.
July 25, 2019
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David
IMakes perfect sense. Just wanted to make sure I want over-emphasizing the “pull” down. Thanks!
July 25, 2019
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Paul
I am trying to find a video and drills about keeping right bicep and elbow connected on the downswing when I am able to do that it seems like my shots are more accurate
October 17, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Paul. You probably won't find too many dealing with that subject. However, try the Throw the Ball Drill and Right Arm Release. The connection between the upper bicep and pec are important. But, I wouldn't try to connect the elbow to the body.
October 17, 2018
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Hector
Still with struggling with my shoulder blade in the takeaway . Can I pre-set my right shoulder blade before the takeaway ?? Can I do that ? What’s the feeling I should felt in my right blade in the takeway ??
August 20, 2018
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Howard (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Hector. Take a look at Understanding Shoulder Blade Glide video. It is the exact same motion as when you load up to throw a football or baseball. You should feel your shoulder blade pulling toward your spine and also a good stretch in your obliques, among other muscles in your back.
August 20, 2018
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Barry
I'm 5'8, with a relatively bigger chest and shorter arms. To set up in the box, i have to bend my arms slightly at address which i'm sure we don't want to do. So, to get into the box with my arms relaxed and relatively straight, I have two options: (1) roll my shoulders forward so that the arms rest on top of the chest, or (2) tilt more from the waste than is recommended in the set up instruction. I'm sure neither are ideal, but which would be the better option?
October 29, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Barry. Rolling your shoulders too much forward would start to inhibit your rotational mobility. I would add slight more hinge from the hips.
October 30, 2017
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Barry
Thanks, Craig.
October 30, 2017
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David
Hi, if the left arm is responding to the turning of the torso, how do you connect the left arm to the torso? Is the left shoulder blade pulled back and down at all times? Do you pinch your left arm against the side of the torso, or perhaps on top of the front of the pectoral muscle? Should we pull our elbows torwards each other (ala Ben Hogan) to help the arms stay connected to the torso? Thanks, David
October 23, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello David. I would shy away from too much pinching or squeezing of the elbows. Take a look at Step 3 - Add the Lead Arm for more help. Weigh shift, torso, lead lat, and gravity are all working to allow the arm to move better in sequence.
October 23, 2017
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David
Thanks Craig.
October 23, 2017
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Ross
Reading the comments below it is clear that not only do we get in the box at setup but stay there throughout the swing. How do we know we are still in the box at various points? For example how do we check we are still in the box when we elevate the arms? At the top of the backswing? In the middle of the downswing?
August 27, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Ross. If the trail arm is properly placed and you haven't over elevated (base of pectorals) is a good checkpoint for the top (3 Functions of the Right Arm). The downswing you will know if you start pushing with your trail side causing more of a cast maneuver. Premature throwing of the club, or straightening of the trail arm.
August 28, 2017
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Jonathan
Ok, so this has confused me for a while. The shoulder blades are in the rectangle (not in the box) so why are we using shoulder blade glide in the takeaway?? surely this is wrong, we want to use the core. After watching this and the "understanding shoulder blade glide" video many times, what I can deduce is that we want to the trapezius (which is attached to the shoulder blades) and lats, however, because many of us lack awareness of how to move the trapezius Chuck says to move the shoulder blade instead as it is attached. Is this the correct understanding??? if not please can you explain?
July 22, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jonathan. You want to use the middle and lower fibers of the traps and the lats to pull the shoulder blade. You want to shy away from using the upper muscle fibers of the traps which would lead to elevating the scapula. Think of the rectangle as the upper torso and neck region. You definitely want to use the core. Yes, because most have a problem with awareness we usually say try to feel the lat or shrugging down motion to feel the other fibers of the trap engage.
July 22, 2017
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Benjamin
As I'm working through this drill, is it fair to assume that with the tension in the oblique area, that tension will help keep the right arms tucked into the body in the backswing? I haven't gotten there yet, but it seems that when I engage my lats/obliques in the right side of my body (equally with my left) it keeps that right arm very close to the body. Is this correct or do I have too much activation in that area?
May 18, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Benjamin. It will help you maintain or stay in the box. But, you don't want so much tension that it glues the trail arm too much to the side limiting the elevation that will occur in the backswing. Engaged, but not overly tense and glued.
May 18, 2017
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dan
Is it normal to feel my trail shoulder blade more engaged than my lead arm shoulder blade at address? I can't feel my lead shoulder blade down & in and still get my hands on the club.
March 12, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Dan. Some players do feel that way when first attempting the drill. The goal in the long run would be to feel balanced.
March 13, 2017
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dan
Thanks for the feedback. I'm noticing if I get into my posture a good reference point (with mid irons) is to have my hands inside my chin line. If I do this, almost by default my shoulder blades are down & in the box. Does this make sense? Seems to have corrected a lot of issues- I couldn't "feel" the problem but I could see it in a mirror or on video. Result of the change is more balance
March 13, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Dan. The ideal location is for the chin line to be be at the end of the trail hand. So, if the edge or end of the trail hand is on the chin line. Sounds okay to me.
March 13, 2017
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jeff
I noticed I can keep my shoulders down and back for the most part on my takeaway but once I move up into the backswing my left shoulder (I'm right handed) comes up towards my chin. Should I focus on keeping the left shoulder down throughout the entire backswing or is it normal for it to come up here?
October 5, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jeff. It may raise a little as you add elevation, but it shouldn't overly lift. Just check to make sure you aren't over doing elevation and coming out of the box.
October 5, 2016
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BRIAN
I have extremely wide shoulders, large arms and chest for someone that is 5'7". I wear a 48-50 jacket. If I keep my shoulders back, the only way that I could grip a club would be by bending my elbows. Am I missing something or does my body type dictate that I have to round my shoulders?
September 15, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Brian. You might be depressing the blades too much down and in the box. Or, some players with extremely wide chests and shorter arms will experience a slight rounding.
September 16, 2016
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Michael
I'm still confused what it means to stay on the box. Does it mean boundaries? Or does it mean use core muscles to rotate and not rectangle muscles? I watched the video and article and it doesn't make sense to me. What exactly does it mean to come out of box? Can another analogy be used to illustrate this for me?
July 26, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Mike. Using the core muscles to rotate and keeping the shoulder blades connected to the body. Coming out of the box would be shoulder shrugging. The shoulders lift or pull away from the core. We use the elevation point as the base of the pectorals to keep the shoulder blades engaged. If the arms over elevate they are free to swing where ever they want without any direction by the body. The goal of connecting to the core is to allow the arms to be driven by the body motion. Not the body reacting to an arm swing.
July 26, 2016
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Michael
Thanks. Think I got it. Don't get the shrugging part but understand swinging with body. I think I read somewhere about a manual or rst book. Where could I get that? I'm finally working on my swing by the way as you may notice by all my questions I shot a 78 and 81 recently [avg score 87] and hit 65 percent fairways. Are you aware of any sites similar to this one that focus on putting? I wish I would have found this site years ago.
July 26, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Mike. When you shrug the shoulders up. The shoulder blades move vertically. That disconnects them from the body. If you look in the Training Aids Section you will find the EBook Manual for Level 1. We have putting! Video Menu - Short Game Section - Putting. Thanks for the compliments of our site.
July 26, 2016
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Michael
Do you have a video about staying "connected" in the golf swing i.e. keeping the left arm staying connected to the left upper chest during the golf swing? Thank you Michael
April 18, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Michael. You want to remain in the box throughout the swing, but you don't want to glue your lead arm to your chest or side. It needs to have some freedom to swing. Take a look at some videos for me. Throw the Club Head at the Ball, LADD, Left Hand Release Drill and the Frisbee Video.
April 19, 2016
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Sam
On the downswing after the initial weight shift, when releasing I feel like gravity pulls me out of the box, especially my trail arm/shoulder. I feel like I really have to put some effort in to keeping the lats engauged during the release and follow through. Is this a common fault and is it possible to be the cause of hitting behind the ball if all else is good (weight fully shifted, good lag and release)?
April 2, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Stan. It definitely could be a fault of the fat shot and a somewhat common problem. If you look at the 5 Mins to the Perfect Release and the Fix Your Release. Towards the end of both videos. Chuck and Chris have your bring your trail arm to the point of staying in the box and with the shot through the release. If you start to raise or pop out it can cause some issues. Work on the release and extension. Practice bringing the trail hand over properly to feel what it is like to stay in the shot versus raising out of the box or coming out of posture.
April 2, 2016
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Christopher
Based on my video self analysis, staying in the box has also been helpful in keeping my arms in front of me. It especially seems to help me prevent my right (trailing arm) from dropping behind me as I start the downswing.
May 19, 2016
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Loran
The powerhouses that supply the main source of power and speed are the obliques, inner thighs, glutes, lats NOT hands, shoulders, and arms?
February 21, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Loan. Yes. The hands and arms do help with width and leverage. But, you are releasing angles not relying on massive muscle build.
February 22, 2016
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Fred
I'm having trouble with keeping shoulder blades down and not getting left arm trapped on side of chest / pectoral muscle. Is there a trick here? Isn't the left arm / tricep supposed to be in front / on top of chest / pec?
September 9, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Fred. You might be pulling or retracting the blades down too hard. In the box and ready, but not overly stressed. The left arm will be connected to the pectoral more to the side than directly on top.
September 9, 2015
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nicholas s
Hi As per video above chuck talks about pulling belly button in towards spine to erase curvature in back . My question is by pulling my belly button in , feel my abs a bit engage / contracted must I keep this small abs contraction trough out the swing
September 7, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Nicholas. You should work to where you can comfortably hold the abs in. But, you don't want to overly engage this amount of tension with them throughout the swing.
September 7, 2015
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Anthony
You set up in the box and do you also use the box muscles and swing from the box in the downswing? Does most of all the rotation in both backswing and downswing come from the box?
September 5, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Anthony. The vast majority of the entire golf swing will come from the box muscles.
September 5, 2015
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Sharon
After viewing this video, I am confused about what part of the body really should start the take-away. I understood that take-away should start with shoulder blade glide, however, that is from the "rectangle", not the "box" or core muscles. Would you please clarify how muscles groups should be engaging/working or sequencing together in order to start the golf swing? Thank you.
August 28, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Sharon. Pulling from the shoulder blade properly is using the box. The middle/lower traps, and the lats engage to pull the blade down and in. Take a look at Understanding Shoulder Blade Glide. You will be using those muscles to pull the blade initially of the ball while engaging the oblique to help rotate the torso.
August 28, 2015
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Sharon
Thank you, Craig. A review of Understanding Shoulder Blade Glide along w some of the other comments and your explanation were very helpful. I was very happy to receive your response...can't wait to take this to the course tomorrow!
August 28, 2015
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Toby
Ok Craig, thank you for the response
August 3, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
No problem Toby.
August 3, 2015
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Toby
Hello RST, One thing I dont believe you have covered, is the position of the elbows at adresse and throughout the swing? Is this important and have I missed something?. Should they be as per Mr Hogans five lessons, pointing towards the sky with the feeling of the upper arms resting on the chest?.
July 31, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hell Toby. The elbow pits should be facing away from the body with a connection of the upper bicep and upper pectoral maintained. You can see this in the Right Elbow Pit Video in the Setup Advanced Section. Golf Grip and Being Out of the Box in the Setup Advanced Section. The Gorilla Grip Setup Advanced Section.
July 31, 2015
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Toby
July 31, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Toby. I answered above.
July 31, 2015
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Ray
There has NEVER been a great ball striker in history that didn't have slightly rounded shoulders. Hogan's shoulders stay rounded throughout the entire swing. You cannot consistently make good swings with your shoulders back and down.
July 28, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Ray. The goal is to have the shoulders retracted and in the box. You might be overly pulling the blades back and down with too much depression to start out with. There will appear to be a little rounding in the thoracic spine when the arms are placed in front to setup to the shot. The key is not to cause a big rounding by reaching the arms out and protracting from the blades.
July 28, 2015
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Damien
Hello - I have been working on having my arms stay connected. I had a lesson from a pro reciently and she said that I was to close to the ball. But when I make the adjustments it feels like my arms are stretched away from my body. When I have watched this video I am a bit confused about how much your arms should actually be physically connected to your body.
July 15, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Damien. You definitely don't want to glue your arms to the side of your body. They will need a little freedom. It's more about awareness that you have arms. Maintain the connection in the upper right bicep and pectoral. Think about where your seam is located around the shirt/armpit location.
July 16, 2015
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David
Hi Craig, I'm not sure where to post my question or even how to explain it properly but here goes, when you have your arms hanging at address wouldn't it be very crucial to keep that length the same through out the swing and especially at impact? because if you have allot of extension with your arms throughout the takeaway and backswing are you not changing the length of your club by the time you get back to impact and there for running the risk of driving the club deep into the ground before impact? Im asking this question because I think I might be doing this and at the same time subconsciously standing up because I know if I don't I will hit it fat. Are there any videos on the site that talk about this? Thanks for your help.
July 6, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey David. That might be one of your culprits. You don't want to try and push the arms out further to create width/extension. All the width and extension you need is at setup. Its about maintaing the trail arm positioning. If you feel you are trying to create a ton more by pushing the arms out. Therefore, getting the arms disconnected and protracting the shoulders you could be creating a stuck position. On the way down with the increase in angle you are actually working on a narrower arc. Trying to get rid of it by impact. But, the pulling of the lead oblique to clear the hips and the leverage pull from the lead leg are giving you plenty of room. Also, shaft lean is helping as well. The only video to maybe see it on is the Keep the Arms Wide in the Advanced Downswing Section.
July 6, 2015
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John
As I understand it, we don't want tension in the shoulders because the body wants to naturally release tension and thus, tension in the shoulders could lead to an over the top move and our sequencing would be off. ...So how do we pull our shoulders back or back and down without creating tension our tightness in the rectangle?
July 2, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello John. If you are getting overly tense then you are pulling the blades down too hard and/or rounding of the shoulders has been a issue with you for a long time at it will take setting up correctly for awhile to ease up. The muscles need to be engaged to work, not excessively stressed or they won't perform their proper function.
July 2, 2015
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SeJun
I find that when I am "in the box" that my pecs are engaged. Is this suppose to happen ?
June 30, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Sejun. You want to shy away from too much upper pectoral engagement. You might be depressing the shoulder blades too hard.
June 30, 2015
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Cavan
Hi - your setup videos are making me realize that I have been allowing my shoulders to slide forward / droop at address. Assuming the rest of my stance is following the recommended setup, is setting your shoulders in the proper position going to impact the length of the clubs I need? I'm 6'3" with I'd say average to longer than average arms for my height - thanks!
June 11, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Cavan. Proper setup and not rounding at the shoulders can definitely affect proper club length. A half inch or so can really make a difference.
June 11, 2015
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Preston
How would you suggest staying in the box while having a club in your hand. In other words...when I am approaching from behind the ball and am in the process of getting into my stance how can you pull your shoulders down enough to encourage "staying in the box"? Thanks!
April 22, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Preston. Relaxing and taking the roundness out of the thoracic spine. If you take a look at Proper Hinging from the Hips and the 5 Minutes to the Perfect Setup in this Section you will learn how to keep them in the box while you are bending over with a club. You don't want to try and overly pull or stress the blades too much. If you flatten the spine and let the blades stay engaged. You should do fine.
April 23, 2015
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Preston
Thanks Craig! I will take a look at that today.
April 24, 2015
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Steve
Does staying in the box enable the lead arm to rotate during after the release? It seems easier to do if my lead lat is engaged. If it's not my arm flies away from the body.
April 10, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Steve. Staying in the box definitely helps the lead arm rotate properly during and through the release.
April 10, 2015
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Terry
I'm a little confused about what gets into the rectangle. Since your shoulders are in the rectangle, what is the wrong scenario? Is the point that with good posture the core controls the golf swing and with bad posture the arms and shoulders can't sync up and get out of position? thx
February 26, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Terry. Yes, the point is with the shoulders staying in the box it allows the core to sync up with the arms. It allows you to add core rotational speed on the downswing. The trail shoulder blade has has to be depressed and linked in order to deliver the speed properly. If you were in the rectangle per se. The arms could do whatever pleased them and it would be hard to add proper rotational speed in the delivery.
February 26, 2015
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Anthony
When you swing from within the box, should you feel rotation from within the box. I feel rotation from my shoulders, backswing and downswing, I assume feeling it from the shoulders, the rectangle, is wrong.
December 20, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Anthony. You should feel the shoulders rotate. But, not a lot of "rectangle" muscles. You should feel really stable in the core and the gliding of the scapula in and towards the spine.
December 20, 2014
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Greg
Hi Craig, Does this mean that the core muscles (from the box region) are the dominant muscles that are to be used to initiate the shoulder turn?
October 23, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Greg. Yes, the box muscles help initiate rotation. The obliques, lats and traps help rotate the trunk and pull the shoulder blade.
October 24, 2015
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Greg
Thanks Craig - I am new (joined week1 in October for a month) to RST and am really impressed by the on-going effort that you (all the instructors deliver). Consequently have set up for the next year. Thanks again, Greg
October 24, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Greg. Thanks for the compliments of our site and instructors. Let's get that game together during the off season!
October 25, 2015
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Anthony
Hi, is this advice for all body types. I am a little heavy , should i be trying to get my arms more in front of my body rather than letting them hang by my side?
December 15, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Anthony. We all know there are different body types out there. Nevertheless, the shoulders need to be in the box to allow for proper rotation. If the arms reach out too far forward. The shoulders will tend to round and lead to a very armsy backswing.
December 15, 2014
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John
standing straight up I can feel my shoulders relaxed and in position. Once I tilt forward for the stance, if I relax my shoulders completely, I feel that gravity forces them into a rolled position. So I should have enough tension in the shoulders to keep them square to the spine (pulled back relation to the chest)?
November 6, 2014
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R.J. (Certified RST Instructor)
John, They will roll forward slightly in order to get your hands on the club, but you don't want to roll them forward completely. Just make sure that they're pulled back far enough that when you look at your back on video or in the mirror that your back appears to be flat. R.J.
November 6, 2014
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John
my posture is not great anyway, have those rolled shoulders which I try to work on. So at address, a minimum amount of tension, just to pull them flat - correct?
November 6, 2014
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R.J. (Certified RST Instructor)
Right, you don't want rounded shoulders or a lot of tension in your back. It might get a little sore at first if you're practicing a lot, but you should not feel like you're injuring yourself.
November 6, 2014
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Asher
So I understand the setup after watching a number of videos and so far I have been able to implement a good amount of it with my irons. However, I get confused when it comes to the driver. So during setup I keep my feet 2 to 3 inches outside of the natural joint, ball still in front of the logo. I do the 2 inch shoulder glide and then complete my backswing. Press my left heel to help shift the weight as I start my downswing. The impact most of the times does not feel much powerful? Maybe I am not releasing my club well. Is there anything I am missing? I don't see many videos on how to swing with the driver?
October 14, 2014
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R.J. (Certified RST Instructor)
Asher, It could be that you're not catching it cleanly. It could be a flaw, otherwise, in the swing. It's hard to tell without doing a swing review so that we can analyze the video of your swing. Because not feeling powerful could be any number of things. It might actually just be the feel of the club and not a problem at all with the swing or there could be a major swing flaw or you could be just barely catching it on a glancing blow. Submit your swing review, one with an iron (that you hit the best) and one with a driver and we'll be able to see if you're altering your swing between the two or if something else is at play here. Without a specific issue or a better description of the problem, it is very difficult to analyze the issue without seeing the whole picture. Hopefully, we'll get you straightened out after the review. However, if you're just looking to get some extra power out of the driver, check out the "Bomb your driver" series in the bonus section of the website. R.J.
October 14, 2014
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John
I don't see how you can pull the shoulder blades back without creating tension. Weren't we always fought to let our arms hang down naturally when we take our stance? I'm struggling with this concept. I just don't see how you can "get in the box" and at the same time allow the club to swing freely without tension.
October 14, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello John. The blades should be retracted, but not stressed. You might be pulling them down too much. Nice and flat thoracic spine area. Just pull enough to have in proper location. Don't wrench them from the start. Good posture.
October 14, 2014
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Gary
When placing the left arm on the grip and staying connected, should the left arm rotate inward slightly. What is the relation between the elbows and wrists at address? Where should the back of wrists point ? ( if you were watch on each wrist)
October 5, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Gary. Take a look at the Golf Grip Out of the Box Video in the Advanced Setup Section. The elbows will be pointing away from your body. Grip will be a few degrees right of target. A grip slightly stronger than neutral.
October 6, 2014
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Raymond
This so far has got to be one of the key factors to balance and mechanics through the upper body. After a week and a half of practicing, this has improved my ball striking beyond my expectations. I do believe if everyone puts a little more concentration in this area they will be very surprised. Don't over think it, but keep it in a present tense and it kind of binds it together.
September 3, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Raymond. Thanks for the response. The key with anything in golf is not over thinking and staying in the present. Relax, get in the box, and make some good swings.
September 3, 2014
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Stephen
How much tension should I feel in my last when I am in the box? Maybe a 1-10 scale with 10 being astraight jacket and 1 is none??
August 30, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Stephen. We try to stay away from training exact numbers for feeling. However, you should be engaged. Not stressed. Enough to where the shoulders a retraced and in a good position in the box. But, not overly engaging the lats and other muscles maxing out tension.
September 1, 2014
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Joyn
Where should my arms connect to my torso? I can't seem to find the place that I can stay connected.
July 23, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Joyn. The connection should be maintained between the upper bicep and upper peck. Don't pinch them together too firmly. Awareness that they are connected.
July 23, 2014
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Bruce
"The connection should be maintained between the upper bicep and upper peck." Is the connection maintained throughout the swing ? Thanks
October 1, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
For the most part yes. But, the biggie is maintaing it to the top of the backswing.
October 1, 2014
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richard
I have difficulty when I get into the box and try to grip the golf club without some rounding of the shoulders. What I mean is my hands cannot come together to grip the club unless I bend my arms somewhat at the elbows or round the shoulders. I feel this is due to my lats getting in the way (I work out a lot).
July 5, 2014
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Steven (Certified RST Instructor)
Richard, There is going to be come rounding of the shoulders when we get into the box when both hands are put on the club because we are moving our hands and arms in front of the body so a little roundness will be showing. The RST model strives to keep you connected to the core muscles and getting into the box is the best way to stay connected. If you feel that you are having to much roundness of the shoulders make sure you are doing setup correctly, i would suggest taking a look at the setup videos. Keep up the good work.
July 5, 2014
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Christan
Hello, this has been a challenging setup move for me. My armpits feel very snug against the sides of my torso, and it feels slightly restricting b/c I am usually way out of the box. Is this how I should feel?
June 23, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Try not to overly depress the shoulders. If you hold them in too much. It's going against what we want. Just "in the box". Not depressed to max capacity. Feeling proper placement. Not restricted.
June 23, 2014
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patrick14
Do I stay in the box the entire swing, or until after impact
June 8, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Patrick, you will stay in the box for the majority of the golf swing.
June 8, 2014
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Manuel
I have a pretty wide chest and back. It is very difficult to get my shoulders back far enough. What can I do to roll them back and feel like my arms are still close together? Or does it matter they are that close? Thanks!!
May 14, 2014
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
The important thing is to have hands and arms hang off the shoulder line at the address position without and tension when gripping the club. It shouldnt matter how close the arms are together just make sure there isn't a ton of protraction in the shoulder line.
May 15, 2014
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Robert
Video is clipped - where is rest of it?
May 2, 2014
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey bpipres, I just went back and tested the video on our end and it appears to be working great. Should be about 3:53 in length. Can you tell me where you are getting cut off?
May 2, 2014

The second phase in the Five Minutes to the Perfect Golf Setup is what is referred to as get in the box. I think that's a great phrase to give somebody a simple illustration of what it is exactly what we're trying to do. So if you look at the image that's up on the screen now, what you'll see is that the shoulders and chest, the upper part of the torso is kind of in a shape, you could draw a rectangle around it, and the lower part is kind of in the shape of a box. So when Alison's talking about get in the box, that's what she's referring to, just a simple way to understand getting connected to your core and how the shoulder blades should sit in neutral alignment and those types of things. All you really need to know is just learn the term, get in the box, and understand that being in the rectangle is bad and you'll be good to go.

                                So with that, what we're going to do in this video is start to understand what that is exactly. It's a very simple thing to learn and a very simple exercise and drill to come up with that. All you're going to do is, is you're going to stand normal posture, stand straight up, and all you're going to do is shrug your shoulders straight up to your ears. When you do that, you're going to feel all these muscles in your neck, upper shoulders, all these things activate.

                                That's in the rectangle, so all you need to do is shrug your shoulders up, and now all you're going to do is pull shoulders straight down, like you're trying to plug your fingers into the ground. And you'll feel these muscles, kind of in your back, they are in your back, and your lats, you're going to feel these start to engage as you pull your shoulders down towards the ground. Now you don't need to overdo this so that you're tight, that's not going to do us any good either. We're just looking for neutral posture so that you feel a tiny amount of engagement versus being up here and where it's all tight.

                                Now when you look at golfers, and what we see all the time, if I grab a club here, is that when they go to the top of their swing because they're already naturally in the rectangle because their shoulders are slumped forward, and as they swing back they lift up with that left arm, and their chin is buried in their shoulder, they're completely in the rectangle and there's all kinds of issues that that creates, apart from the swing issues there's health issues there, where you can hurt your shoulder with shoulder impingement and those types of things.

                                So it's very important that you understand that you don't want to be up here in this position here, this is where a lot of the over the top movement comes from. We want to use our core, our big muscles in our body to power the golf swing, and so it's imperative that we start out there to address, because nobody I've seen anyway yet, has started out really bad in the rectangle and then made a really [rectangally 02:34] upper body, upper torso driven golf swing and then somehow, all of a sudden pulled it back down in. Lorena Ochoa is about the closest as it gets.

                                So anyway what we want to do is start to feel what good golf posture is. We're trying to stabilize our spine throughout the whole swing and making sure that we're in the box will help do that. So all you're going to do again, is just do this five times and you can do it with your eyes closed, shrug your shoulders straight up to your ears and then pull them straight down. You should feel kind of military posture, your chest is going to pop out a little bit and you want to make sure that you understand that the box is front and back. It's not just your back, and your trap, and your lat muscles, it's also your belly.

                                So what naturally happens when you start to pull your shoulder blades down, what happens is your chest kind of pops out and your belly kind of pops out a little bit. You want to pull that in, because you'll notice that there's a lot of extra curve in my lower back and this is compressing the vertebrae in my lower, in my lumbar spine. So all we want to do is just pull our belly button in, and pull our shoulders down, and now I should have nice, neutral posture, good posture, and that is what getting in the box is. More importantly as you get into your posture as we go over that later, what you're going to find is that gravity's going to want to pull you out of the box. Because your shoulder blades are going to want to roll forward, you're going to get lazy with it, and now you're going to be completely disconnected from your core, so make sure that the shoulder blades are down and in, you're in the box, and you'll have great posture. 

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