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Which Muscles to Feel During Golf Swing Transition
Learn exactly which muscles you should feel and in what sequence during the golf swing transition.
Hey guys, Chuck Quinton here. Founder of Rotary Swing Golf. Beautiful Fossil Trace Golf Club in Golden, Colorado. I highly you recommend you check out this golf course. It's a super, super fun course. But I want to walk about today is one of the biggest things that I keep hearing, is people wanting to know how do I feel the right muscles during the transition? The transition, it's the crux of the golf swing. It's the hardest part. The back swing stuff is relatively static, but then when we start to go down, and everything picks up pace, our subconscious is always going to take over, and if we haven't got it trained right, we're going to really start struggling to get all of the muscles to fire in the right sequence.
So I want to talk about that in depth today in detail, of exactly what you should feel, the tension levels, all of these things, so that this becomes an automatic move for you and the golf swing starts to fall into place.
So the biggest thing is understanding this initial move of weight shift. Now I've described it several different ways on the site because I found that three different ways tend to resonate with people the most, and so I use those selectively depending on what I see that student doing and what I find that they respond to. One of them is I like to talk about the squat to square move. Now these are all describing the same thing, just slightly different ways.
Like I said, some people tend to tend to naturally squat, so I'm not going to emphasize doing that, you're already doing that well, so I might focus on the pulling motion, I might focus on kind of sitting into the left side. They're all three saying the same thing.
So as I go to the top, the biggest reason I'm feeling this squat to square move is it starts to load up this left glute and left hamstring. That's really what we need to focus on more than anything else, because these muscles, as we start to come down into impact, are starting to post up powerfully, and that's what snaps my wrists down, into the ... Is this. So what I really like to feel is my hamstring and my glute posting up, and so I need to load them during the transition.
So as I come down in that squat to square move, or sitting into the left side, it's all saying the same thing, I'm really feeling right here, and here, and my quad more than anything. I'm really trying to feel a pulling motion though. I want to use my hamstring to straighten my leg up, not just my quad. They're all going to work together of course, but as I start down during the transition, this settling move, squatting move, pulling over the left side, all saying the same thing, is loading up my glute and my hamstring more than anything else.
Now from a tension level perspective, it's not like I'm trying to squat 400 pounds. We're not trying to do some crazy heavy lifting in the golf swing. We need some power for sure, we've got to recruit all this muscle fiber in this left side for sure, but it's not like you're trying to max out on squats. It's not that level of intensity. What we're really just trying to feel is some activation. Think about it no differently than if you sat down a little bit, and we're going to make a little jump. You've noticed, many tour players are long distance guys.
You watch them come down in impact and their left foot jumps up, you can see this in Tiger, Phil, Bubba, their foot jumps up and rotates a little bit. Just with a driver, when they're really trying to wail on something, and in order for your foot to pop up like that, guess what muscles you'd have to load. You've got to jump. So if you thought about squatting down to make a little jump, like this, maybe like a Phil Mickelson masters win jump. He can't jump very high so just a little hop. As you're doing that, that's the amount of tension that you need in your swing. So that's another big question I get is, how aggressive, how tight should these muscles feel?
When you're doing these muscles really slow, you're going to build up a lot more tension than you normally would in the swing. So it may be a little bit difficult to do this really slow without feeling like you're going to get a big workout after just ten minutes of doing this. As you do this at speed, it's not nearly that level of intensity, but when we're going slow and we're holding these positions longer, it's just like working out. If you do a bench press and you go super slow, you can only do half as much weight. The same thing is true in the swing. If you're going really slow doing these drills, this may feel like a lot of tension.
That's why I always encourage people, even when they're doing the drills inside, to work up to add speed, to be progressive, and keep challenging yourself to go faster and faster, so that this doesn't feel like some big exercise program. It's not, it's just a golf swing movement.
So we've got tension level, we've got what muscles to feel, now the last thing I want to talk about is how fast this should happen. Fast is a relative term. If I tell you to swing faster, that might be 85 miles an hour to you, and 125 miles to somebody else. As I don't like to use subjective terms about the speed at which you should perform a movement.
This is a tough one to explain, because relatively, it happens pretty quick. The whole downswing takes less than a quarter of a second, so you can imagine this weight shift, which is technically starting to happen during the back swing, but you've got maybe a tenth of a second to do it. That's a very fine amount of time to do this movement. But at first, it's perfectly okay to take your time. It shouldn't happen in the scheme of things, way faster than anything else.
And what I mean by that is, if I go to the top, and then just try and shift really fast, well my arms can't keep up with that, and if I go really slow, my arms can outrun it. They've all got to blend together, so as you go to the top, and you're doing this slow motion, what I would try to feel is my arms falling in the same time and sequence that my left hip hamstring and glute are pulling the club down. One shouldn't happen way faster than the other.
If you're really arm-sy dominant like most higher handicappers are and you're doing this, well I can't shift at all, my arms will always outrun my hips, and I'm really aggressive pushing off this right side, the old hip spinner move, well I can get my hips open way before my arms get a chance to get down.
So neither one of those are ideal, but if you start moving from the left side of your body, you'll notice that it wants to pull the club down with you into this perfect hitting area position without you trying. So from a timing and sequence perspective, work on putting them through together so that as you're shifting to the left, my arms are being allowed to fall, and by the time I'm getting ready to post up, my hands, you'll notice as my knee straightens, it's getting pulled into the hitting area right above the ball, and as I straighten that leg, that is the motion that is snapping the club down really seeing my wrists.
So, hopefully that gives you the detail that you're looking for, glutes, hamstrings, and then quad as a secondary mover, as long as my weight's back on my ankles, it's going to be more glutes and hamstrings. Work on loading up these muscles, feeling so that you can just make a little hop, little hop, obviously with the irons we don't need to hit them that hard, so it's just more of a posting up motion, and then work on getting them down together, and you're transition will be a piece of cake.