Which Muscles to Feel During Golf Swing Transition

Learn exactly which muscles you should feel and in what sequence during the golf swing transition.

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Gerard
I’ve been working on trying to feel the left side lats pull after I shift my weight. Is this a bad thing?
June 27, 2021
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Gerard. The lead lat will aid in pulling the arms in front. However, just be careful you don't pull too hard, or get to yanking with the lead lat/arm. Take a look at Left Arm in the Golf Downswing Video.
June 27, 2021
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Kyle
Hi! I'm having difficulty with my trail hip moving in toward the ball coming down. It won't allow my arms to swing down freely. This might be my biggest flaw and reason for lower right back pain. Is there one video in particular that deals with this? Thanks for all the help!
March 15, 2021
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Kyle. Clamshell Drill and How to Stop Hooking the Ball Videos will aid in trail hip push.
March 15, 2021
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Jef
If my tendency is to slide my hips while trying to squat to square is that ok? Or is that gonna prevent the correct move at post up part? So many bad habits and this is just one of them. Is there a way to quiet my right foot from pushing too?
February 3, 2021
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jef. They will have to move laterally, but you want to shy away from excessive lateral movement. Take a look at Preventing Hip Pain and Fixing Your Weight Transfer to help nail down the shift.
February 4, 2021
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Julian
From their attachments, the hamstrings flex the knee (not a powerful move), so they're not getting loaded for post-up. Gluts and quads are loaded for postup.
September 16, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Julian. The hamstrings have more of a job than to just flex the knee. But, as you mentioned the glute load is essential.
September 16, 2020
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Mark
Should I feel like I start the downswing by moving my left hip back away from target or just squatting? If I just start the downswing by moving my left hip there should be also some lateral movement correct?
September 3, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Mark. The lead hip will move laterally and rotationally. Take a look at Squat to Square, Perfecting Lower Body Stability, and Fixing Your Weight Transfer.
September 3, 2020
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Mack
I think I am starting to get this but then noticed at the end of the video that chucks hands seem to cross his leg right in the middle between his pocket and knee. My hands are closer to the pocket. Is this a problem? Seems like I have to bend over more at set up to get my hands lower. I have watched the video on adding the lead arm but not certain what the fix would be if I am a bit high.
August 20, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Mack. Without seeing it this would be tough to tell. If your lag angle is correct in front of the trail leg I wouldn't worry too much. But, it could be setup, or swing related.
August 21, 2020
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Jim
Hi, can I lift my left heel going back, and does this complicate the transition?
July 13, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jim. For training purposes a little lift is fine. However, work as close to you can towards not needing the little adjustment.
July 13, 2020
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Ian
Hi Craig- Having hit all the check points in left arm with club I am now trying to blend the backswing with the transition but am not sure how the transition can be commenced before the backswing is complete. The shoulders and hips move together in the backswing ( or the shoulders might complete the turn slightly before the hips.) However the other component in the backswing is the left arm elevation and it may be that it is this elevation coupled with momentum which is still moving back while the hips are starting down ??? Also Chuck says that the lower body will want to unwind (release tension ) as soon as completed and will happen automatically . I don't feel this even after speeding up the backswing as suggested . So how should I go about attaining this move ??
May 29, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Ian. You start down with the legs just before the shoulders complete their turn in the backswing. Perfecting Your Impact Position 4 of 4 Video is a good drill to start implementing this move. But, I would attempt a full DEAD drill body only trying to engage a little shift just before completing backswing rotation.
May 30, 2020
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Ian
Thanks Craig- The recommended video is great-I am back on track.
May 30, 2020
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Chad
as you are straightening your left leg should your spine angle straighten as well? thanksChad
May 10, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Chad. When posting up your spine angle should remain. Take a look at You Hit the Golf Ball with Your Legs Video.
May 11, 2020
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jane
R.J. I have been working on the dead drill and would like to send video for review. For the review would you need me to send two videos, one from the front and one from down the line? Jane
April 29, 2020
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R.J. (Certified RST Instructor)
Yes, you can put each of those videos in the same review.
May 1, 2020
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Manny (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Craig... I am currently working on getting the Limonade made for the new car, as Chuck has provided an awesome video once again. But, I ran into a quick question to myself as I performed the recommended drills watching a mirror and recording movements from the back view. While I performed the squat to square I noticed I had gained a tremendous amount of weight. So, I started to research the website for vedios which would help identifying how the abdominal muscles work in the roll of a proper full swing. How the obliques and transverse muscle play a roll in the golf swing. Can you help me with this?
March 19, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Manuel. We don't have a specific video on this subject. However, take a look at Body Rotation in Golf Backswing and 5 Minutes to Master Rotation for some mentioning of your topics.
March 19, 2020
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Manny (Certified RST Instructor)
Thanks Craig... I review the recommended videos and performed the exercises as Chuck so elequantly explained. I plan to continue the regime. There was something else which came up during my first attempt to the entire process on each video. "Breathing" I believe we start with a full intake air and full exhale, prior to starting the back swing and hold until after the swing is completed and the ball is on it's way. I notice a more controlled and relaxed/consistent core rotation. Is this correct?
March 19, 2020
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Boris (Certified RST Instructor)
There is a story that a veteran tour player was doing some gamesmanship with a tour rookie by asking him how he breathed during the golf swing. The story goes that the rookie was taken out of his game because he was thinking about the question instead of the business at hand. Focus on the execution of the recommended drills and if you discovery that your breathing technique helps with the execution of the drill then use it.
May 1, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Manuel. You can perform that way. The breathing topic has been brought to Chuck's attention many times. He states he doesn't think about it much, or hasn't seen enough data relevant to making dramatic differences one way or another.
March 19, 2020
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Bruce
After watching the video and reading the transcript, my takeaway was as you push into the ground the club will snap down. In order to get that action when I shift weight to my left side, the left knee has to remain bent until my hands have fallen to about hip height. Then I can really push off and the club snaps down. Is this correct? Do I have the checkpoints right? Is this what the video was trying to impart?
December 5, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Bruce. This video is geared more towards how to pull the weight. But, yes you are correct. You squat to bring the arms down and post to accelerate the snapping of the club during the release.
December 6, 2019
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van
Another question. I have tension in my shoulder and arms in transition and in getting anything to happen after post/up move with any freedom or with speed is slim and none. Am I supposed to be intentionally rotating arm back to the left in after post up gets arm in parallel position to ground. Am I supposed to feel that I am in a position of power there?
November 23, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Van. The forearms will rotate over in the release to reach this position. The momentum should do it for you. I would start with smaller 9 to 3's and work on your release gradually making the swing longer once correct.
November 25, 2019
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van
I am having trouble in transition /post up area . My right leg/foot won't behave and I find I want to push of the ground with resultant outside in low duck hook without power. I believe I saw in one of the videos that Chuck talked about feeling the glutes in the setup and take away.When I tried that I found I keep both heels down much better with weight centered and my hands don't have as much of a tendency to move away( and presumably get blocked by my hip) from my body in the transition/post up. As a result I conclude that I must have my weight too much to my toes in set up/ takeaway? Am I on the right track???
November 23, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Van. Sounds like you are on the right track. Getting weight towards the toes/balls of the feet will make you tend to over use the arms/hands versus recruit the big muscles to guide the swing.
November 25, 2019
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Lippen
In the webinar last night Chuck said during the squat to square, 60%+ weight shifts to the left leg. The post up brings the weight to 85-90% on a straightened left leg. Should the initial squat to square weight shift be toward the heel or center of the foot and then increased toward the heel as I post up? It seems awkward to "squat" without having the weight centered on both feet. I might be overthinking what should be a natural move. Sorry
September 19, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Lippen. Don't overthink . Center of the ankle joint with both feet. The heel is just an easier trigger word to relate to and shy away from the toes.
September 19, 2019
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Lippen
I’m having trouble shifting enough weight without creating what looks like too much side bend. When I try to stay more level my head moves forward past proper head position. I don’t feel my stance is too wide but would narrowing it a little help? Is there something else I could try? Would not maintaining posture be a cause?
September 24, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Lippen. I would prefer the stance to stay 2 inches outside of neutral. I would have to see the move. It sounds like you are adding trail hip push when shifting. Take a look at the Dead Drill Step 2 to see if the checkpoints help.
September 24, 2019
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Doug
I struggle at the top of the swing with getting long secondary to too much right elbow flexion. I asked Chuck about it last night on the Webinar and he told me to type in muscle in the site search. I did this and cannot find the answer to my issue. There are times when I can see my club face with my left eye, especially my driver. I have watched all the videos and have practiced the positions, but yet this keeps happening. I keep my right knee flexed and keep a fair amount of distance between my knees. I get into this position because I do not feel coiled up, or I don't know where i'm supposed to "feel" where I cannot turn any further. Should the feeling of beginning the transition/stopping the backswing come from left oblique activation or from the right hamstring/glute muscles, or am I completely lost??? Please help. This is something I have fought my entire golfing life and it kills my consistency. Flexibility is not a problem for me.
July 11, 2019
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Harold
Doug. You just described myself perfectly. I believe for myself that there is a root cause and its leading to byproducts like over rotating my hips, over flex of the right elbow, reverse pivot, etc...I am now focusing on loading my lower body and it seems to be helping. I try and feel a stretch in my lead side as well as my right leg
August 6, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Doug. Do your arms run away with the excessive flexion, or are the hips/shoulders over turned with it? If you are maintaining trail knee flexion it would be hard to over swing unless the arms disconnected from the core at the top. Have you sent in a swing for review so we can see it? Or, can you post an image of you position at the top from face on and down the line? Take a look at Starting the Downswing Before Completing the Backswing Video for help on what to feel to start down sooner. But, I am curious and want to make sure you are tackling the correct problem.
July 12, 2019
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george
I struggle with this a great deal as a couple things happen. 1) the initial squat is more a closed hip slide. (The right hip doesn’t square or my hips hold the 45 degree angle at TOP of backswing) 2) the lower/upper body separation doesn’t take place and the entire body moves forward of the ball. Does the right hip turn back to square? Sitting into left side replicates a closed hip slide for me...
July 11, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello George. Take a look at the Closed Hip Slide Video and Step 2 - Core Rotation. Get rid of the golf club first and focus solely on the body movement. You need to practice the hips leading the way without the distraction. The hips will square when shifting back to the lead side. As you do this the trail shoulder must remain back to shy away from upper body takeover.
July 11, 2019
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Kevin
Excellent video that has helped me a ton! One clarification question - do the obliques help pull the club down with the glutes / hamstring before or after the left leg straightens?
June 9, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Kevin. Before and during the post up motion the obliques will be aiding in pulling down and rotating the hips.
June 10, 2019
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John
This says nothing about lateral knee movement followed by adductors and obliques. Confusing.
May 20, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello User23973. Different videos describe in different details. This gives you the overview of where the feeling is coming from. Fixing You Weight Transfer Video will take about the lead knee rotation. And, the Preventing Hip Pain Video I put in your last post will talk about adduction. The Rotary Golf Downswing Overview will detail the sequence, but may not talk about the muscle groups as much.
May 20, 2019
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Robert
I too struggle with the transition. Specifically, as we initiate the down swing with the squat into left hip, club naturally drops. That makes sense. Where I get confused and can’t get the feel right is as I post up on left, my tendency is to be too much back on right side thus hitting a weaker high fade. How do I post on left side, let arms fall and release without having too much weight on right. What i incorrectly do to compensate is push harder to “get” off right but then have too much action from right side in the downswing.
May 12, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Robert. Work on Play the Best Golf of Your Life in 6 Weeks Video 3 and 4 of 6. These will help you not only with the weight transfer, but how to sequence with the post up. You must complete the shifting first to clear the hips properly.
May 13, 2019
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Jeff
I am struggling with transition. Having difficulty storing power at start of downswing. Feels like I load good going back but then waste all the power coming down. Could it be something with not shifting to left properly or using the big muscles correctly? Feels like I really have to work coming down vs effortless power like it’s supposed to feel. Thoughts and things to work on for me?
April 25, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jeff. In the beginning, you will have to work to shift weight with the lower half as the upper half stays passive. The 4 Step Lag Builder and Frisbee Drill will not only help you with lag, but how to make the transition proper.
April 25, 2019
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Jeff
Craig, I’ve looked at those videos and drills and have been working on that stuff but just can’t get it sequenced and powerful - the downswing feels like a huge amount of effort - who knows where the problem lies? I need someone to look at me (I live in Charlotte, NC). Any RST instructors here or coming here? Or next option would be to send you a video. I have to figure this out - been working at it since I was 10 - I’m 48 now. Been working diligently with your program for 6 months but not progressing how I should be going at it alone! What do you recommend?
April 27, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jeff. I would be happy to take a look at your swing with a review. Or, I could refer you to an instructor in Raleigh, or Wilmington. The next closest would be me in Atlanta.
April 27, 2019
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Jeff
Let’s start with a video - I could always drive over to Atlanta too. Do you want down the line and FO with driver? And what is best way to send to you?
April 27, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jeff. Down the Line and Face On. Preferably, a practice swing followed by a strike. You can use the driver if you feel that it is the bigger issue. But, movement patterns tend to be the same throughout the bag. 7 Iron if you think it is an all clubs issue.
April 27, 2019
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Jeff
Ok. Will do the 2 angles with 7 iron. What is best way to send videos to you?
April 27, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jeff. Upload them to the Swing Reviews Section on the site. Submit Review Button. I will find them once submitted. Or, when you get them submitted. Leave a post on this reply that you have uploaded.
April 27, 2019
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James
Craig pointed me to this video and have to say what Chuck says here is really helping me to feel more of how the transition should feel. The main thing that I found really useful was Chuck saying, apart from feeling the glutes (have worked on that before) was his reference about the hamstrings. When I put more emphasis in the drill the hamstrings my movement was so much better, with my lead leg posting up earlier and much better than they have. Allied to feeling my lead arm rotating left, these things really got much better shifting over to the lead side. Prior to this, in transition, I’d worked more on a squat motion and pushing into the ground with my lead heel. What I have found with that is it tends to hold my core back a bit and I have not shifted my weight so much over into my lead side. As Chuck says different ways of putting this across works differently with each student. Craig on receiving your review comments I got straight into this video and then went out to my front lawn and worked on this. Also, let my wrists stay more supple to further increase the speed. The improvement was almost immediate, with shallow divots coming after the ball position. Also, I got a lot of speed increase through impact area. The light is going now and the Masters is on but will work on this over the weekend as it feels really good! Many thanks for this Craig, this one really feels good.
April 11, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello James. Great. Sounds like we are starting to dial in the important positions. Getting better weight and softer wrists are going to be crucial for you in the speed department. As you mentioned, there is a tournament on tv right now where you can see the same thing amongst the big guys!
April 11, 2019
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james
I cannot separate the left upper arm from my left side as it approaches the release and after - =is this being cause by my body movements in the downswing = this problem needs correction and it effects both the left shoulder and speed.
April 3, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello James. This is typically a culprit of combining shoulder spin and fulcrum position. Take a look at Moving the Fulcrum and Keep the Rear Shoulder Back. Also, Arms vs Body Release.
April 3, 2019
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Graham
Chris, pro golfers have very fast hands in the pre release phase of the downswing typically maxing out at 22 mph at club vertical position, by the start of the release their hands have started to slow down and by club horizontal their hand speed is down to 20 mph with a club head speed of 95 mph. In the release phase they add around another 16 mph of club head speed. This latter number is not a whole lot more than my own swing at 14mph. I only get to 17mph hand speed and have lost the difference in club head speed by club vertical and then have no chance of recovering. Two questions. Firstly how do pros get that initial acceleration which happens in the transition, is is solely from doing what is said in this video and secondly I know from my own swing that a free natural release of the driver is all that is needed, do you agree?
April 2, 2019
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
HI Graham, thanks for the question. What device are you using to measure your hand and clubhead speed in the downswing? Some pros, have a lot of active pull down with the hands and arms from the top of the swing into the hitting area. It does not mean we agree with the move. Also, some will increase the speed of the hands by using the hips to change the direction as quickly as possible and then get on the brakes. Pulling the arms may feel powerful to some, but you are running the risk of getting out of sequence and being way less efficient in the long run. Really good question here and let me know if you need any further assistance.
April 2, 2019
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Graham
Thanks Chris, the pro info was from an AMG video using Gears. My info is from a 3 bays GSA Zone device that sits in the end of the club. It gives a great representation of the swing with a continuous read on hand and club speed. I am struggling to get decent speed on my driver. I am stuck at 87mph, whereas 7 iron is comfortably in mid 70’s. Hence my supposition that without early added hand speed I will not be able to get into mid 90’s where I think I should be. Am I being too ambitious with my target?
April 3, 2019
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
I don't think you are being too ambitious. Are you due for a swing review by chance? If so, post up some driver swings along with your numbers and let us take a look to see where things are at to help find more speed in there for you.
April 3, 2019
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Graham
Will do.
April 4, 2019
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Andre
In the transition and down swing, what is the counter force we should be (or feel) pulling down? The club, the coiled shoulder blade, the left arm or the absence of feel altogether?
March 7, 2019
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Dean
Hey Andre, if you are referring to the counterforce to the backswing motion, it's the weight shift over to the lead side that starts before the backswing is finished and not a manual pulling of the arms down as they should be in a passive mode. The club drops with a blend of gravity and a pull from the weight shift/core. The weight shift and core movement allows the arms to be pulled in front of the torso into the hitting area where the post up happens. Feel is subjective but I can feel the lead arm pulling/tugging at the club through the grip moving towards to lead side.
March 7, 2019
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Chad
This is a tough move for me, if I get my weight on the left side I seem to bring my head with, if I keep my head back, I feel like I don't get enough weight on my left side and feel like I'm in a reverse C look, plus I feel like I'm hitting up on the ball when I get that added secondary tilt. So how do I transfer my weight properly but keep my head back?
February 26, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Chad. The head will have to move slightly during the transition. Take a look at Preventing Hip Pain Video to transfer the weight properly and understand the effects on the lead hip and axis tilt.
February 26, 2019
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Daniel
Should I feel my weight going directly to my left heel or through my left foot then to the heel?
February 25, 2019
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Dean
This may help from "5 Minute Golf Setup w/Weight Shift": Lots of talk about shifting weight into the lead and trail heel in that thread. Craig (Certified RST Instructor) In Reply To Mark Hey Mark. For the shift left you will have the feeling of pushing the left heel into the ground. Left hip abduction and the pull of the weight will really keep it sitting back in the glutes.
February 25, 2019
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William J
Please clarify for me the muscle(s) to use when starting to post up. Chuck points out the hamstrings (lead side), gluten and quads to use in order to post up ("make the little jump"). What about starting/pulling with the lead side oblique before driving the left heel in the ground? This pulling with the lead oblique also cause to leg to straighten (post up) and will aid in getting the hips to open up initially.
February 24, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello William. You are correct. The lead oblique will definitely aid in this process. The lead oblique helps square the hips while making the shift to the lead side. It should already be engaged and working before you really push into the ground and post.
February 24, 2019
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William J
Thanks, I wanted to make sure I wasn't complicating things more than they need to be. I use the lead knee (which I don't allow to be kicked in more than need be during the back swing) to bring my left leg/hip over my ankle and hips back to square. I also try to keep the trailing knee from kicking in by maintaining the space between them during this move.
February 24, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello William. Sounds like you are on the right track.
February 24, 2019
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Chad
Hello again, so ive got good axis tilt at the top of my swing but when I transfer my weight, my axis tilt turns to a pretty straight up position at impact, is that normal or should I still have axis tilt at impact?
February 16, 2019
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Dean
Hey Chad, it sounds like you are getting stacked (good thing) if your lead side looks straight at impact. Yes, there will be axis tilt at impact as you can see in this screenshot of the analyzer.
February 16, 2019
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Kevin
As you begin the downswing, what initiates the weight transfer? I know it’s pulling the lead leg but will that also cause the hips to rotate? Or should you try to resist rotating the hips and focus more on a lateral sliding? I seem to really use my core to pull my lead sack back to square
February 3, 2019
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Dean
Hey Kevin, the initial move does have a slight lateral shift that moves downward with some knee flexion and weight goes into the lead heel and a settling into the squat takes place. Your hips need to start to open up or you will get into a closed hip slide which is deadly. Hips should be square after you have pulled 70-80% of your weight onto the lead side and then just post up. You will also want to keep your shoulders from opening up during the initial lateral/down shift. Take a look at Chuck's 8i FO in the swing analyzer and pay attention to a few frames of his shift into his lead side. If you draw a line on the top and side of his head just before his transition; you can see what I'm talking about. The shift is lateral/down up until the point where the head is just behind the ball, then pull hips to square and post without any additional lateral shift.
February 4, 2019
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Chris
Are there any more videos or specific mentions of sitting or squatting into the left side cursing ds? This was first time I heard chuck use those words and I’ve watched about 65% of the videos, thanks!
January 23, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Chris. Sitting Into the Left Side Video, Squat to Square, Perfecting Lower Body Stability, Tiger Squat, and RST Tempo Drill for a few starters.
January 23, 2019
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Chad
Hello, should you be straightening your left leg on every shot from 56 degree to driver? Thanks, Chad
January 20, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Chad. The aggressiveness of the post up will vary between clubs. But, for stock shots through the bag you will be posting up.
January 20, 2019
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Jens
Chuck talks about the arms naturally falling when starting the shift without shoulder turning. I can see this happen for me aswell. My question now is when do i start engaging my arm muscles in actively pulling the club?
December 4, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jens. When you replied to your own comment below the system deleted it from my queue. I didn't know there was a post. I apologize. The downswing is a blend of weight shift, torso, and gravity. You don't want to yank the arms down, or try to activate at a certain time. They will be working into impact will little effort following the proper sequence.
January 20, 2019
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Jens
Hi Craig! Aaah ok ^^. Actually still feel some uncertanties on this topic. As I'm in the process of completing my downswing and start my weightshift to the left, i get that "jank" feeling in my hands from changing the force of motion. As this happens, should i let this force freely act on my club and hands (would describe this sensation as putting my arms into freefall) or should i feel like i actively hold my arms at the same angle to my body as when i completed the backswing until im ready to release.
January 20, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jens. The change in direction from trail to lead will create the lag for you. If you keep the arms/hands relaxed let the force freely act and continue pulling yourself to the lead side. The main thing to shy away from during this portion of the swing would be shoulder spinning, or pushing against the club with hand/thumb to release lag early.
January 21, 2019
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Jens
It feels like a super short "active" arm swing engaging my biceps and triceps first when the shift has been completed (starting to pull first when i turn my torso) if that is so it makes me real sad no one ever told me this before ????
December 4, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jens. You shouldn't have an arm swing. The movement is very little in the swing. Take a look at the Frisbee Drill and Step 4 - Add the Club. You will get a sense of how the pulling should feel.
January 20, 2019
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Orlando
Given how quick a pitch shot can be, should we not preset the load and rotation of the left leg?
October 25, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Orlando. For shorter type pitch shots. You may preset 70/30 with weight lead to trail side.
October 25, 2018
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David
I am told i am a bit jumpy in the transition and can hit at the ball instead of the swinging the club. Advice welcomed.
September 23, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello David. RST Tempo Drill and How to Swing from the Ground Up will help with initial transition.
September 23, 2018
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Devon
Squat to square is hard as heck for me. What I am doing is using my core (right obliques) to initiate my backswing. I then initiate my core again (left obliques) to rotate and shift my weight and load my lead hip. Is this correct or should I be doing something else to start the downswing and avoid going over the top. I've just started the system and I've immediately noticed a difference in my irons and hybrids and I'm just on the core rotation section. Great material you have here for a hight handicapper as myself.
August 5, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Devon. Glad you are enjoying the site and videos. Take a look at Fixing Your Weight Transfer and Preventing Hip Pain to see exactly the sequence and how to pull your weight. Don't over think too much. I believe the Weight Shift Sweep Drills are the easiest to attain the feeling.
August 5, 2018
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Jeffrey
Does the release happen every time the knee posts up? If that's correct, then essentially you are maintaining the lag by holding onto the hinge naturally up until your knee posts up?
July 15, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jeffrey. Yes, the posting up triggers the release. You are maintaining lag angle until you post.
July 16, 2018
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David
In an effort to shift the weight to the lead or left side, my head and left shoulder go first and i feel my arms drop under the plane and then i compensate by popping up and blocking to the right. Advice please!.
May 16, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello David. Sounds like you are trying to rotate the upper half to shift weight. Learn to pull or start with the lower half. Preventing Hip Pain, or RST Tempo Drill.
May 16, 2018
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David
Craig working away at it. Strike better but bad shot is low and right. I feel that when i shift to the lead side that sometimes my upper body and head fall back and my balance isnt great. Your thoughts?
June 22, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello David. Try the drill in the Play The Best Golf Of Your Life in 6 weeks 4 of 6 Video. This should help with not enough, or too much movement and releasing the club.
June 22, 2018
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Brian
Hi Craig, Any drills to help smooth out the first transitional move down together, at present my arms collapse in towards me before they start down. The move shows the club going from flatter position to steep before it starts down in a sort of flailing motion. Any help will be great. Many thanks. Brian
April 17, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Brian. Weight Shift Sweep Drill, Step 1 - Weight Shift, and RST Tempo Drill. You need to get comfortable with moving weight and not yanking down the lead arm. Nor, spinning to shoulders to start transition. Start to feel how the swing starts from the ground up with the shifting of the lower half. Not aggressively having to bring down, or steepen the plane of the shaft. Wait on it.
April 17, 2018
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Brian
Fantastic advice Craig! Many thanks. All the best. Brian
April 17, 2018
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Kevin
When should the transfer to the left be initiated? I feel comfortable with the thought of completing the backswing and then lowering my left heel. I've tried lowering my left heel prior to completion of the backswing -- which i gather most pros do -- but it feels difficult to time. I feel like I end up rushing and lose tempo.
January 30, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Kevin. The weight shift will start slightly before completing the backswing. In the beginning, without the proper weight shift motion trained. It is very tough to do. Don't worry about it being separate right now. Once, you have the movement pattern ingrained. You will slowly begin to do it without noticing it while working on lag and other swing components. It will be a much easier blend to achieve.
January 30, 2018
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Yuefeng
To add to my question, I actually tried the shift before completion of backswing a lot, perhaps in an exaggerated way. The swing feels slightly more powerful perhaps due to the extra torque, but on the other hand ball direction becomes harder to control, which I reckon is because the hands may get stuck behind - the lower half already starts to unwind, but arms and upper body are still traveling in an opposite direction going up and as a result couldn't be pulled down quickly enough. Appreciate your clarification.
April 10, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Yuefeng. Yes, if you rush that transitional aspect you can leave the arms behind getting stuck. Leading too over active arms to play catch up at impact. There has to be a blend/flow to the transitional change.
April 10, 2018
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Yuefeng
Following on this topic, I think there is a school of thought to start transition/downswing right before the clubhead momentum is about to change direction, similar to ride on a swing, so there is actually a tiny bit of pause at the top to wait for the "turn" in direction. This way we can harness the natural momentum of the clubhead going down. Is this the same concept or not?
April 10, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Yuefeng. You will start the downswing slightly before completing the backswing. The change of direction similar to the swing will help you generate lag.
April 10, 2018
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Yuefeng
Thanks Craig for the quick reply! Just want to clarify when you say slightly before completion of backswing, you are saying this in contrast to a complete static pause at the top which clearly separates backswing from downswing. Transition is meant to blend the two motions together to make them seamless. It is like if one were to push a swing to make it accelerate, he should push it when it reaches the maximum height and about to turn direction, but not too early on the half way, is this the right understanding?
April 11, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Yuefeng. Some players have more of a static pause (Matsuyama) and others more dynamic (Sergio). The length of the pause is up to the player. The key is to always be pulling. We prefer you start to shift right before the club in completely stopped at the top. Doesn't mean you can be like more Matsuyama.
April 11, 2018
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Scott
Will visualizing stomping the can with left heel create the the proper weight shift on the down swing if you are properly loaded on the right side on the backswing?
January 14, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Scott. Pressing the lead heel (stomp, step, etc) is a good way to initiate weight transfer.
January 14, 2018
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Martin L
This was a breakthrough video for me. I have been working with Rotary Swing for about 1 year and the use of hamstrings to post was the key insight for me. Moreover, concentrating on this took the tension out of some key shots in my round. Two questions; 1. this move is causing pain in the outside of my left ankle. how do i avoid it? 2. What is the best drill/exercise to strengthen the hamstring so I can post with more power?
January 11, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Martin L. Make sure you are Anchored to the Ground (video). Goblet Squats are good for getting stronger hamstrings. On a side note take a look at Preventing Hip Pain. Make sure you aren't pushing against the hip socket wall.
January 11, 2018
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Martin L
Thank you. I feel I am making this move well now. I am conscious not to roll on my left foot after impact. Main question. What should I work on next?
January 23, 2018
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Charles
This video illustrates what muscles to use in the transition and down swing. The question is that should the same set of muscles be recruited or engaged during the back swing so they can be fired first in the transition/down swing?
January 8, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Charles. You will use more of the trail lat, oblique and glute in the backswing. Both sides and arms have a role to play in the swing.
January 8, 2018
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Charles
Thanks Craig. My problem I discovered was that my right side was well trained. I had the tendency to initiate the swing more from the right side. I need to initiate more from the left side so the right side become passive and supportive. It is essentially to mimic a left hand only swing in the full swing, the swing sequence is the left side control.
January 8, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Charles. Some players get so adept to using the trail side that they can over do it in the backswing.
January 8, 2018
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Charles
I was one of those players - I am fighting to get rid of the trail side control by feeling the lead side controlling the swing.
January 8, 2018
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William
The goal, as I understand it, in the back-swing is to load the right side core muscles and the right leg quadricep, hamstring and glute. That makes sense to me. However, from that loaded position, the goal then becomes to roll the right foot in during the downswing, not to push off with the right foot. I get that. But my question is, if we load the right leg going back, the natural tendency will be to unload it (push with those loaded muscles) during the downswing. It seems everything is loaded for a push, but we have to resist using those loaded muscles. Is that correct or am i misunderstanding something?
January 7, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello William. Yes, but the pull to the left is what allows the trail foot to roll in. If you push, or try to unload the trail glute first. You will have early extension because the glute will be unable to help with hip stabilization.
January 7, 2018
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Charles
That was what I thought the right sequence, loading the right side in back swing, and pulling by the left side in the downswing. It did not, however, generate the consistence I was looking since it was hard to make the transition from the right to the left every single time. Now I am loading the left side in the back swing (recruit the muscles on the left side as much as possible) and unloading the left side in the down swing, and the right side remains passive or supportive in the entire swing. The left side controls the whole swing, which is the same sequence as the baseball drill. This sequence produces a consistent swing for me. Is there anything wrong with this?
January 8, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Charles. Weight Shifting accounts for 18.2% of your power in the golf swing and is a great proponent of creating lag. If you stay stacked on the lead side without any trail glute engagement you can hurt power and hip stability.
January 8, 2018
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Charles
Hi Craig, That's a good point. During the setup, I make sure I have the stable lower body by engaging the glutes on both sides. When I move the club back by primarily rotating the upper body, I feel the weight is transferred onto the right leg. I feel the upper body rotating back and forth with the support of the lower body. I feel the basebill drill is a right sequence for me. Is this a correct sequence? Every time when I use more muscles on the left side, I feel an effortless swing.
January 8, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Charles. I am okay with your notes. As long as the trail glute is loaded. All good.
January 8, 2018
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Peter
Clay, What do you feel as you begin to crouch just a touch at the start of the downswing. I feel lighter. What I'm after is a sort of UN-weighting. That is like the effect of allowing the arms to drop from the top, while supporting that 20 lb. club. Both the arms and the body are unweighting as one approaches the horizontal arms position. It's brief. But it's maybe why the best drive you ever hit felt "soft". I'm just a clinician, so my understanding of such stuff is limited. But put it that physics brain and chew on it a while. Peter S K
December 31, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Peter. You may feel relaxed. I think that is your lighter feel you are referring too. The torso and legs muscles are engaged. But, as you transition the upper half feels soft. Ready to work, but not dominant to over power the lower half leading the way. Allowing the top half to come down and not be forced.
January 2, 2018
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bill
What about the muscles in the back ( at the transition) that Chuck said he would explain in the Woods-Skip Kendahl video? He said he would mention later the muscles to be activated in the transition to keep the rt shoulder staying back.
December 31, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Bill. As you start to transition back to the lead side. You will still feel the trail lat keeping the trail shoulder engaged and back. The keeping of the trail shoulder down and in the box will help you not spin as the lower lead side starts to pull.
January 2, 2018
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Dan
Great vid. It sounds as though the weight shift isn’t side-to-side, more up and down, ie at the top of the bs I’m loaded into my right side, I then squat where the weight goes back to 50-50 and the posting of the left leg is when the weight transfer completes? As opposed to jumping the weight completely from one side to the other, it’s more gradual?
December 20, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Dan. Weight shift is gradual, but by the time you post up you shouldn't be shifting much weight. You should have the vast majority of the weight already shifted back by squat to square.
December 20, 2017

   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.

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