Fix Hip Overturning in Your Backswing

If you're letting your hips over rotate in the backswing, you're costing yourself a ton of power and control. Learn why and how to fix it.

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Dave
My last swing review pointed out a dozen issues, though too many to tackle at one time. However, I believe that this is single most important issue I am having. Two questions…. Should the trail foot remain square to the target? I usually flair both feet. Which may be causing some issues. Are there any good rainy day drills? It seems the takeaway could be an issue. I start the swing with a trail foot pressure in the heel, as Chuck mentioned in a different video. This may be causing too much start in the hip turn. Maybe refocus on takeaway drills? Thoughts?
July 1, 2021
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Dave. Ideally, the foot square to the target. But, you may have a little splay if necessary. Take a look at Should You Splay Your Feet Video. Rainy day drill for hips, or over all? Always can do body only drills, or work on release. The trail foot pressure will move into the heel. You may be starting too far back.
July 1, 2021
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Dave
Thanks, Craig. Looking for a drill to go with this video to keep from overturning the hips in the backswing.
July 1, 2021
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Dave. Good drill for whole backswing to tag along with: Play The Best Golf Of Your Life in 6 weeks | 1 of 6 Video.
July 1, 2021
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Ross
This rings so true for me. I’ve had lessons from various instructors over the years which encouraged a massive hip turn and I’ve always been super confused about why I never felt any ground pressure or stretching of the muscles. This video has basically answered those questions - I’m definitely doing the lazy man’s turn!
April 19, 2021
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Ross. Awesome. Thanks for the post. The lazy man's turn is a killer.
April 19, 2021
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Ricardo
I’m new to the program and working in setup/axil tilt and rotation but in my shoulder rotation back i feel like I’m not making and complete shoulder turn and I also feel as though my right leg is straighten to much. How do i get better at those things
August 12, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Ricardo. Make sure you are rotating with the core, on plane, and loading the trail glute. Take a look at Golf Backswing Shoulder Plane Drill, Body Rotation in Golf Backswing and Weight Shift Part 2 Videos.
August 12, 2020
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Kevin
Hi Craig - worked on this today and looks similar to my post from September DTL although tush line has improved. I checked face on and my right hip line looks good but my head moved lateral off the ball too much. Also, I was able to maintain tush line through this entire motion. Curious if I should also work on the left knee flexing too much
January 4, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Kevin. Looks like a little trail knee flexion loss with some movement of the lead knee. A touch cleaner with the knees will help.
January 6, 2020
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Kevin
Thanks Craig....just to clarify, the left knee is drifting laterally too much? I know the laser beam knee drills talks about keeping both knees facing the ball. Also, in regards to the the right knee, I sometimes feel when I sit into the right glute that my knee flex increases and posture consequently increases and causes me to stand up. This is a fine line, I'm also having trouble checking my right knee flex on camera - should I just compare it to address? For example, in this picture it still looks like I have some knee flex
January 6, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Kevin. It is okay for the trail knee to lose some flexion to reach full shoulder rotation as long as you load the glute. The lead knee may have moved a little bit towards the ball giving the appearance that some knee stability was lost in the backswing. Overall, it looks really good. You just want to shy away from seeing too much window between the legs at the top.
January 6, 2020
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Kevin
One other thing I’ve noticed is that when I lose flex in my right knee that I come off the tush line in the backswing - took this video yesterday and looks like I’m coming off the line and also see a gap between my knees - just wanted to confirm that makes sense
September 8, 2019
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R.J. (Certified RST Instructor)
Absolutely. When the right knee straightens up we're unable to load into the glute so the tendency is to start to lean towards the balls of the feet, thus pulling off the tush line. Keeping flex in the right knee is huge when it comes to preventing issues in your swing.
September 8, 2019
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Giap
I have try most of the drills that the website offers but still can’t fix my trail leg straightening in the backswing. What should I do
August 18, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Giap. Losing trail knee flexion is tough to get over once you have the straightening move ingrained. You must practice and ingrain the new move at a pace you can perform keeping the flexion properly. Then, gradually increase from there.
August 19, 2019
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Ross
One thing puzzles me about the turn back to the ball on the downswing. What powers it? I think I heard Chuck say something that suggests the upper body will help the hips turn back to the ball. Doesn't all rotational force have its source below the hips eg internal and external hip rotation, weight shift etc?
July 19, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Ross. The upper half is dead to you on the downswing. The lower half will be the main show of attraction. Take a look at Fixing Your Weight Transfer and Which Muscles to Feel in the Transition to know exactly what will power the sequence coming down from the top.
July 19, 2019
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Bill
Hip overturning seems to be a problem for me. I am trying to keep the knee pointing towards the ball and cannot seem to do it. Maybe not so flexible in my upper body. What I am trying to do at least is keep my weight upon the inside of my foot. Any other suggestions
May 11, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Bill. Practice feeling the separation between the upper half a lower half. Body Rotation in Golf Backswing - Chair Drill Video and Upper vs. Lower Body Video. You will find out you have much more flexibility than you think.
May 11, 2019
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Kevin
This topic along with right knee flex seems to be very controversial. I had a friend who is a PGA pro tell me that I need to increase rotation in my lower body and sent me this swing review. He also mentioned that my right knee should straighten more in the backswing as my hips rotate open. What is the happy medium in this topic? I agree that resistance in the lower body feels more powerful but I read as much supporting that is horrible on your back etc. My hips rotate about 45 degrees and shoulders 95 degrees
April 17, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Kevin. Most players from an anatomical stand point shouldn't have a problem rotating their shoulders 90 degrees and hips 45 degrees. This should create a feeling of coil, but not cause any excessive back tension. To me it looks more like improper loading into the trail glute and setup. Take a look at Upper vs. Lower Body Rotation in the Backswing Video for more discussion on this topic. Also, take a look at Weight Shift Video Part 2. This will discuss the loading/hip line issue I am seeing. I'm going to go take a look at the picture you posted on the other review.
April 17, 2019
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Robin
yeah lazy mans turn is spot on, I did 50 reps now and my thoughts were, wow now I understand why they say the core is important in golf haha
March 2, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Robin. Sounds like you are waking up some unused muscles. I like it.
March 2, 2019
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Andrew
I like two key statements in particular, IMO: “This is what I call the lazy man’s way to make a backswing.” “Now I’m more inconsistent and have less power – well, that kinda defines amateur golf right there, doesn’t it?!” Guilty as charged. I think I’ve noticed that I’m less aware of tension in my core muscles, I’m less aware of creating torque between my lower and upper body, than I used to be when I was younger (I’m 57). And maybe that’s because I’ve not kept in as good shape as when I was younger, so my brain lets me bail out because my (currently) weak muscles refuse to cooperate. Are there certain resistance training/strength exercises (isometric, gym, free weights, etc.) you can recommend for strengthening the particular muscles needed to create proper torque and resistance? Thanks.
August 25, 2018
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Andrew
(Forgive the formatting. I tried to break my comment into several paragraphs, but the website removed the breaks.)
August 25, 2018
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Yuefeng
Hello Craig. I didn't quite get your comment in my swing review as to what caused my club a bit across the line. Is it just an overration of my hips and upper body in the backswing? Thanks.
August 13, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Yuefeng. Combination of hip over rotation and changing your lead arm rotation at the top.
August 13, 2018
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Yuefeng
Thanks Craig. Could you elaborate what do you mean by changing lead arm rotation? And any video I can watch? Thanks!
August 13, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Yuefeng. Remember the "How to Keep the Left Arm Straight Video." As the trail arm fold you must allow for proper lead shoulder socket rotation and not counter balance with the trail arm across the line.
August 14, 2018
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Edward
Can you pleas comment on the lifting of the front heel during the backswing.
August 10, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Edward. Ideally, we would like it to stay in place. But, in the beginning if you are allowing a little lift to help facilitate the feel of weight transfer and rotation. No issue. Weight Shift Drill - Lift the Heels Video.
August 10, 2018
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Alan
But... I can't get my left arm far enough right to make my fingertips even. I'm actually beginning to think I'm under turning my hips. I can easily get my right arm into the "waiter tray position", but I can't get my left arm far enough right to match this waiter position. How much in degrees should my hips turn? 45°? I am turning my shoulders a little more than 90° in the weight shift drill, but when I add the club, my left arm doesn't want to go that far. Do some people under turn the hips? I'm doing some stretches to try and increase my left arm swing turn. Thanks! Alan Waggoner Edit: I just checked and I think my hips are turning around 20°-25° now.
August 9, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Alan. The hips will turn roughly 45 degrees. You may need to add some more hip rotation to facilitate the full swing. However, not a requirement dependent on flexibility. Make sure you are allowing the lead arm to rotate from the shoulder socket. How to Keep the Left Arm Straight Video and Winter Golf Training Program - Backswing.
August 10, 2018
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Jack
I have been taping my swing consistently while following this course. After close examination I noticed that I was failing to maintain the flex in my right/trail leg and as a result over rotating as described in Chuck's video. This was resulting in an overswing and across the line position at the top. I could feel the difference the minute I made this correction. Now that I've bored you with that I'll get to my question. I have tried rotating my trail/right foot inward a little to further restrict my hip turn and it feels like good medicine for this problem. It actually exaggerates slightly the tension desired between shoulder turn and hip turn. Is there any down side to this other than possible shortening of the backswing and resultant loss of a few yards? My plan is to gradually phase back in to a straight right foot at right angle to the target line once I've corrected the overswing.
June 29, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jack. It can strain the knee joint if too exaggerated. As long as you are using it as a little crutch to help get the feeling and you will gradually go back to square. For now, it will tend to limit hip turn too much and shorten the swing.
June 29, 2018
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Jack
Thanks for your prompt response Craig. To be a little more clear I'm only turning it in about 5-10 degrees which only slightly shortens my swing assuming the same shoulder turn effort.
June 29, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jack. When trying to correct positions I don't have much of any issue unless there are safety concerns. As long as you don't get too carried away and/or swing to hard with the eventual goal of getting it standard position. However, glad to hear it is helping you overcome the swing issue.
June 29, 2018
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Brad
Hogan supposedly turned to Bob Toski when they were playing at Medalist in FLorida years ago and said:" BOb, you know why I hit the ball so Bleeping solid every time? Because my right knee stays put on my backswing."...So, a page out of Hogans book Chuck!
January 8, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Brad. Thanks for the post. Trail knee flexion is very important in a Biomechanical Swing.
January 8, 2018
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Brad
Craig, I am currently struggling with early extension of my back; My question is how do you perform squat to square, and post up onleft hip without the danger of early extension and pain in the low back. ? I have been meaning to ask CHuck this for a long time. Thanks. Brad
August 29, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Brad. It would be easier to diagnose with seeing the move. Nevertheless, take a look at Step 2 - Core Rotation, You Hit the Golf Ball with Your Legs, and Chair Drill - Maintain Tush Line. I think you may be overdoing how much you are clearing the hip and maybe adding some push increasing your secondary axis tilt too much. Excessive tilt combined with spinning hips can lead to lower lumbar pain.
August 29, 2019
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Robert
Agree wholeheartedly. but,if one is over 60, how does one do this AND still have a almost complete shoulder turn? Do you allow the hips to turn just enough to complete the shoulder turn to 90 degrees. Can you flare the right toe very slightly? Do you allow the laser to point just slightly back from straight ahead? Thanks.
January 7, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Rob. You may allow for a little more hip turn if you require it to make a 90 degree shoulder turn. Very slight flair (if required for hip mobility), but shy away from too much. You still have to make sure you keep good trail knee flexion and load in the glute. I wouldn't allow the trail knee laser to rotate excessively, but the lead knee may point slightly behind.
January 7, 2018
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Floyd
Have a bit of the same problem myself - but isn't the most important part of this the separation between the two? If the ratios are the same even if you have less shoulder turn isn't that going to provide the same dynamic energy back into the ball?? i.e. 10deg of hip turn and 50 deg shoulders? It won't be tour stuff but you also aren't looking at DJ length at 60 (or 57 for me)... Thanks for letting me butt in!!! Floyd
February 4, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Floyd. You may have a blend of rotation, elevation and width. We don't care how much of either you use. But, using them to your advantage. If you want to lessen hip rotation and shoulder rotation. You may add more elevation, or leverage too make up for the lack of speed. The bigger the turn and separation the more speed you can create through short stack cycle. More muscle fiber recruitment and a quicker snap back of the muscles. But, depending on comfort. You just need a blend of the 3 power sources.
February 5, 2018

Many amateur golfers struggle with their hips over rotating in the back swing. And they have no idea why they're doing it. And they have no reason to stop because they don't know what damage is causing in their swing. So I wanna talk about both of those today because the hips overturning and the swing is something you absolutely must stop to build power and consistency in your golf swing. So let's first look at what causes your hips overturn. Let's take a look at what it looks like when your hips overturned. So the biggest thing that you're going to notice obviously is that you look at their belt buckle. The hips are going to turn 56 degrees. A lot of times, if you let your left heel come up, you're going to see a bigger hip term because this obviously frees up your hips to rotate more.

If you really do it bad, you'll end up on the outside of your right foot at the top of your swing. This happens when you try to kind of lift your arms up. So now my I'm in a doesn't exactly look the most powerful position in the world, as you can imagine. And now not only am I in a weak position and haven't loaded up my muscles because my core and my hips have turned the same amount. So I haven't stretched any of these vital core muscles that are essential for power in the swing. I've just moved them together because this is what I call the lazy man's way to make a backswing. Cause this doesn't take any effort. You just pivoting on your hip, rolling around. I have not loaded any of these muscles to do this correctly, to keep your hips anchored and start rotating and stretching here.

This actually takes work. You're compressing your rib cage. You're using all these core muscles to turn and twist your body. And you're going to recruit a lot more muscle fiber, which at the end of the day, so the whole purpose of the golf swing, you must load your torso and create this torque because this is going to allow you to easily expend energy on the way down automatically as you stretch these muscles, they naturally, when returned back to the normal position, that's free power. That's built into your DNA. It's the same for all of us. So we need to stretch and load these muscles. And that's why you don't want your hips to over-rotate in the backswing. So how do we stop it? The first thing I always check is the right knee, the right knee. You've noticed we had a, a video on a site called the laser beam drill.

And if you imagine a laser coming out of the back of my knee, I want to imagine that it's kind of pointing at the ball and that doesn't necessarily have to be canted in that much. But what we see a lot of times is people set up like this, where their knee, their laser be pointing outside their foot. And then you're just one step away from a huge over hip turn here. So as you keep your right knee rotated in slightly pointed to the inside of your foot, or imagine that it's pointing at the ball and you try and keep it there the whole time as you go back. Well, how far can my hips turn? Not very far. In fact, I turned the right amount and I feel way more load in my glutes and my hips and my core now than I do when I do this, this just feels pathetic and weak.

So as I keep that knee focusing on that right knee, laser beam drill anchored in now my hips can't overturn. That's the key to keeping those hips from rotate. Now, I feel my glutes. The whole point of this again, is to create torque and muscle fiber recruitment, which is the name of the game and the golf swing for effortless power. The more muscle fiber we can recruit, the more power we can generate with less effort. So instead of letting your hips go out and your knees go out and your weight go to your outside of your foot, and you're making this huge hip turning out, loading this, you need to feel that this is moving independently of this. As soon as you do that, your hips will stop over. Rotating, get used to feeling load in your right glute instead of just twisting on it on your hip socket and your hips will stop overturning.

And the big thing is there'll be way less work for you to do in the downswing to get everything back into an impact position. Think about it this way. If I turn my hips 45 degrees going back and you know, they're going to be about 45 degrees, open it impact. How far do I have to turn my hips in that quarter of a second, that it takes for the entire downswing to complete? Well, obviously 45 and 45 is 90 degrees, 45 degrees closed in relationship to the target square 45 open that's 90 degrees of rotation. Now let's say you're like a net, typical amateur golfer who just gets lazy and just lets their hip kind of rotate like this, no load, no torque here. And now I've turned my hip 65 degrees. Well now in that same quarter of a second, this is going to take me to complete the downswing. How far do I have to turn my hips? Well, now instead of 90 degrees, you got to add another

20 to this. And I got to go 110 in the same

Amount of time. That's twice as much effort to get my hips all the way open. And guess what? You're going to start doing. Start trying to push off my right side, use my shoulders. Anything I can to try and get into that proper impact position, or I just won't even achieve that proper impact position. Cause I couldn't turn my hips fast enough cause I didn't load up the right muscles that help them turn. So this hip overturn not only makes your swing more work to try and get your hips open properly there, it actually costs you more power because you're recruiting less muscle. It's a double whammy. Not only are you going to be more inconsistent because your hips are having to turn more in a super short compressed period of time, but they have to turn more without any muscle power. There's no muscle recruitment in your core and your trunk here when you just lazy, let everything turn back together and now on all, if I'm more inconsistent and have less power, well that's kind of defines amateur golf right there. Doesn't it. So you want more power? You want more consistency? We need to move less and recruit more muscle fiber at the same time. Not letting your hips overturned by using that right knee. Laser beam drill will keep you in a great position at the top of your backswing.

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