Hinging From the Hip

How do you determine the proper spine angle at address? This video shows you how and talks about hinging properly from the hip.

  • The correct spine angle is not a specific number - it varies from one golfer to another
  • Never bend at the waist in the golf swing - hinge from the hips to keep the spine neutral
  • Get into good posture then bow forward until your toes get light
  • Relax your knees and let your arms hang down
  • You should feel your weight in your glutes, not your quads

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shulei
My swing Back of the knee is out of the heel rather than on top of the ankle when setup.dont know why.
August 19, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Shulei. It is okay for the trail knee to straighten a little, but not locked out. Look at the leg and hip work in the Clamshell Drill.
August 19, 2020
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Mickey
Hopefully Patrick can answer this for me. Is there some sort of blend or feeling to both rotate using the core and doing the shoulder glide? I get the impression that I'm focusing more on the shoulder glide and not rotating with the core, but I was assuming I needed a little of both. Any comments from anyone are helpful.
June 19, 2019
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Patrick (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Mickey, in your particular case, you want to focus more on rotation. If you're core / abs rotate, your shoudlers will follow and your shoulder will glide. Make sure you shift into your left leg FIRST. To recap: shift 1", PAUSE, rotate using your core. Do that chair drill. It will do wonders for feeling your abs working.
June 19, 2019
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Orlando
I've struggled with straightening my right leg on the backswing. I'm wondering if hinging from my waist improperly contributes to this. While in the box with core engaged. should I feel like my belt bucket points towards the ball? That gives me a feel like hips rotate down, not just my spine being forward. My toes have always gotten "light" quickly when I hinge. I get my hips back but without hinging properly with chest pointing more down to counterbalance, I think I get off balance quickly.
May 14, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Orlando. I wouldn't worry much about aiming the belt buckle. It will point down slightly when hinging properly, but at the ball seems a little much. Put hyper focus on loading the glute correctly. How to Swing from the Ground Up and Load Right Leg Video.
May 14, 2019
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Paul
Hi, Im really struggling to feel my glutes in the set up or at any point in swing to be honest. At set up I feell it in hamstrings and calfs then nothing above. Thanks.
April 21, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Paul. The Hamstrings and Calfs will be supporting muscles. Are you certain you are over the ankle joints with your weight? Also, take a look at How to Swing from the Ground Up to try and get those glutes to fire. Also, How the Lower Body Works Video.
April 22, 2019
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Stephen
When I bend from my hips, I feel strain (not quite pain) in my lower back. Is this because my core is weak? I sit a computer 8 + hrs/day for work.
July 9, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Stephen. Sitting at a computer can definitely do this. Sounds like tight hamstrings, or you could be bending from the spine at not the hips properly.
July 9, 2018
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Jim
In trying to get to the right position I found it a bit easier to take a slight knee bend, then bend at the hips until I'm balanced over my ankles. Your thoughts on this approach? Thanks in advance.
February 6, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jim. My fear would be that your weight balance would change. Make sure you stay balanced over the ankle joints and don't get into too tall a position.
February 6, 2018
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Jim
Thanks Craig. I'll make sure I'm over the ankle joints.
February 6, 2018
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Jane
Question for us ladies out there... I am just gonna say it! When I follow the setup process, I struggle with the fact that I have to deal with my chest. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v0n7wVu_A6U this video says I need to have my left arm more on top of my chest. Would you agree? When I hinge , maintaining my "shoulder connection", it does not naturally hang on top of my chest. Do I need to adjust my setup?
July 6, 2017
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Hi Jane, great question and as lady, you can allow for some protraction of the shoulders when hinging from the hips. This will allow you to have the hands and arm hang freely off the shoulder line and still be able to get your hands on the club. As far as an anatomic absolute positioning of the arms for reference, each person will be a bit different based on build. If you are due for a swing review, we can take a look at your setup and let you know what to add in or take out. Hope that helps.
July 6, 2017
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T David
Great video. Since I am taller, it appears that I may have more hip bend, making the ball further out in my stance, keeping a slight knee bend. Is this correct?
June 11, 2017
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Micah (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello David, Taller golfers can have more hinge (i.e. Dustin Johnson). Depending on how tall you are, you might want to consider getting fitted for clubs depending on if you have a ton of hinge. fitting can adjust your lie angles and shaft lengths to bring the club handle to your posture instead of posture to handle for a healthier more effortless swing. But, none the less, with proper grip and stance the club shaft should point at your belt buckle at setup.
June 12, 2017
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shulei
How much the knee need to bend ?how to check this ?what problem will have if bend too much ?
June 10, 2017
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Micah (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Shulei. If you hinge from the waist the correct way while keeping the knees locked, you will feel your toes become lighter as weight transfers towards the heel and right under the ankle. once you feel weight under the ankle and not on the toes, simply bend the knees just enough to unlock them. if you feel the quads engage more than the glutes, you have too much knee flexion. Too much knee flexion can result in your legs not providing a stable platform for the upper body to perform with all its functions during the golf swing. Also too much flexion can cause knee and back injuries.
June 12, 2017
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shulei
Want know if the upper body bend same angle with all different clubs?If so is that mean how far from the ball is different with different clubs as the clubs length is different? Struggle to find the right angle upper body to bend.
June 13, 2017
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Wayne
When I "bend from the hips" my weight does not come off of my toes, it goes onto them. I have always suspected that my posture is not correct but I don't know why. Am I standing too upright? Too bent over? When I get set up it is never the same feeling every time. Think I need some more help.
May 4, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Wayne. Sounds like you are hinging straight forward. When you hinge your butt has to drop back to counter balance. Take a look at the Common Golf Setup Faults and Fixes. Not specifically in the video. But, you can see what the butt shouldn't do.
May 4, 2017
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Wayne
Thanks Craig. Awesome video that I had not seen yet. I immediately began practicing this at home and I was leaning all forward as you suspected. Great stuff, thanks again.
May 4, 2017
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Alan
He looks very upright, maybe 20 degrees or less. Based on the cues he gave almost anyone would be very upright 20 or less. If 35-45 degrees is ideal as stated below, what cue should we use to get there?
March 12, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Alan. Chuck is hinged forward more than it appears. Also, when grabbing a club (depending on said club) it will vary slightly. To make sure you are ideal check to see the hands are proper distance from the ball. How Far to Stand from the Golf Ball Video.
March 13, 2017
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Patrick
I have been seeing other videos and articles that say you should hinge from the hip 45 degrees at set up, or 35 to 45 degrees, as when you rotate that allows for a perfect takeaway. Basically it puts the club at a 90 degree angle with the upper body bend at address which is described as how the clubs are designed. What are RST's thoughts on this as I want to get my hinge degree correct?
February 22, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Patrick. Your numbers don't sound off. It will vary a little from club to club as your spectrum of 35 to 45 degrees.
February 23, 2017
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Patrick
Great thanks.
February 23, 2017
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Martin L
Should I do the hip bump before or after tilting from the hips? And should the left shoulder stay at the same level and only the right shoulder drop or should the left shoulder move up slightly when bumping the hip?
February 11, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Martin. Take a look at Common Golf Setup Faults and Fixes. Chris covers the majority of your questions about adding tilt. You will already be hinged forward typically when adding tilt.
February 12, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Martin. Take a look at Common Golf Setup Faults and Fixes. Chris covers the majority of your questions about adding tilt.
February 12, 2017
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Patrick
Not sure what happened, apparently I replied to myself so I will try to ask this again. This is for Craig who responded to my earlier question. ok, I watched that distance from the ball video. Indulge me here because I really want to make sure I am getting the hinge forward right. I am using the premise that standing straight is 0 degree hinge and standing with my torso parallel to the ground is 90 degree hinge. I got my sand wedge out, hinged, made sure my hands were in the right position relative to my chin, and found that I was at about a 45 degree hinge. I then got my mini driver and found that I was at about a 22 degree hinge. Just to see I then set up with my 7 iron and it looked like I was right in the middle of that. Each of those felt right so my question is what is the definition of a little change from club to club? With 12 clubs in my bag I am changing about 2 degrees per club but 22 degrees overall. However, if I am understanding correctly, theoretically the variable that determines distance from the ball is club length so I hear what you are saying that there probably should be one perfect degree of hinge (or at least a much smaller change from driver to sand wedge). Like others who commented I could get no feel for that wait until my toes come up. My bending over but weight on my heels just counter balanced each other and I could bend all day long. Regardless if I am doing that wrong I need another way to think about it which is why I am asking about degrees of tilt and what your definition of an appropriate range would be.
December 13, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Patrick. The best thing to do would be upload a few different setup into the Swing Review Portal. Myself or another instructor would be happy to take a look. In the meantime, using Chuck as the degree variable. From Driver to 8 Iron, Chuck's degree changes roughly 12-13 degrees. I would image more so to a sand wedge. Estimating about 16-17.5 degree change from SW to Driver. You don't sound off by much. There are genetic factors that will play into this (leg length, torso length, etc).
December 13, 2016
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Patrick
Hello, just signed up for Rotary Swing after 3 months of lessons that just weren't answering enough questions and frankly telling me the wrong things, with no reasons. I am very excited to get started and can't believe there is a consistent method out there everybody can do. I have been working on the setup and doing the drills for about a week. My question is whether the amount I hinge forward, how far, depends on the length of the golf club, i.e., leaning farther forward with the shorter clubs? This is what I am doing as the rule in one of the videos was to lean forward until you can see the ball. That makes sense and that is what I am doing. However, it appears that variables are removed a lot of times, but this appears to vary from club to club. Am I thinking about that right?
December 12, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Patrick. Welcome to the site. Your hinge will change a little from club to club. But, it shouldn't be too dramatic. The key is to make sure you are the proper distance from the ball. Take a look at How Far to Stand from the Ball Video.
December 12, 2016
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Patrick
Will do, thanks
December 12, 2016
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Dave
Question from a tall golfer (6' 7") with relatively short arms. As I get into the proper posture as described in the video, if the club does not reach the ground; how do I adjust? (my clubs are 2" over and 4 degrees up over Mizuno standard) Do I bend more, or flex the legs more? This is a challenge that I have as I watch the videos, it is very hard at times to correlate what happens with someone at 5' 10" and get the same body positions as on the video. I am more in line with a Phil Blackmar than am a Rory. Thanks
November 8, 2016
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Aaron (Certified RST Instructor)
It's ok....It's ok ... said from a 6'5 RST instructor. We are all different and will look different at setup than our neighbor. Chuck and I will never look the same at setup with an 8 iron in hand. His 8 iron looks like my driver setup. However, he can swing a lob wedge in a setup that may look like my 8 iron. My point being you can swing RST with different angles. It is more about getting into those angles. To me you will have to simply hinge more at the hips. Don't compensate with your legs. Hope that helps. Send in a swing review...ask for the tall instructor.
November 9, 2016
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Dave
Thanks Aaron, I will do that. So, to keep balance, my backside has to counter my forward lean.......I get the concept, just makes it tough watching videos and making an apple to apple comparison. Look for a video in a couple weeks, traveling a lot right now.
November 9, 2016
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Joseph
Have been working with my core and my weight shifting, and I can't believe how much it has helped me, and thank you chuck for that. I feel like I am not releasing the club completely, and need some help with that? I'm also ahead of myself in viewing the videos compared to my reps. Is that ok. I'm 65years old play to a ten handicap but a little slow in following the reps with the videos?
September 4, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Joseph. Better quality reps will help you master the components. Don't jump ahead to quickly and lose some of the work you have put in. Take a look at Fix Your Release to help with proper club and wrist rotation. Thanks for the compliments of the site and content.
September 6, 2016
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William
Viewing DTL if I have a proper address position I know a vertical line drawn from my right ankle should touch the back of my knee. Should the back of the knee be touching the line throughout the back swing and the downswing until the right foot is pulled off the ground?
September 1, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello William. It will stay mostly on the line until the trail foot/leg start to get pulled through and up.
September 2, 2016
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Braden
Are you going to have the same spine angle throughout the bag, just for shorter clubs would you want to stand closer to the ball?
May 27, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Braden. As you move up through the bag from the wedge. You will get slightly taller.
May 28, 2016
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Tom
Hi Craig, I believe the reason my shoulders were so curved was that I was trying to keep my arms closer together when I set up. I am fairly stocky as you can see, with wide shoulders and short arms. I have been trying to keep my right elbow in once I have completed my backswing and I thought that keeping my arms closer together would help. That must not be the case. I have wanted to order the RotaryConnect but they have been out of stock for a while. I am not build long and wiry but I would like to make more fluid swings. How much should I try to keep my arms together and do you think the RotaryConnect would help me improve my swing more quickly and efficiently? Thanks!
April 11, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Tom. The RotaryConnect may help, but I think we are still out of stock. However, you want the arms close at setup, but you don't want to squeeze them together. When the arms get overly pinched they will tend to round the shoulders. The key is elbow pit alignment. Pointed away from the body, but the arms not externally rotated to a degree that creates comfort issues and too close together. See if the Golf Grip Tips or Fixing Your Setup Video help.
April 12, 2016
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Terry
Help me with this thought - setting the spine angle is done via the setup shown in this video and defined as the upper body to lower body angle is set by moving the upper body towards the ball. Tilt occurs as the right hand grabs the club and pulls the right shoulder below the left. THen what you have is a upper body with some right and forward tilt (for lack of a better word). Then as the swing begins this "angle" is maintained thru impact. IS that correct? Do you have any video that shows what that looks like in the complete swing?
March 24, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Terry. Take a look at the Importance of Axis Tilt and the Level Shoulders Drill. Both will discuss certain aspects of axis tilt (Winter Series Setup as well). Spine tilt occurs when you add your trail hand to the club. You will be slightly away from the target with the upper half. Hinging from the hips dictates the spine angle (forward bend at address). The secondary spine tilt may increase a little into impact. But, yes you are looking not to create more secondary tilt in the downswing.
March 24, 2016
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Kyle
Hello, I was curious about the arms hanging their natural position once you hinge from hips and take correct setup. I was told by a previous instructor that hands should be a fist length away from the slightly bent knees. Is that in fact still a valid reference point? Or rather bad advice I should remove from my memory? Thanks again for all the help. I am really enjoying all the videos.
December 25, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Kyle. That can depend on your body type. For some that could be good. But, what if you were a really short person with big hands and the advice came from a tall person with tiny hands. Too many variables. The distance should be where you could draw a straight line from the shoulder joint through the elbow joint into the base of the hands. Take a look at Dustin Johnson Setup for Consistency.
December 26, 2015
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Joel
HI Craig, You recommended this video to me after a swing review yesterday. You identified that I have too much knee bend and my spine angle is too deep. I agree with both points and I think the increased knee flex might be making it harder to remain stable in the lower body. I know it may be hard to tell from video but does it look like my clubs are too short? When I reduced my spine angle and knee flex I felt like the clubs might be short as they settle much closer to my body.
October 22, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Joel. I would have to check again. Remind me in your next review. If anything missing a touch short would be preferred if they are lacking in length.
October 23, 2015
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sambhu
With the right amount of axis tilt, I am noticing pressure on the inside of my right big toe ....is this a good indicator of right angles and chest covering the ball at address?
July 30, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Sam. The toe will help you stay upright. But, there shouldn't be a lot of stress on it. It sounds like the weight is forward. You should be able to pick up the toes fairly easy. Take a look at Finding True Balance and Problems Caused by Poor Setup in the Setup and Advanced Setup Section.
July 30, 2015
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sambhu
Got it. How about on the arch area of my foot?
July 30, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Sam. The whole foot will be helping with balance. Just make sure that weight doesn't fall towards the balls of the feet too much. The inside arch and more towards the ankle joint is fine.
July 30, 2015
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sambhu
Thank you
July 30, 2015
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Luigi
Hello How should the leading edge of the golf club look like at the setup? Parallel to the ground or is there an angle? Saluti Luigi
June 17, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Luigi. Parallel to the ground.
June 17, 2015
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Luigi
Isn't there an effect on the shaft, because of gravity on the downswing, that wil bend the shaft and club head?
June 17, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Luigi. The goal is to get the club vertical at address with the arms and the hands. Depending on the club and design of the sole the leading edge may be facing up a little. You don't want to change that sitting by forward pressing and trying to get the edge facing the ground and/or hands sitting too much behind the ball which would get it facing the sky.
June 17, 2015
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John
Hello, During setup there is hinging from the hip and also hip bump and axis tilt. Would you please advise which one is done first and perhaps any reasons for the order ? Regards John Mc
June 1, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello John. Take a look at the 5 Minutes to the Perfect Setup in this Section. You will add hip bump/axis tilt last. Brining your trail hand on the club already lowers the trail shoulder slightly and you have to add some tilt. Easier to perform in one motion versus tilting early and the potential of adding too much tilt when gripping the club.
June 2, 2015
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Andrew
From what the first video said, we should not feel any pressure in lumbar/lower back correct. However, when you find your proper balance by forcing your glutes back and bowing, is it normal to have some pressure in the lumbar region near the erector spine?
April 18, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Andrew. You might feel some tightness due to the hamstrings pulling on your lumber spine. But, it shouldn't be too much. Take look at the Golf Setup Posture Video in this section as well and make sure you aren't adding any lordosis.
April 18, 2015
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Greg
Hi RJ, I understand how to get into the correct posture. The problem is when I am playing and trying to line up a shot. Given the routine I described below, can you step into the ball and without returning to an upright position have the proper weight distribution? Should I stand parallel to the ball, hinge over, set the club and then try to shuffle around in that position until I am in the right alignment? Sounds awkward.
March 3, 2015
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R.J. (Certified RST Instructor)
Greg, whatever you need to do to get into the proper position at address, you go ahead and do it. I literally just go through my checklists for my setup when I go to address the ball. Then I clear my head and let 'er rip. Preshot routine isn't a fundamental of the golf swing so, whatever is more comfortable for you that allows you to get into the proper position, then that's what you should do. R.J.
March 4, 2015
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Greg
Hi RJ, You have been very good in the past describing golf sensations during the swing, so I thought I would ask you for one more. What you have provided in the past has been very helpful. One of the issues I was having was during the downswing is I would lose spine angle, but now through your help I understand how the hips need to move. One thing I discovered as I worked through this is that I would tend to dip my left shoulder forward during the back swing. Eventually, I figured out the cause. I was too far forward on the balls of my feet which caused my right hip to rise slightly as it turned back. This in turn caused me to lose depth on my backswing, so when I initiated my swing with my legs it resulted in a steep plain and a slightly over the top swing. When I reviewed hinging from the hips and made sure I did not send the weight to my quads the backswing and downswing became infinitely better. My problem is finding a pre shot routine that will get me into that position. When I try with no club in hand it is fine. With club in hand it is fine. When I try to align body and club to target however, I place my right foot perpendicular to the target line, sight the club face, ball and target then place the left foot. During this process I have my knees slightly bent, so when I finish setting up I feel my weight on my quads. Too adjust to where I want to be, I have to stand erect hinge from the hips and address the ball, but then the ball ends up being too close to me. Got any suggestions? I thought if you took me through your set up routine something might click.
March 3, 2015
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R.J. (Certified RST Instructor)
Greg, I appreciate the complement. The best thing you can do is put a shaft down your back and make sure that you butt, back at the shoulder blades and your head are touching the club as you hinge. Then make sure the weight of your body is in your heels, once you can comfortably see the ball, relax your knees and voila la, perfect hinge. Then use the club to make sure you have the proper axis tilt. R.J.
March 3, 2015
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Piper
I have not noticed a mention of the feet thus far in the video's. I did notice most RST instructors in the videos have their feet parallel. I am most comfortable with my toes slightly turned out at setup. Can this cause a problem for me?
February 9, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Piper. We tend to shy away from having the feet too flared open. It allows for more hip rotation. If your toes are just slightly open. Just check to make sure the hips aren't spinning and you can still post on the glutes properly.
February 17, 2015
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Ross
After bending from the hips and bending the knees, is the weight centred over the ankles again? So that you can rock back onto the heels or forward onto the ball of the foot and find a balance point just the same as when you are standing straight?
November 29, 2014
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R.J. (Certified RST Instructor)
Ross, If you drop your hips back with your knees locked to the point where your toes start to lift off the ground, then relax your knees, your weight will be over your ankle joints already. R.J.
November 30, 2014
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Carlo
Hello, for the glutes to be activated vs quads, how much of ones weight should be by the heels vs toes? Any good drills to ensure glutes are activated at set up? Thanks,
October 27, 2014
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R.J. (Certified RST Instructor)
Carlo, The 5 minutes to the perfect golf setup will get you squared away in no time. It's in the full swing program setup section. R.J.
October 27, 2014
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Matthew
You say to let your hips sit back until your toes get light to determine how far to hinge. But the problem I have is that I can keep hinging forward as far as I want, keeping my weight over the center of my ankle; the hips counterbalance the upper body. And I don't seem to be violating any of the video practice points. So I find myself just hinging until the club reaches the ground, with my arms relaxed. As a result, the club I'm using determines the hinge, which I expect is not the goal. Also, I might take this opportunity to mention how awkward it feels to keep my stance so narrow (center of ankle at hip joint plus 2 inches) with a Driver. Perhaps that is related to the solution. Thanks!
October 23, 2014
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R.J. (Certified RST Instructor)
Matthew, It might feel strange having a more narrow stance than what you're used to but being 2 inches outside of NJA is the safetest and most efficient stance for your swing. You might think that you're hinging from the hip properly, but it is physically impossible to do it properly and get your arms all the way to the ground. Either your hips aren't dropping behind the back of the knee joints or you aren't keeping your knees locked while you drop the hips back. Or a combination of both. You need to check it on camera. You will be surprised at what you see. Good luck, R.J.
October 23, 2014
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Matthew
Hi RJ. I'm pretty sure I'm hinging properly. I'm not getting my arms to the ground by any means, but I can get to where my upper body is about 130 degrees at my hip joint with balance over the center of my ankle and still have the back of my knee in position above my ankle (where standing straight up would be 180 degrees, and bent over with my back parallel to the ground being 90 degrees). I guess I'm kindof splitting hairs here because I feel comfortable at about 150-160 degrees, and I can get a full turn from there. ... But do you understand what I mean about counterbalancing? I mean, if I drop my hips back AND hinge my upper body forward, then those balance out, don't they (depending on the rate at which you move each)?
October 24, 2014
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R.J. (Certified RST Instructor)
They will if you keep your knees flexed. When you are trying to find how far you need to go, your knees need to be kept straight. This will eventually move the center of gravity over the back of the heel which will pull your toes off the ground. If you flex your knees, you will be allowed to hinge your hips as much as you want and be counter balanced with your torso because when your knees are flexed they will bend as much as they need to continue to be the center balance point, whereas if they are straightened, this isn't possible. If your sole concern is how much you are supposed to hinge as opposed to being able to feel your toes get light, then all you need to do is hinge from the hip enough that you can comfortably see the ball without dropping your head or getting out of the box. R.J.
October 24, 2014
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Matthew
Cool, that makes sense. Thanks!
October 26, 2014
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R.J. (Certified RST Instructor)
Matthew, You're welcome! Good luck with your swing! R.J.
October 27, 2014
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Moe
hey RST, i find your approach really intriguing and im very excited to build up my swing with you guys. especially the focus on the specific muscles that are activated is great, although its surprisingly hard for me as a non-athlete to properly communicate with my body in this specific, conscious and deliberate way. Like Jonathan before me, i feel the muscles of my thighs (= hamstrings & quads?) much more intensely than the glutes when i hinge from the hips... my thighs are hard while my butt is still... butt-like, and that is from the start on, im not overhinging. Pushing my heels into the ground also seems to activate my thigh-muscles more than my glutes... With flexing the buttcheeks you mean like cracking nuts with it? If i do this, it feels like everything becomes real tense... How should the general proportion of flexing and relaxation be in a good posture? I guess somekind of fired up without becoming stiff and overflexed. Any ideas would help here, as this is completely new to me. if you have information or drills of how to activate the single muscles that we need here, that would be of great help too, as i really have to start and get a proper mind-muscle-connection, to get the feel of a specific muscle so to say. anyways thanks alot and if my english is messed up, im sorry. sincerely, Moe
September 23, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Moe. Thanks for choosing us to help you with your swing. A few notes. It sounds like you are getting too much knee bend at address. If add too much flexion with the knees, the quads will tend to engage. Take a look at the "Stomp Drill" in the How the Lower Body Works Video in the Downswing Section. You should be able to create a good fire in the glute for the proper feeling. You don't need to feel like you are cracking nuts at address or transferring your weight. That is too much. Concentrate on the weight transfer videos. If you stay centered over the ankle joints, you should be able to load to the trail side and back to the lead side with the glute. The entire leg is supporting you. We just need to make sure the glutes are the primary shifters and stabilizers in your swing.
September 23, 2014
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Brian
Just curious how this set up changes with different clubs. With shorter irons like wedges, would you keep the knee bend about the same and just hinge more from the hips? Thanks for the help! Cheers, Brian
June 29, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Brian. There can be a little more bend from the waist with the shorter clubs. Try to stay away from too much knee bend, unless it is a specialty shot. Excessive knee bend will lead into too much quad engagement.
June 30, 2014
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Glen
Just checking into proper posture at setup and noticed that there is little to no data on where exactly your head should be positioned? Chin in/out/up/down? Etc.. Please enlighten me! GWC
June 28, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Glen. The chin will be neutral. While standing straight up. As you hinge from the hips. The neck line should remain intact with the spine. Keep the chin in the proper position. You don't want to have the chin too high or low because it will cause unnecessary curvature in the neck.
June 28, 2014
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Jonathan
When I do this drill, I feel more of a pull in my hamstrings than activation of my glutes. Is there anything you can suggest?
June 24, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Jonathan. You might be hinging too much from the hips. Make sure you aren't bending over too much causing the pull in the hammys. Try flexing the butt cheeks. Push the heels into the ground. You should feel those glutes fire more.
June 25, 2014
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lynn
In re-booting my review of swing mechanics from the ground up, I am beginning to realize that some of my difficulties are coming from the observation that I have a barrel chest and all of your instructors and a majority of the pros have a vary narrow chest so to speak. Can you direct me to some of your swing review of big chested pros that I might be able to draw from? I find that if I follow all of your take-away tips, I get bound up at almost 1/2 way back. THanks
May 6, 2014
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Lynn, you may want to look at adding a bit more shoulder elevation early in the takeaway so that you are not getting bound up in the arms and possibly shutting down the rotation. Regardless of the width of the chest, without a club, you should be able to rotate the shoulders around the axis like a smaller chested person. Then adding a bit of elevation and flexion of the right arm into the vertical plane, which should be pull the left arm across your center as noted in 5 minutes to a perfect backswing checkpoints video. Make sure your rotation is good to go and the check out the checkpoints video or the shoulder elevation pool noodle drill and see if that gets the jammed feeling out.
May 7, 2014

Cool. Now another big key that we want to talk about with keeping your spine in neutral is what it looks like from down the line. So as I'm doing this, obviously it's really easy for me to be in neutral joint alignment. You can think about just somebody had a string attached to the top of your head and they just kind of pull you up. And you're a nice neutral posture. You can be like this all day. Your spine is in your, your joints. Your vertebrae are in perfect alignment. And so it's very easy for you to make a full turn. Every golfer can make a full shoulder turn. I promise you when your spine is in neutral and you move from the correct place. So it's really easy for me to turn and talk to the camera here with my chest, turn 90 degrees. Now, as soon as I do this, which is what most people do to get the club, they roll their shoulders forward. They kind of hunched forward like this, and they set up like this. Well now

To turn and talk to you is really hard.

And I'm having a hard time and it feels really uncomfortable because I've taken my spine out of neutral. And as you do that, you start losing rotational mobility in your spine. Each vertebrae that you have only has about a degree degree and a half of rotation. So in order to make a full, which is going to be a 45 degree turn in relationship to your hips, a full 45 degree turn, you need every single little bit of rotation from every vertebrae up the chain, but when you start taking them and you round them over, well, these Fossette joints get locked a little bit. And so they lose rotational mobility. And so all of a sudden, you can't make a full shoulder turn anymore because you've rounded your shoulders forward. And

Now all of a sudden it's really hard to

Make any rotation. So you can feel this for yourself. If you're sitting in a chair watching these videos right now, just roll your shoulders really far forward, kind of roll your waist from roll forward from the waist

And try and turn back and forth

And then stand up nice and tall, and then turn all of a sudden miracle. You got 20, 30 degrees more rotation. Obviously it's not a miracle. You just need to keep your joints in neutral. So as you set up to the ball, make sure that you feel nice and tall. Your spine is a neutral. And as you hinge forward, you hinge from the hip socket, not from your waist, because again, it's going to take your spine out of neutral. So what you're going to do is focus on hinging forward from your hips. And as you do that in order to keep your balance, your weight, just keep it stacked over your ankles, which we're gonna talk about. Next is going. Your hips are going to move back as your body moves forward as a counterbalance. So now I've kept my spine in neutral heads. Back. Shoulders are back. And as I reached for the club, I don't want to roll my shoulders forward. All of a sudden I'm going to keep my spine a neutral hinge forward, grab the club. So now I've got my spine in neutral. We're going to focus on where, where all the club and all that stuff is in a second. But now I have the ability to make a nice full turn because I've kept my spine in neutral, which is critical. And I have access tilt, which is going to prevent the dreaded reverse pivot.

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