Squeeze the Cheeks for Consistency

The glute muscles (your butt cheeks) are some of the most important muscles in the golf swing. Without understanding how to use your glutes properly, you will struggle with consistency your entire golfing life.

  • The job of the lower body is to provide stability at impact
  • Glutes should be engaged at impact - soft, relaxed muscles allow the body to spin & lose power
  • Drill: Get into impact position, stacked over the left leg
  • Squeeze the cheeks (engage the glutes) and hit little half-shots, keeping the right heel on the ground as long as possible

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nick
Hello! New-ish member here ( I was a member years ago). When pulling around and up with my left side while posting up, I feel as if it’s only my left butt cheek that gets squeezed as the right side of my body is just “ along for the ride”. Is this incorrect and, if so, why?
February 24, 2021
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Nick. You may have more awareness of the lead glute firing and fully contracting when posting up. But, the trail glute will still have some engagement to help keep it from pushing and driving towards the ball. Take a look at the Clamshell Drill Video. I feel mine just along for the ride for the most part, but it is still engaged.
February 24, 2021
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Gary C
I am curious if the glutes should feel engaged at setup, address as well as at impact. I have noticed that if I don’t engage my core muscles at setup (I remember hearing something in one of the videos that lower abs should feel as though they are pulled inwards) I end up with noticeable lordosis and therefore a poor spine angle. As I focus on this in my drill I seem to also feel my glutes engage slightly at address. It feels like my lower abs and glutes are soft but firm and it leads to things feeling very stable and connected. Curious if what I am feeling in my glutes is a good thing to maintain throughout the swing or just in the downswing to impact?
January 26, 2021
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Gary. You don't want to be maxed out with glute/leg engagement at setup. But, think about it as engaged and ready to work. To perform function in the swing.
January 27, 2021
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James
I find this exercise really useful. As I do this I feel my upper abductors in my inner thigh of my right leg and the hamstrings in my lead leg get really stretched allowing my arms and club to release through really easily. BTW, does Chuck say penny at 1.09 of the video?
August 15, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello James. Yes. Feel like you are squeezing a penny, or small substance like a coin.
August 15, 2020
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James
I have mentioned this before but when are we going to get a FO video of your swing. The avatar of you showing that looks really good. Come on Craig let your self loose! )
August 15, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello James. I'm retired. Nobody wants to see my swing. .
August 17, 2020
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Mikko-Pekka
C'mon Craig stop teasing us! I agree with James 100%!
March 22, 2021
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Haha. You Would!
March 22, 2021
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Kevin
This video along with “sitting into the left side” and Chucks post this week really help with sequencing. Ive struggle with a “soft and flowy” swing like Chuck mentions. My swing feels much slower as I start down with the lower body but the release feels more powerful / faster as I make this deliberate move of sitting into the left side / squat to square. Is that normal? I’m trying to slowly wrap up speed but that part feels slower - just wanted to clarify this move before my next swing review
March 21, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Kevin. You move slow and club moves fast. Sounds like you are on the proper track to me.
March 23, 2020
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Kevin
Thanks Craig - I just watched the "Tiger Squat" video and Chuck actually says - the "the squat move will slow down rotation to build a solid based for speed in the release."
March 23, 2020
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Don
I have to tell you that tonight I used this drill from my wedges through my driver. I added 10-15 yards per club except the driver which remained the same. I remember being taught this move when I was in my twenties. Also, this driver really works your left glute and left hamstring. All my shots were very accurate as well. Great drill!!! ????⛳️????????
March 10, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Don. Awesome. Love the post.
March 11, 2020
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ryan
is there any advantage to also squeezing/tightening your abs just before impact for additional power and stability?
January 14, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Ryan. Stay focused on the glutes. Massive shoulder spinners may feel more ab engagement, but they still should have some healthy recruitment from the backswing without the need to add another variable.
January 14, 2020
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Paul
I just joined. I have been watching the YouTube videos for quite awhile. I have been executing the backswing and the bump to the left life you teach; however, I have been rotating through on the downswing. When I saw what you teach about the left leg posting up, realized that I have not been doing that. So I went to hit balls yesterday, and exaggerated the post up and found that that one movement straightened out the ball flight and I was hitting the ball much more flush. I have also had a problem keeping my posture up diving down at the ball at times and chicken-winging it. When I did the post up of the left leg, I had no problem staying up. BUT I can't find a lot of videos about the posting up of the left leg. Am I missing them or are you just assuming if you do the first 2 elements of the Rotary Swing, that the posting up will occur? This seems to be revolutionary to me!
October 23, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Paul. Awesome. Love to hear the good news and welcome to the site. Take a look at You Hit the Golf Ball with Your Legs, Perfecting Lower Body Stability, DEAD Drill 3, Rotary Golf Downswing Overview, and Step 2 - Core Rotation. That should get you started.
October 23, 2019
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Nick
During the downswing after you squat to square when do you start to squeeze the glutes? Before you start posting up, during the post up or after the left leg is fully extended? I feel like if I start to squeeze the glutes during the post up I start pushing from the right leg and push my left hip past NJA. If I wait until my left leg is fully extended to squeeze the glutes I don't push from the right leg and my left hip is in NJA. Please let me know the correct sequence for this. Thanks for all your help Rotary Swing! I am in the boot camp and learning a lot, this is great!
September 17, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Nick. As you start straightening the leg in the post up the glutes are going to contract/squeeze. Sounds like you are adding trail hip push. Squeeze the cheeks. You may be adding push trying to overdo the contraction.
September 18, 2019
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Randy
I understand that the glutes are the brakes for the hips to slow them down and keep them from over rotating in the downswing. What are the brakes for the shoulders to keep the shoulders from continuing to rotate thru impact, allowing the club to release with its full potential?
September 4, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Randy. Sadly there are no quick brakes for the shoulders. It is practicing proper release as the shoulders stay square. Because the lower half will pull them in the downswing and the goal is to let them get pulled and not actively spin them. Take a look at Keep the Rear Shoulder Back Video.
September 4, 2019
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Sake
So we do squeeze the cheek to decelerate the body to allow the arm to release properly and this can help avoiding overspining hips and lower back and hip injury. (Correct me if I’m wrong) Thanks
September 1, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Sake. Yes. Squeezing the cheeks to force the glutes to fire which will help stabilize the hips and allow the forearms to turn over.
September 2, 2019
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Doug
My focus of late has been maintaining the tush line. Squeezing the cheeks feels like I am losing the tush line. I am also using the rotary cuff. I am keeping my right foot down through the drill. Since I am pushing down with the left foot and posting up at impact position, should it feel like I am starting to lose the tush line a bit?
June 28, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Doug. Your trail butt cheek may look like it is leaving the tush line, but the lead should still be maintaining if posting properly. Take a look at You Hit the Golf Ball at Your Legs Video to see how spine angle/tush will be maintained.
June 28, 2019
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Gary
My understanding is that during the squeeze and release, the hips would be about 45* open. (Please correct me if i'm wrong.) I've noticed that Cameron Champ who is now one of the longest hitters on tour, has his hips so open during his release that his buckle is pointing at the target. I'm curious on knowing what RS thinks of this. Is this a good thing or something that should be avoided?
October 30, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Gary. Yes, the hips should be 35-45 degrees open. For safety purposes and deceleration we wouldn't recommend the belt buckle at the target when arriving to impact. You may be able to get some more speed if you decelerate properly with the hips that open. But, it can create a lot of wear and tear.
October 30, 2018
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Gary
I just want to be very sure that I will be practicing and ingraining the correct sequence. Chuck had a couple of sentences that implied that the squeeze and release should happen at the same time. An answer below said to squeeze first then do the release. After I do the weight shift, should I a) squeeze the butt cheeks first then do the release or b) squeeze and do the release at the same time?
October 8, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Gary. After you shift, start to squeeze the cheeks which will help contract the glutes and start decelerating the body triggering the release. The squeeze will start and then you release the club. At speed it may feel simultaneous.
October 8, 2018
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Justin
This is helpful in preventing me from getting ahead of it. The outcome for irons has been favorable but for driver I lose it left . I change the feeling for driver to keeping the right shoulder back or stalling chest over the ball & that helps - thoughts?
April 9, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Justin. Keep the trail shoulder back or chest stalling (staying square) is a proper thought. Also, make sure you are changing your setup for maximum driver support. (Proper Tee Height Video).
April 10, 2017
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Caleb
Would you not want to engage the right cheek on the back swing and then "release" the right cheek and engage the left cheek just before contact with the ball and then throughout the completion of the swing?
March 8, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Caleb. If you release all engagement of the trail cheek too soon. You will lose a little hip stability and have a great chance of early extension.
March 8, 2017
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GC
Great video. What's the correct order? Squeeze, release then clear with left oblique? How does it work?
August 31, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello GC. Squeeze and release. You will already have some pull from the lead oblique into the shot (after you shift the weight). The momentum of the release will pull you to a full finish.
August 31, 2016
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Marius
Hi. To get this in the right order from top off the back swing; squat, squeeze, release. Is this correct?
January 12, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Marius. Yes.
January 12, 2017
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George
Hi, Ihope I am on the correct thread here. On the good days my game is quite stable either straight or mostly a draw. I am a 68 year old 12 handicapper and my grip is slightly strong. My biggest and most regular fail is a pull straight left (20 or 30 yards). I get the occasional thin or fat shot but very rarely anything cut right. I feel I am coming out of my swing plane early which is releasing my right shoulder but I don't know whether this is caused by hip spinning or casting. If it was casting would I not hit more cut shots ? I haven't tried this butt end trick yet but it sounds interesting. Any advice and reference to videos would be apreciated. Keep up the great work this site is the best around I just wish it was 50 years ago. ha.
May 19, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello George. Casting not necessarily would lead to more cut shots. However, it sounds like trail hip push and secondary tilt. Bailing out of the shot and playing catch up with the trail side. Take a look at the Level Shoulders Drill in the Advanced Downswing Section.
May 20, 2015
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Dan
Hi. When i try to "squeeze my cheeks" I feel the obliques activated, creating a crunchlike position (I feel like my belt buckle starts to point up) while my chest remains over the ball. Is that correct?
February 1, 2015
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Dan
Thx RJ. Having a hard time grasping your explanation of the move. Any other ways of looking at it?
February 3, 2015
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R.J. (Certified RST Instructor)
Dan, You want your belt buckle to move more towards the target when you squeeze. If your belt buckle is moving upward, that means that you're thrusting your hips towards the ball, which makes us stand up out of our shot. Let us know if you need anything else! R.J.
February 3, 2015
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R.J. (Certified RST Instructor)
Dan, No, the position that you described will cause the pelvis to pull forward, which pulls you off the tush line and moves your whole body closer to the ball, diminishing the quality of your strike. You want to squeeze your cheeks in such a manner that it pulls your pelvis backwards, away from the ball, and with more of the left buttocks being squeezed than the right. (if you're right handed). I hope this description helps you be able to feel the proper activation. R.J.
February 2, 2015
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Mike
I've been a hip spinner forever, and it has only been RST that has helped me to understand why this happens and I've finally after many years (doggone it!) understand all the futility I've known with my swing. Our instructor suggested this video, and with his instruction it's been revolutionary. I played yesterday only a day after finally getting this, and hit some of the sweetest shots I've ever hit. I'm far from consistent yet, but that will come. My question is this. As I was attempting to pull my hip to get the weight to the left side, or do the little squat thing, I felt pressure in my hip joint, and I thought maybe too much. Should I feel anything in the hip joint as I get in neutral joint alignment? As the weight shifts left?
September 19, 2014
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james (Certified RST Instructor)
Hi Mike, You should feel like you can rotate freely from that hip joint, if you feel any tension then you may not be completely in NJA. Once your in that stacked position you should be able to rotate on that hip without any pain or tension, check yourself out on camera or in a mirror to make sure.
September 19, 2014
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Jens
Hi, when in the full swing should I squeeze my buttcheeks? From when I do the transition to downswing only?
July 23, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jens. The squeeze the checks is is to help stabilization at impact. You wouldn't need the squeeze going back. Just the glutes engaged.
July 23, 2014
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ron
Question for you guys... If you are building a solid base for the downswing and you are engaging your glute muscles ("squeezing the cheeks"), is it the right feeling to feel tighter in the lower body and looser in the upper body (arms) when you are making the downswing? Does this make sense? Thanks! Shelly
July 2, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Shelly. Sounds like you are on the right track. The lower body should feel engaged, while the upper is relaxed and allowing for a good release with speed.
July 2, 2014
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Jim
Squeeze the checks sounds like Jimmy Ballard. How does his book "Seven Common Denominators" compare to Rotary Swing? Thanks.
June 5, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jim. I haven't read that book. Many of golf books, but not that one. I apologize.
June 5, 2019

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