Left Shoulder Push in Backswing

This "Left Shoulder Push in the Backswing" video is for you ONLY if you already pull perfectly well with your right side and tend to feel too restricted at the top. Add this piece in for more speed in your swing!

  • Shoulder Rotation is Combination Of Torso Turn and Shoulder Movement
  • Left Shoulder Will Protract As You Swing to the Top of Backswing to Make Full Turn

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Ted
How much pronation, especially in the left shoulder, is normal as the backswing is complete and the transition begins? Are there things I need to look out for and be careful of when it comes to pronation?
July 31, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Ted. Only a slight bit of protraction. If over cooked you will tend to notice the head moving too much and the shoulder plane starting to get a little flat.
July 31, 2019
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Ramu
Great video..same with me, even though I have been shifting weight and initiating the backswing with the trail shoulder glide I feel like I have not been rotating wel...probably because the lead shoulder stays behind and doesn't move correspondingly with the trail shoulder glide..any good drill you can suggest to achieve this? Thanks
August 14, 2017
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Hi Ramu, the lead shoulder should be rotating if the trail shoulder is facilitating your rotation. It's a cause and effect relationship. In the search box above the video player. type core rotation and watch that video to see if that helps you rotate better in your backswing.
August 23, 2017
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Jackie (Certified RST Instructor)
This video is exactly what I've been feeling as of late! As I've been beginning to rotate better, all I am starting to feel now is my left shoulder blade taking control of my left arm. It almost feels as if it is simplifying my backswing and making it more efficient. Where as before I wasn't feeling my left arm at all, and most likely had too much push/right arms dominance.
August 30, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jackie. To help complete your new feeling use the Winter Golf Training Backswing Video. You can over use the trail side.
August 31, 2016
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Gareth
I am really struggling with starting the downswing and pulling my left shoulder down. I am very right arm dominate any thoughts on how to key pulling from left side?
July 27, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Gareth. Take a look at the LADD Video, Frisbee Drill and Step 3-4 RST 5 Step System.
July 28, 2016
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Loran
This right shoulder blade pull is more of a rotational around the body? If I focus on pulling, do I need to focus on tilting my spine? Does the left shoulder have to be tucked past my chin? Or just a rotation of chin on the backswing suffices?
February 12, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Loan. If you focus on pulling and maintain the proper tilt from setup you should be fine. The shoulder doesn't have to get completely under the chin.
February 13, 2016
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bryan
Is it harder to get the arms back in front of the body in the downswing the further I protract my left shoulder?
February 8, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Bryan. The longer the backswing or lead shoulder protraction. The more you will have to wait for the arms to work back in front of the body.
February 9, 2016
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Marc
Eye opener video for me I tend after a good takeaway to lift my shoulders at the same time as my arms so that my head goes up by a good 5-8 cm at the top of the backswing (I had never really noticed this but it became very apparent to me with the videos I uploaded of my swing). As I want to correct the mistake I am making, I would like to check with you if I am correct in what I am saying and if the sequence I am describing is correct. In the take away the lead shoulder will go forward and down as my trail shoulder goes back. During the arm elevation phase, the lead shoulder will continue to go forward on a straight line i.e. it does not go down anymore and I must ensure that I do not allow it to go up as I lift my arm. I find when I do this that I am able to keep my head at the same hight but I am amazed at how vertical my swing is compared to my normal swing and how high my hands go (they almost reach the top of my head whereas they used to reach the level of my ears). I am also amazed at how much more lag I have in the downswing. Does it make sense?
November 2, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Marc. You don't want to push your lead shoulder down in the takeaway to help achieve the motion. Try to let it follow the pull from the trail side. It is only going slightly down because you are rotating around the spine. But, I see where you are being cautious of not letting it lift too much as you allow for elevation.
November 2, 2015
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charles
What was the video that you explained you don't have to make a perfect complete shoulder turn and you need to stretch in your left arm if you're a right hand player? Cheers
July 2, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Chalres. Can you provide more info on the video you are looking for? The video above describes how the lead shoulder will protract slightly to help make a complete backswing.
July 2, 2015
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Ray
This video should be redone with more clarity. After spending time with Alison, Chuck should be able to explain that the motion starts with the right shoulder pull and keeping the right arm straight so that the left comes for the ride. There is no push. The left arm is a guide to prevent the right from pulling the hands behind the body.
June 7, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Ray. The trail shoulder blade and trail arm do the vast majority of the work to complete a good efficient backswing. The lead arm will however protract slightly to attain a massive shoulder rotation. Nevertheless, to your point it is because of the extensive pull in the backswing. If anyone agrees with your statement that the motion starts from trail shoulder pull it would be Chuck.
June 7, 2015
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Ray
When do the trail arm and shoulder kick in? I don't feel it happen. I continue to pull back with the right and when the hips max out on the turn, I move to the left heel and pull with the left arm. If I push back with the left arm, I have a tendency to fire the right side early. I must be misunderstanding what you're saying. How does the left arm complete the backswing?
June 7, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Ray. The left shoulder push isn't something you need to focus on. When pulling back with the trail shoulder blade you can only rotate so far. For example: when a fellow on tv says he got 115 degrees of shoulder rotation against 45 degree hip turn. It's not that he really pulled the right shoulder more than 90 degrees, but the the lead shoulder protracted a little to give him more separation. The vast majority of players don't need to think about this. It more or less happens by using the trail side properly and allowing the lead side to follow. Stick with trail side pull and you will be just fine.
June 7, 2015
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Gary
I have been a member for nearly 2 years and just came across this video. I was pulling so much with my right side I was obviously over doing it no matter what I did with trying to load the body 1st etc, I could never stop over swinging and felt powerless at the top causing me to aggressively pull from the top down, which is obviously disastrous. This move has not only seemed to make everything fall into place as much as my over swinging, but I can now also feel where the target line is on the way down and other moves such as the L.A.D.D with the left shoulder working down seem effortless now as I just couldn't seem to grasp it before.
May 15, 2015
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R.J. (Certified RST Instructor)
Gary, I'm glad that you finally worked out the kinks! Let us know if you ever run into any other issues. Also, swing reviews should be able to help you with issues like this so that you don't have to go 2 years before you find the sweet spot =), Good luck with your progress! R.J.
May 15, 2015
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Anthony
In my past playing years I figured out (Got the idea from Nicklaus) that if I extend my arms as much as I could on the back swing and forward swing I hit the ball a lot farther, cleaner, and more consistently. I had the feeling of keeping the club moving very low on the takeaway and feeling my left shoulder protract in the takeaway/back swing. How similar is the RST left shoulder push to this idea? I guess another way to put it would be is does keeping the clubhead as close to the ground as possible for as long as possible fit within the RST model?
May 8, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Anthony. If you try to keep the club too close to the ground on the TW it will cause early protraction of the shoulders. You already have all the width you need. It isn't necessary to create anymore than keeping the trail arm straight. As you reach the top the lead shoulder will protract to help create more turn/width. You can stay nice and wide early on, but try not to over protract the shoulders early on and come out of the box.
May 8, 2015
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Anthony
But if the right scapula is engaged, is there a drawback from protracting the left shoulder in the takeaway versus later in the backswing?
May 9, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Anthony. If you start the swing with protraction of the lead shoulder. It is very hard to initiate momentum or swinging of the club from pull. Basically, trying to push/pull at the same time. It will tend to elevate and push the club out early and make it harder to stay in the box at the top. Making the takeaway very army.
May 10, 2015
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Jeff
Do you guys advocate a pull right side..pull left side swing concept? This is interesting. I have Phil Ritson's book( David Leadbetter's mentor) who advocates a pulling motion for the swing concept. My problem is when I pull back with my right side on the backswing, I find my right side so activated it wants to start the downswing which is a killer.
October 13, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jeff. Take a look at the Proper Muscle Activation Video in the Advanced Introduction Section and Stop Coming Over the Top Video in the Downswing Section to turn the right side off on the way down.
October 13, 2014
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john
Some professionals (like Momentus golf folks) teach push with left. You have a clearer explanation here. But what about those who teach "swinging" the arms back? They say, "golf is not a turn or we would call it a 'golf turn' and not a "golf swing." How much does the swinging of the club affect the "turn" of the shoulders and upper body, as you advise? Should we perhaps think more about "swinging" the club from the get-go since the club has much farther to travel than the other parts of the body? Thanks!
August 29, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello John. The problem with swinging the club is you don't engage any big muscles to help you do the work. It takes 32 pounds of muscle to create 100 mph of club head speed. You would need some big arms. If you just swing the arms you training a feeling, not ingraining a movement. Take for example you workout really hard one morning, then play golf right after. The next day you don't workout, then play. You would feel 2 different things. We need to recruit the big muscles not only for speed, but helping us master something that can be recreated over and over without much thought.
September 1, 2014
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Patrick
great clarification. Basically the 2 movements (pull & push) combine for a "twist" in order to stay centered...
July 3, 2014
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Steven (Certified RST Instructor)
Patrick, Correct. The RST golf swing strives to keep a centered rotation around the spine which makes it very easy to make the correct movements and perform a proper golf swing. When we start shifting excessively with the upper body so does the bottom of the swing arc which is at your left arm pit assuming that your RH. Keeping that centered rotation around the spine ensures that low point in the swing doesn't change and thus we will have a greater chance of striking the ball more solid at impact with some consistency.
July 4, 2014
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David
This really needs to be mentioned in the takeaway videos, I have been a member for over 6 weeks and have only ever pulled from the right and its always felt awkward, I really wish I knew this from the start because now my swing feels much better and I can actually get a full turn.
April 9, 2014

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