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How to Improve Shoulder Turn

Jul 08, 2021

Shoulder turn of the backswing is an essential component of the golf swing to generate club speed and distance in your golf game. In order, to have a full shoulder turn in the backswing and follow-through, it is imperative to have good Mobility, Stability, and Motor Patterning. Any limitations in these areas can lead to limited shoulder turn and rotation in your golf swing. Check out the below videos to learn how to assess your own body and how to improve your shoulder turn this offseason!

Assess, Don’t Guess

Titleist Performance Institute Fitness Assessment finds each person’s specific limitations in stability and mobility. Check these 2 tests out for your to perform at home to assess your own thoracic spine and shoulder mobility!

Seated Trunk Rotation Test – goal is >45 degrees or past corner of chair while keeping knees together
Wall Lat Test – Keep low back flattened against wall and try to touch the wall keeping your elbows straight.

Address Mobility Limitations

Mobility of the shoulder and thoracic spine or trunk is essential to have a full shoulder turn without losing posture or having other swing compensations occur. Try these mobility exercises at home

Book Openers – try on both sides, can use pillow under head for more comfort on neck. Hold for 10 seconds
Cross Body Stretch – Hold 30 seconds
Quadruped Thoracic Rotation – hold 5 seconds, follow elbow with eyes and head

Address Stability

After mobility is achieved, the next step to improving your shoulder turn is ensuring good stability and strength of the core and the shoulder blade. The core is essential to ensure the body can effectively rotate into your backswing instead of swaying away from the target. Shoulder blade strength is essential to be able to control the turn and use your shoulder mobility effectively without flying elbow or chicken wing swing characteristics.

Prone ITY’s – excellent scapular stability exercise. Focus on squeezing shoulder blades together not up to initiate each rep
Side Plank & Thread the Needle – 2 for 1 exercise working on shoulder blade & core stability
Bear Crawl w/ Thoracic Reaching – another 2 for 1 exercise addressing core and shoulder blade strength. Anytime you are on your hands and knees your core and shoulder blades muscles are very active.

Movement Pattern Training

Once your body has mobility and stability achieved, next step is to train your body on how to use this movement to improve your shoulder turn. Typically starting without a club first is best and then over time as these get easier then you will progress to adding it to the swing

Golf Stance Torso Turns – set up in golf posture and work on isolating trunk rotation without sway, slide, or hip movement
Windmill Turns – Perform with isolating only trunk rotation and then progress to adding in hip rotation to effectively teach your body how to get to the proper back swing position. Focus on not losing posture throughout drill.
Golf Club Takeaway – using golf handle attachment on cable column or using a club at home focus on rotating to top of backswing without any sway or lost of posture.


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