Body Rotation Downswing

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    Anthony225 Jan 19, 2020
    I understand that when the hips turn the upper body in the downswing the elbows should come back down in front of the body in your method. When the backswing is complete, the right elbow had some bend to it. My question is during the downswing does the whole upper torso turn back down in front together while keeping the bent right elbow “as is” for a while until about hip level when the right arm starts to straighten on its own? Is that how the elbows get back in front?


    Ross Jan 19, 2020
    The whole upper torso does not turn back down like it is a separate thing. We are unwinding from ground up like a rubber band. On the downswing, the body essentially is unwinding in the opposite direction. The right or back elbow will open up on its own due to inertia. You don’t want to activate muscles in the hands/arms to try to make it open. The elbow (in general) is still a little bent when, it arrives in front of the back hip just before impact. The back arm will eventually straighten out after impact.

    The elbows get back in front, when the body unwinding, brings them back down through impact. It is like the body “swings” the arms/club back down and through impact. I don’t usually use the word “swing” because a “swing” stays on one path and is not “turning”… but it is as if it was a “swing” that the body was moving in a rotary path.


    Anthony225 Jan 20, 2020
    Ok. The reason I’m asking is because I’m still seeing a bit of flip at the ball and my elbow straightens too early. It seems that in order for the elbow to remain bent longer, it must come down with the back shoulder as the body rotates. This is what I meant by the upper torso turning together. Maybe I should have said back shoulder and bent back elbow move together ini the down swing before right arms straightens.


    Ross Jan 20, 2020
    A good way to learn to stop flipping is the Fixed Wrist Drill. That may help.


    DaveF Jan 21, 2020

    Hi Ross!
    Coincidentally, I was going to ask a similar question about the right elbow. If I’m keeping my elbows pointed at the hips and just turn my shoulders in the backswing, should the right elbow be folding at all? I associate that with the template breaking down is why I ask. (Alternatively, if I’m keeping my elbows pinched at the top and again at impact do I need to think about anything else “elbow related” if that’s working for me?)

    I relate to the torso comment because I’ve really struggled with that as the manifestation of any tension. If I don’t totally relax my stomach and upper abdomen my shoulders do not make a full turn and my elbows disconnect and there’s no coil. But when I relax my lower AND upper Abs so it feels like I’m turning my shoulders above my chest (which I think I read about in one of your blog posts?), it is magical. Still pretty new to me though TBH. Working on breathing exercises and a better routine. Suggestions?

    Overall, credit to Ross for keeping it as simple as possible, because I am NOT an athlete that’s for sure. Definitely making big progress sticking with the method, gaining confidence, and having it feel natural.


    Ross Jan 21, 2020
    Hi Dave. First, the elbows only point at the hips at setup and again through impact*. They don’t keep pointing at the hips during the backswing. Watch the Shoulder Turn Lesson Video for more on this. Yes the right (back) elbow does bend a little on the backswing. There have been discussions on this if you search. Keeping the elbows pinched helps a lot of things. Nothing to add if it is working for you. Taking a deep breath through your nose and holding a few seconds, then releasing the air just before you start your Routine is a great way to relax right before you take your shot. Good to hear from you Dave… glad you’re making progress !!

    * Remember at impact the hips are slightly opened due to the body unwinding… so the elbows/hips don’t line up exactly like they were at setup.


    DaveF Mar 31, 2020

    Thanks Ross. Making a lot of progress. At this point, I know what to do, but “re-programming” the brain is the obstacle. Getting more comfortable with the lower body being the engine of the swing. They’ve shut down all the courses everywhere which isn’t helping, but alternatively, so much of this is mental it’s can be a good thing too. Hope all is well with you and yours!


    Ross Apr 01, 2020
    Just a thought… Since you can’t physically play golf at the course, you can do something I use to do for “Mental” practice (and it helps)… Sit down somewhere comfortable and close your eyes and relax. Then imagine yourself at the golf course you want to practice. Then in your mind, start your perfect round. Visualize yourself from every point on the course… where you’d tee off… where you’d take your next shot… imagine looking up, seeing the green from a perfect drive right in the middle of the fairway. You get the idea. This is very hard to do at first. You have to “stay in the moment”. It is tough to do this for every shot and putt, but will become easier with practice.

    I also use’d to imagine putting and chipping from different areas around all the greens. Try to remember all the breaks and quirks that each green has. Imagine seeing the ball roll on the perfect line at the perfect speed.

    This is a form of Mental practice. It too can improve your game. Then the next time you play, when you get to the shot (you imagined in your mind during your mental practice), you can recall taking it as a “perfect shot”… trust that image and tell yourself (just repeat that swing) and go! Then enjoy improving.


    Anthony225 Apr 05, 2020
    Still having issues with getting the right elbow back down in front of the right hip. Is it more of a pull straight down or should it just happen because the elbows are pinched? When I watch your swing videos, your right elbow seems to go straight down to your right hip and then follows your hip through impact. My elbow usually trails a little behind unless I force it and even then it feels like that has me make a less fluid turn through the ball.

    I guess in summary I am confused on how much effort should be used to pull the arms down or should it happen automatically if my swing is correct. Do my hips need to slow down and wait for the back elbow to drop in front of the hip?


    Ross Apr 05, 2020
    Hi Anthony
    First, No the hips do not slow down. It is not a pull straight down… the arms don’t do anything. The arms/elbows are being pulled down by gravity as the body starts unwinding (from ground up*) at the start of the downswing. The body unwinds at a pace that will hopefully bring the elbows back in front of the body.

    One thing that might be affecting your backswing, hampering your downswing, is… on the backswing you might be using your arms/hands to help “lift” or “finish”, so they’re activating themselves to help get you to the top of your backswing. Then they’re kind of “resisting” and “restricting” gravity making it difficult for them to drop. Ideally, the shoulders will control and dominate the arms on the backswing, so there would be no lift with the arms and then they’d be ready to just follow (without resistance) back down.

    Keep in mind, the elbows back in front, is an ideal position… to prevent a need to flip because the back (right) elbow got stuck on the downswing.

    * This unwinding is like the forward movement when you throw a ball (except no weight shift). The body unwinds from ground up.


    Anthony225 Apr 05, 2020
    Thanks Ross. I think I see what you mean. In my mind it seems like the elbows would not catch up unless there is a little lift to give them a position that allows them to come down. But maybe that is not the case and I should keep working on turning the shoulders with no lift. It kinda feels flat that way from initial swings in my back yard net. But on video it looks pretty good at impact so far.

    One thing I also seem to struggle with is keeping my lower body from moving too early in the backswing. This is harder to do consistently than it seems that it should be. I do ok at it for a little while but it creeps back in and I don’t realize it until I see myself on video.


    Ross Apr 05, 2020
    Yes… no lift. Just let your arms get moved by your shoulder turn. Sometimes turning the shoulders a little faster helps create momentum to carry the arms to the top. The top is when your shoulders have turned as far as they can turn and they may have turned the hips a little too if needed on full swings.

    Yes, you need the shoulders to start first (like a head start) and move the club head about 1-2 feet. This takes the slack out of your back muscles … then as the shoulders keep turning, they’ll turn the hips a little. You don’t want the hips turning on their own.

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