Right Shoulder Flexibility In Golf Downswing For More Consistency And Power
I’ve always said,
For the past 25 years, I have studied the biomechanics of the golf swing. I may not be able to execute them perfectly in my own swing (always a work-in-progress), but I know what is required from a flexibility (and strength) standpoint to be able to generate greater clubhead speed and ultimately more distance.
The majority of golfers I work with both online and offline are in their 50’s and above. This is typically when the range of motion (flexibility) starts affecting your golf swing. If you’ve noticed a drop in both your distance and accuracy, there is a good chance it’s flexibility related.
Right Shoulder Flexibility Is Critical
For a right-handed golfer, the range of motion rotationally you have in your right shoulder will either allow you to have maximum clubhead speed and mechanics or rob you of clubhead speed and create a whole host of swing faults leading to a lack of distance and consistency.
The kind of rotation we are talking about referred to as external rotation. And when done correctly in the downswing you will have an on-plane swing that generates a massive amount of speed.
In transition, your right shoulder needs to be able to externally rotate to shallow your golf club (see photo below). If it does not, you will come down very steep or over-the-top causing a slice (see photo below), early extension, and flip through impact. When you look at your swing from down the line, look at the club shaft coming down. If done correctly, it will shallow out making it easy to come into impact on plane and compressing the golf ball.
External Shoulder Rotation Golf Mobility Test
Look at the pictures below. Get in your golf posture, and bring your right (if you are a right-handed golfer) upper arm out to the side until it is parallel with the ground. Now try to rotate it backwards as far as you can without causing pain.
The goal is to get your lower arm (forearm) vertical. If you can’t get it to vertical you have a range of motion issue that is most likely affecting your swing in a negative way. If you can get it vertical or beyond like you see me doing you are good-to-go and do not need to worry about this shoulder flexibility issue with your golf swing.
Golf-Specific Shoulder Rotation Stretch
Look at the picture below. Grab a club and put it behind your right shoulder. With your left hand reach underneath and grab the shaft. You may immediately feel a stretch externally in the right shoulder. For some of you, that might be enough to just hold that for 5-10 seconds two or three times. For others, you can lightly pull the shaft forward which will externally rotate the shoulder and give it a stretch.
Important: If you feel any discomfort at all in the shoulder, stop immediately. See if it goes away. If it hurts to even do this stretch you may have rotator cuff issues and you should consult a physician.
Your Next Step
Now that we’ve shown you the importance of fixing a physical limitation to play better golf, head over and get my 3 Minutes For 30 Days Golf Training ebook to really take your swing to the next level. It will be the best $20 you’ve spent on golf in a long time.