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Golf Swing Pivot Explained – Side Bend, Forward Bend, Rotation

September 9, 2019

Hi Robin here. I an going to try to explain
in a little more detail how the body works in the back swing. It’s quite a difficult
subject. So if you have any questions, leave a few comments. Any particular part of what
I have explained that you don’t understand, leave a comment. I will try to do another
video explaining that part in more detail. There are three main components to the back
swing; 1. Rotation 2. Side bend 3. Forward bend. In your back swing body movement, body pivot
is made up of a combination of those three things. What we will do in the golf swing
is we will start with about 40 degrees of forward bend, perhaps about 10 degrees side
bend, depending on the club you are using. Then as you make the back swing, your forward
bend will decrease and your side bend will increase. See this position at top when you
are looking from the front. The position of the upper body is the forward bend movement.
From behind, keeping your posture at an angle is the side bend movement. Many people think that if you have a tilted
look to your swing, and you’re reverse pivoting, I’ve done a video on this before, It is because
you are putting too much of this movement in your swing. Well actually because your
forward bend is straightening too much. You see, If I was to highlight this forward
bend with the stick standing up straight, that’s zero degrees and I was to go forward
into that forty degree position– If I was to keep forty degrees all the way through
to my back swing, my upper body would get outside my right foot. It would be a very
difficult position to smack the ball solid from. That forward bend must decrease to just
below zero. If I take it to a good position at the top, you can see now that would be
just be below zero. People who go above zero into minus that’s when you start to see the
tilt. That’s you. Very good exercise. Just take the stick, stand up straight, get in
at zero forward into your posture, and just try to rotate keeping the stick below horizontal.
Perhaps some of the players get too much over the right side, you have to learn and try
to bring that stick a little bit closer to zero keeping you more central on the ball. If you are somebody who tends to lose their
postural angles during the swing that’s more because of side bends, not because of forward
bend. So you need to try to learn to keep your left shoulder a little closer to the
ground, increasing your side bend, your right hip will feel a little higher, your left hip
will feel a little lower, your left shoulder will feel lower, your right shoulder will
feel higher. Keeping your posture angles come from increasing your side bend in the back
swing. I know that’s a little bit more detailed and
perhaps a little more complicated than how you have had the pivot explained to you before
but sometimes, things are not as simple as they seem. When you really know the real truth,
it gives you a chance to start improving. Perhaps, even if you are having a lessons
and you don’t quite understand what you are doing wrong, this video might help you understand
the concepts a little better and help you start improving in your own practice.


  • Reply Craig HuDDy November 10, 2013 at 6:02 pm

    Superb Video such a simple explanation or a complex subject thankyou.
    Any chance of doing a similar vid for the downswing ?

  • Reply Eric Desjardins December 31, 2013 at 8:53 am

    The alignment stick out of the sternum is a great visual way to explain this concept. Thank You

  • Reply SwingStation December 31, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    Thanks Eric, hope it helps

  • Reply Howie Karasick June 29, 2014 at 9:01 pm

    You are great robin…i am a bigger man a bit barrel chested i cannot do the pivot as you descibe….please help me with a pivot

  • Reply Howie Karasick June 29, 2014 at 9:31 pm

    Ur welcome but i need an answer to my question

  • Reply titch1215 July 12, 2014 at 4:53 am

    great robin could you please also do a similar video on the downswing pivot

  • Reply Ninja_Prime August 25, 2014 at 10:33 am

    Great Drill, this fixed my backswing and where my chest should be, when I tried this with my normal swing I was doing, I realized why my ball striking was so inconsistent, the stick in the chest showed that I was actually leaning too far back and the stick was pointing way above horizontal. When I changed my chest position and the stick was horizontal or lightly below I was striking much better. Thanks for this great tip, it gave me instant feed-back, to something I couldn't see or had no idea that I was doing even though it felt fine right at the time. This is another piece of the puzzle that is building the bigger picture for me..  

  • Reply seth1455 September 5, 2014 at 7:46 am

    Haven't seen it explained like that before, excellent,
     thanks for posting

  • Reply I'm Simon September 28, 2014 at 1:04 am

    Good video! When using the longer clubs do I need more side bend at address?

  • Reply StingingDraw February 27, 2015 at 5:05 pm

    Fantastic. Excellent pro.

  • Reply Seven Oranges March 9, 2015 at 2:37 am

    Robin, could you please do the same analysis for the downswing as this video concentrates only on the take away. This is a major problem for me and the lack of side bend on the downswing and through impact makes me feel like I am coming over the top and so stuck that it is impossible to get a full release of my arms after impact. Thank you.

  • Reply firstsergeantallen March 28, 2015 at 7:46 pm

    You sir, are a great instructor! Great explanation.

  • Reply Jim jack June 26, 2015 at 5:47 pm

    Great explanation robin and this has made the breakthru from 3 years of trying to understand my shoulder turn. My whole game has changed including chipping and putting 9in an essence)THANK YOU for your great vids!!

  • Reply peblinks63 March 25, 2016 at 2:31 pm

    great video Robin, can you explain how forward bend, rotation , and side bend work in the downswing…Thanks:)

  • Reply P SMITH April 1, 2016 at 11:27 am

    Hi Robin – Won't your chip shot instruction about not letting the wrists uncock in the downswing cause a topped or bladed strike (if you rotated in posture)? It would make sense if you retained the hinge angle (ie. at address between rear wrist and back of forearm) throughout the swing. Also, the reason why some instructors like to have an open stance is to preset the percussive feel of the full swing at impact when using such a small swing. This, imho, can help some who lack feel but hinder others by introducing more angles.

  • Reply Ron Judd May 22, 2016 at 1:10 pm

    How do you swing a golf club? In particular how do the hips move in relation to the club face?

  • Reply Andy Alexander May 29, 2016 at 1:13 am

    Great video. Very clearly demonstrated.

  • Reply hektik June 14, 2016 at 6:38 pm

    Well it appears to be a good drill, when I filmed myself doing this I immediately noticed all the weight was on my leading foot, just like how he does it in the video. You can never hit a ball with your weight on the leading foot in the backswing like that, that is backwards. So I tried doing this drill but making sure my weight was on my trailing (right) foot, as it should be in the actual swing.

  • Reply amfohr November 29, 2016 at 10:02 pm

    Do you feel an increased pressure at your right hip joint and inside of your right foot when performing this pivot motion? I mean, IS the hip joint the pivot point?

  • Reply Mark Gordon April 18, 2017 at 7:53 pm

    Thank you, Robin. I tried this in tandem with your downswing thoughts at the range today with marvellous results. I felt the shots were much more solid and as a result my confidence increased. Excellent instruction.

  • Reply Pro From Inglewood July 4, 2018 at 6:36 pm

    fly to cali and give me a lesson

  • Reply Michael Green January 11, 2019 at 12:19 am

    I was able to secure a 73-point shot after reading, practicing, and performing the methods evident in golf swing strategies “mowosam press” (Google it). I was also able to hit 13-18 greens and that was the finest one I had ever since I started golfing. On the other 5 holes, I got close to striking 5-10 yards with the green. 73s is not a natural thing for me because I have a handicap of 9. It`s been can be a long time since I made an excellent round…

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