In this post, we are going to give you our best rotational exercises for golf.

They are so critical that they are a staple in our Golf Workout Program.

In this post, we will start with examining the major areas of the body that provide rotation in the golf swing (hint it’s more than just shoulder turn).

We will use examples of how some of the best do it.

Don’t care about that! No problem, we break down by section.

  • Hip rotational exercises for golfers
  • Trunk rotational exercises for golf
  • Shoulder rotational exercises for golfers

As an added bonus! We got a FREEBIE at the bottom of this post for you!

Let’s get to it.

Rotational Exercises for Golf
Chapter 1

Hip Rotation Exercises for Golfers

Years ago when I was first looking for some rotational exercises to introduce into my workout routine I found myself just looking at Trunk and Thoracic exercises.

But there is so much more to it than that.

I never really thought of my abilities to internally and externally rotate my hips. Looking back now, that is where so much of your power comes from!

Let me explain.
Hip rotation exercises for golfers

The role of the hips (and glutes) in the rotation of the golf swing

To create some swing speed you need rotation!

A 2005 study called “Work and Power Analysis of the Golf Swing” showed that most of the “work” in your body is generated around these joints.
clubhead speed and body joints
With the hips being major points! Your hips need to be not only flexible but strong to allow your body to rotate in the golf swing!

In the pictures below we show Bubba, Bryson, Rory, and Jamie Sadlowski (2-time long drive champ). I want you to focus on the trail leg of the right hip. (and yes we made Bubba righty)
Hip Rotation in the Back Swing
At the top of the backswing, the hip of the trailing leg (right) must be able to internally rotate to create a big turn away from the ball and more clubhead speed.

All of them exhibit a large amount of internal hip rotation as evidenced by the belt buckle facing away from the target while at the same time the trailing knee is still facing the target line.

From here the hips and glutes need to be strong enough to EXTERNALLY rotate.

Great ballstrikers sit down in the transition. This is known as the “Snead Squat.” It is simply the external rotation of the lead leg along with a sitting motion.

This allows you to get back to center and set up for a proper strike on the ball.

This move “turns on” the glutes and gets them ready to fire through impact. All EVIDENCED by the knees moving towards the targets (external rotation of the hip) and into a squat position.

Tiger does it.
Tiger Front View Sequence - Knee Out
Hogan did it
Hogan Front View Sequence - Knee Out
Snead did it
Snead Front View Sequence
And now into impact.

The hips need to rotate open to the target!

The guys at Golf Tec showed that pros rotate their hips open much more than we amateurs
Hip Rotation at Impact by Handicap

Check out Tiger & Snead

Tiger Woods Impact Sequence
Snead Impact Sequence
They rotate so much at impact that:

You can see both butt cheeks at impact.
You can see the seem of their pants (ahem…wedgie) at impact.
Enough talk, Time for some Hip Rotation Exercises for Golf that you can do in the gym.d

Enough talk, Time for some Hip Rotation Exercises for Golf that you can do in the gym

External Hip Rotation Exercises for Golf.

Your glutes allow your hips to rotate externally so the following are a few that we really like. More can be found in our post on glute activation exercises for golf.
Glute Hip thrust exercise for Golf
Weighted Walking Lunge
X Band Walks
single leg glute bridge
Try these exercises to stretch and strengthen your internal hip rotation abilities for golf.
90 to 90 Stretch
Side Lying Internal Hip Rotation Holds
Chapter 2

Trunk & Thoracic Rotation Exercises for Golf

Before we get started, lets review why flexibility in your hips is so important in the golf swing.

We use examples from some of the game’s greats.

Ok, let’s jump to it.
Chapter 1 - Hip Flexibility in the golf swing
Try these exercises to stretch and strengthen your internal hip rotation abilities for golf.
Long drivers of the pga tour and shoulder flexibility

Here are some trunk rotation exercises for golf that I like

Landmine Rotation
Russian Twist
Banded Alphabet
Banded Rotations
Banded Rotations Low to High
Half Kneeling Rotational Throw
Pallof Press
Rotational Medicine Ball Throw
Stir the Pot
Thoracic Rotations Extensions
Chapter 3

Shoulder Rotational Exercises for Golf

These exercises and stretches will help you get the club on the proper swing plane.

We explain the difference between internal and external rotation of the shoulders and where they come to play in your swing.

Finally, we give you some shoulder rotational exercises and stretches to make you stronger in these positions.

Let’s begin.
Chapter 1 - Hip Flexibility in the golf swing
First, let’s explain what internal and external rotational of the shoulders are:
1) Stand with your arms at your side and pointed straight forward.
2) Rotate your thumbs away from your body. That is external rotation.
3) Now rotate them towards your spine. That is internal rotation

Let’s use Rory McIlroy as an example and take a look at the top of his backswing.
Rory Shoulder Rotation Top of the Backswing
I want you to note two things from the picture above:
1) The right arm is externally rotated.
2) The left arm is internally rotated

As he transitions into the downswing they become even more internally rotated!
As he transitions into the downswing:

The right arm becomes even more externally rotated.
The left arm becomes even more internally rotated.
This sets the club on plane

Now take a look at someone like Sergio (below) and it is even more pronounced!
There is more IR/ER rotation in the shoulders which does two things:

1) He creates A TON of lag.

2) It shallows out the club even more.
Sergio Shoulder Rotation

But in the meantime here are some shoulder rotational exercises for golf

One Arm High Pulls
Cuban Press
Banded Shoulder Internal Rotation
Banded Shoulder External Rotation
dumbbell shoulder internal and external rotation
Shoulder External Rotation with PVC

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Core Exercises for Golf
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