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GET STRAIGHT WHILE YOU STRETCH & STRENGTHEN

Military Press

Good Form Example

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Probably THE most common mistake I see when people stretch and lift weights is that they’re usually out of proper form and posture, which often leads to not properly stretching or strengthening the muscles that the exercise intended. Not only are they ‘perfecting their faults’ and developing poor posture but being ‘out of true’ can over time, lead to injuries.

Along these lines, I somewhat disagree with the adage that “Practice Makes Perfect”’ and feel that a more accurate phrase is “PERFECT Practice Makes Perfect”!

For this reason, I highly encourage people to use Props as I’m demonstrating here; ie. The Slant Board and PostureFit Bar, which will surely Get you STRAIGHT while you STRENGTHEN!

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A GREAT HIP TEST AND STRETCH FOR YOUR HIPS AND QUADS

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Without question, all sports (And Golf IS an Athletic Motion) relies on Lower Body Function, and THE most important part of the Lower Body are the Hips and Legs. PELVIC STABILITY, and I’m referring to how well the Hips and Legs Stabilize as well as Rotate, is Absolutely Crucial in the performance of the Golf Swing. However, (and you’ve heard me harp on this for years), our Sitting Down Sedentary Lifestyle has REALLY tightened our hips and legs over the last few decades, not only causing havoc in our golf swings, but especially in our overall physical health and posture.

The video above is not only a TEST of your Hips and Quads, but also is a Highly Recommended STRETCH that will help you dramatically loosen up your Lower Body and allow you the freedom to perform a Fundamental and Powerful golf swing. I recommend that most people hold the stretch for 2-3 minutes in the beginning, and as the leg and lower back begin to come down easier and sooner, you can do it for as little as a minute a side.

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A SIMPLE PUTTING DRILL TO: MAKE THE PUTTER A ‘PART’ OF YOUR BODY – AND NOT ‘APART’ FROM YOUR BODY

Putting Drill

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I think a lot of golfers put too much emphasis on trying to manipulate the golf club instead of relying on the Rhythm of the Shoulders to have the golf club actually be an EXTENSION of their bodies. Obviously, there’ll be times when you need to hit a certain type of shot, where you’ll need to do some form of manipulation in order to alter the clubface.

I think this concept is especially true for putting – where I see so many high handicappers try to ‘Open and Fan it’, ‘Square to Square’ – manipulate their wrists, etc.

One of the great sayings that I first heard from Hall of Fame teacher Jim Flick, whom I got to know for many years at Omni La Costa Resort was, “The Golf Swing is a ‘REACTION’ to the intended shot your mind created.” If you focus your mind on the shot, and TRUST your body to Obey the Mind, you should be able to have the club be in HARMONY with the shot; and thusly, pull off a great shot. Again, this is even more true in Putting, where the margin of error is much less than when making a full swing.

In today’s video, I’ll show you a simple ‘No Brainer’ Putting Drill that will help you put the feel back into your shoulders – and not your hands.

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SOME VARIATION FOR BICEP STRETCHES TO COUNTER THE SEDENTARY LIFESTYLE

Bicep Stretches

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By now, you’ve probably realized that there’s an ongoing theme in my Videos and Newsletters that deal with the “Modern – Sitting Down Forward Bending Lifestyle” that we’re all victims of (i.e, if you drive cars, sit at desks and sofas, and even bend over in Golf Stances for decades – on and on).

The reason that I harp on this so often is because it’s crucial that we continue to do counter-stretches and exercises that get us away from the Forward Bending and help balance our torsos; which will thus help eliminate friction on the joints – and pain.

In today’s video, I, along with golf great Tommy Jacobs, and Susan, demonstrate two simple stretches that you can do throughout the day to help loosen up your biceps; which in most people tighten up as the shoulders round forward.

Just doing these simple stretches a couple times throughout the day will certainly help you with your Flexibility and Posture.

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‘SLIGHTLY’ PRESS INTO YOUR RIGHT FOOT TO START YOUR DOWNSWING

Starting the Downswing

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Everybody always asks “What starts the Downswing?” And WITHOUT QUESTION, everybody answers “The Lower Body”…Period! Some great players feel the Left Hip Shifting and Turning, others feel like their pushing off of their right foot, ad infinitum.

One thing for sure that our force pressure plates prove that there’s a slight ‘Spike’ of pressure going down into the ground underneath the right foot. These ground forces are evident in nearly all great players – regardless of what they F-E-E-L is happening. I personally have always felt my Left Hip ‘Pulling’ my arms down, and I’ve never really related to ‘Pushing Off’ of my right foot. However, over the last few years, I’ve come across a different image and perspective, where I actually feel like I’m applying Pressure onto my right foot FIRST before the upper body begins to unwind.

This image of PRESSING DOWN onto the right foot works better for me than the PUSHING OFF image. Imagine, that there was a pitching rubber on the mound that was underneath your right foot, and your first move was to ‘Slightly’ sink down on the rubber ever so slightly. Doing this motion will automatically propel the rest of your body into the shot and achieve a proper Kinematic Sequence – THAT MUST HAPPEN!

Notice the white object just even with the baseball batter’s head in the split screen above. As the batter begins to stride into the ball, he pushes down somewhat into the right foot, and you can see that after doing so, his head drops slightly below the white object. There is nothing wrong with this as long as the Center of Gravity stays in control.

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A SIMPLE AND EFFECTIVE STRETCH FOR THE RHOMBOIDS

Rhomboid Stretches

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Rhomboid Stretch – For better extension and coil.

One thing I learned years ago was the body is ONE BIG WORKING UNIT, where everything is linked together. For example, our Hips control our Shoulders – and our Shoulders control our Arms, etc. Often times when my students come to me to for a specific musculoskeletal problem, I often don’t usually work on the site of the problem, but rather the source of it. A typical example of it is when people want to have greater extension of their arms for a longer and deeper backswing. In the majority of cases, I’ll end up first stretching out their hips – then their shoulders.

Rhomboid Muscles

Regarding our Back and Shoulders, we have some major muscle groups that help control our shoulder blades called the Rhomboids. These muscles work in unison with the Trapezius, Levators, and others.

In today’s video, I, along with golf great Tommy Jacobs, and Susan, are showing a very simple and effective stretch to warm up the Rhomboids for greater extension and power in their golf swings.

Don’t forget though, that to gain superb flexibility, one must stretch ALL of the major muscle groups and muscle chains to work ALL of the muscles in our bodies. That’s specifically why I created The SECRETS to Golf Swing Flexibility Video Program.

Buy Yours Today!

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ELIMINATE EXCESSIVE MOVEMENT IN YOUR GOLF SWING

The Pull Back Drill

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No doubt in my mind, the average amateur has too much excessive movement throughout their swings. This can manifest by ‘herky-jerky’ motions – swaying – lifting – and, especially having the arms get OUT OF SYNC with the lower body.

One of the most – if not THE most – popular drills I give my students, is what we call ‘The Pull Back Drill’; which really helps coordinate the movements into one solid working unit. This drill is actually done in three parts.

Part 1) Where you swing completely flat-footed and ‘try not’ to shift your weight at all. I tell people to imagine that I give their lower bodies a shot of novocaine to keep it perfectly still – and to imagine that they’re standing in dried concrete and can’t move. Then I have them swing their back and down and through the shot – BUT KEEP THE RIGHT FOOT PLANTED AT ALL TIMES! And here’s the critical part; After the completion of the follow-through IMMEDIATELY SWING THE ARMS BACK to the ADDRESS POSITION. After hitting 5 solid shots (and you’ll be amazed at how easy this will be), move on to PART 2.

Part 2) Now, after you’ve hit 5 solid shots, do PART 1 of the Drill On the Backswing – where you take the same backswing ) ie., just lifting your arms back), only now shift your weight down and through the shot finishing with 100% of your weight on your front foot – with your right foot up.

Part 3) After you’ve hit 5 more solid shots doing Part 2, now go ahead and hit more shots RETAINING THE FEELING OF BEING BRACED WITH YOUR LOWER BODY ON THE BACKSWING. (You can go ahead and allow your left shoulder to come under your chin on your backswing now).

This drill is a miracle worker and I assure you, if your swing gets off track, you can bring it back to Center with this Pull Back Drill.

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TEST YOUR HAMSTRINGS

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Maintaining flexibility in your hamstrings is crucial for maintaining longevity in playing golf, simply because having a stable lower body and flexible hip rotation is fundamental for a fundamental golf swing. Although it may not seem like it, golf – like all sports is a LOWER BODY GAME in which the lower body dictates to the upper body. The old adage that in sports, ‘the first to go are the legs’ is certainly true in golf as well.

The BAD NEWS is that as we age, we tend to lose our range of motion, not to mention muscle mass and bone density. However, the GOOD NEWS is that we can not only retard the aging process, but actually achieve superb flexibility by doing the Right Stretches – the Right Way – EVEN AS WE GROW OLDER!

Take the Hamstring Test in today’s video and find out precisely where you are (or aren’t?); And KNOW that you can get it back!

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HOW TO DEVELOP ‘F-E-E-L’ IN YOUR PUTTING STROKE BEFORE YOUR ROUND BEGINS

Develop FEEL on the Putting Green

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Developing Feel is crucial for Putting (not to mention your overall golf swing for that matter!)

As a young man, I walked onto the putting green at Wilshire CC in Los Angeles to practice my putting.  I immediately walked up to a hole and dropped a few balls around 5 feet from the cup and tried to ‘make them’.  Jerry Barber, the 1961 PGA Champion and the Head Pro at Wilshire, was standing on the green watching me.  Jerry was, without question, one of the greatest putters in PGA Tour history.

Mr. Barber walked over to me, and said, “Whoa – wait a minute, son.  Warming up that way in putting is exactly OPPOSITE of how you should do it”.  He explained that Rhythm and Feel are THE most important aspects of putting – next to envisioning the line of the putt.  He went on to explain that I should be practicing longer puts to gain the feel of a full rhythmic stroke, rather than practice a putt with a shorter stroke.

Ever since that day, I’ve always gone on to the practice putting green before a round and started out with the longest putt on the green.  No doubt, it’s paid dividends over all these years.

Fast forward to 1997, and I was on the practice putting green with my friend, Bruce Summerhays (who had a great career on the Senior Tour), before a round at the Kaanapali Senior Classic in Maui.  Bruce was using a fairly long putter and I asked him what were his thoughts with it.  He said, “Roger, Jerry Barber once gave me the best tip on putting I’ve ever received:  He said when I walked onto the putting green to warm up, to start with a real long putt and take full long strokes to establish rhythm and feel.”  I only chuckled 😉

Give it a try the next time you go to the putting green and I’m sure you’ll develop a much more fluid and rhythmic putting stroke.

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DEVELOP FEEL AND PERCEPTION WITH THE ONE HANDED DRILL

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One of the most common mistakes people make in putting is putting ‘To the Ball’ and not ‘Through’ to the target. And, the most common reason people do that is Tension. Getting too tense will almost certainly retard your stroke and take away your rhythm. Although there are some great putters who ‘stabbed’ their putts, or as Tom Watson did ‘popped’ it, the majority of great putters all had fluid strokes extending energy towards the hole.

A great way to practice putting ‘Through’ the ball towards the target is by practicing putting one handed – preferably with your dominant hand (ie., the right hand for the majority of golfers). Not only will you be forced to putt through to the hole, but you’ll automatically become more focused on the line and target.

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GET TENSION OUT OF YOUR SHOULDERS

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GET TENSION OUT OF YOUR SHOULDERS WITH SHOULDER CIRCUMDUCTION

Tension comes in several fashions: Mental, Emotional, Physical – and Nutritional are but a few ways. Regarding physical stress, Sitting Down is probably the most common way that stress develops in our bodies, and especially in our Shoulders. When we sit down and bend over, the shoulders, neck, and upper back are actually carrying the weight of the head – which is designed to be directly on top of the shoulders and the hips. (Imagine carrying a bowling ball around the back of your neck all day!)

In the golf swing, having tight shoulders will absolutely retard the free flowing motion of the upper trunk and rob the golfer of a smooth and powerful golf swing. On that note, one of the things I always remember about Jack Nicklaus, was when he would walk down the fairway shaking his arms and shoulders to get any tension out of his arms.

In today’s video, Tommy Jacobs, Susan, and myself are demonstrating a super easy to do Arm and Shoulder Circumduction exercise to… TAKE A SWING AT TENSION!!

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SINGLE & DOUBLE LEG PELVIC TILTS

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SINGLE & DOUBLE LEG PELVIC TILTS (a Short and Simple Way to Stretch your Lower Back)

One thing is for certain: the Sitting Down Forward Bending Culture that we live in, tightens up your hips and lower back muscles something fierce!

Tight hips and tight lower back muscles are usually the cause of most back pain, and especially lower back pain. On top of that, tight hips and lower backs also lead to hip function in the golf swing. The hips and legs are absolutely the Engine of the Golf Swing, and when they get restricted, the golf swing will also be restricted and forcing you to compensate.

When a person has tight hip flexors and lower backs, it usually means that the Front Muscles of the hips have tightened and shortened pulling the upper torso forward, while simultaneously tightening the low back. This condition is called Lower Cross Syndrome, ie., Tight Hip Flexors and Low Back, and weak glutes and abs.

A simple stretch to loosen up the hips and lower back are Single and Double Leg Pelvic Tilts. These simple stretches can be done Actively (holding the stretch for 1-2 seconds), or Statically (holding the stretch for 20-60 seconds).

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GET IN BALANCE IN YOUR PUTTING STANCE TO GET TOP SPIN

proper putting stance

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Well Balanced Putting Stance

Although there are a lot of ways to stand for Putting, one thing is for sure – we want to get Top Spin on the ball so that it rolls true and won’t be as susceptible to the variances in the grass. Hitting down on it will certainly make the ball ‘hop’ and get out of control.

Your balance and stance actually make a major factor in this, as standing too far away from the ball can promote a Breaking Down of the Wrists which will alter the face of the putter usually adding too much loft, and again – lose control. However, standing closer to the ball with your weight balanced, will automatically help connect your arms and shoulders and allow the stroke to be more of a pendulum type of action by the Big Muscles.

In today’s video, I’ll demonstrate how to get into a proper balanced stance to get that ball ‘Top Spinning’ right into the hole!

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IS YOUR BACKSWING GETTING SHORTER AS YOU AGE?

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If you’re like most people, you’ve probably noticed that as you’ve gotten older (and played deeper onto the Back Nine of Life), your backswing  and drives have both gotten shorter.

One way to see if your lack of flexibility is causing this, is to check out your lat muscles.  If your lats and pecs are tight, the odds are your backswing will be restricted.  Keeping the lats flexible is crucial to maintaining a long and free-flowing swing for a lifetime.

THE GOOD NEWS IS THAT YOU CAN ACTUALLY RETARD THE AGING PROCESS AND KEEP YOUR SWING LONG AND FREE-FLOWING BY DOING THE PROPER FLEXIBLITY PROTOCOLS!

However, I also want to emphasize – It’s not just doing one stretch that will cure you, it’s the whole combination.  All these muscles work together.  After you find out just how much your lats are restricting your backswing, don’t just do an overhead extension stretch to try and cure your lat muscles.  Make sure you get on an all-encompassing flexibility program that especially targets your lower body, core, and upper torso.

If you do the right stretches in the right order, and especially ‘BREATHE’ properly, you don’t have to lose your flexibility and distance!

With consistency and diligence you’ll start to achieve radical improvement in your flexibility and in your swing.

 

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A GREAT DRILL TO GET YOUR SHOULDERS ON PLANE

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If you’re like most people, who spend their life sitting behind a desk, in a car, or in front of the TV, you probably have tight pecs and shoulder – which in turn, create forward head posture. Having a tight and restricted upper torso (accompanied with forward head posture) makes it harder to open up your chest and rotate your shoulders through the shot.

Controlling your shoulders means controlling your swing. Remember, big muscles control little muscles. Try the flagstick drill and you’ll begin to feel the proper rotation of your shoulders, as well as all of your body parts moving in unison.

In the video I demonstrate a drill for keeping the shoulders “on plane” but it’s a lot harder if you can’t open up and expand your chest. The best way to get more flexibility in your shoulders might surprise you… It starts with stretching your lower body.

In Roger Fredericks Reveals Secrets to Golf Swing Flexibility™ DVD Set, I show you not just which parts of your body to stretch but the right way to stretch, which includes which order to stretch in. Like tiles on the roof of your house, each muscle in your body is independent but only works when they all work together in the right direction.

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The RIGHT ARM ONLY DRILL

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Learn How to Clear Your Left Side and Develop More Speed and Power with the RIGHT ARM ONLY DRILL

Take the ball away and just about everyone makes a fairly smooth, natural swing. However, when you put that little white ball down, it’s often a different story! (ie. ‘Same Face – different Swing 🙂

Every golfer has heard how important it is to have the Left Arm and Side in control during the swing. HOWEVER, the left side will often ‘get stuck’ and prevent the golfer from moving into the ball with speed and power! Moving into the ball properly is what it’s all about. No matter how you take it back, if your body starts down properly, your odds of hitting a good shot are pretty good. The Right Arm Only Drill will help you do just that by not only making it easy to shift onto your front foot, but also get your left side out of the way. This drill will help you swing through the ball – not to it.

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Your Grip Could be Holding You Back and Costing You Distance

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Although there are a lot of ways to grip the club, one thing is certain: You must have the club held SECURELY in your hands! After all, your hands are the only direct communication you have with the club. Whether you have an interlock, overlap, or 10 finger grip, the club must be held securely in the last 3 fingers of the left hand ‘pressing’ up against the pad of the hand, and primarily with the middle two fingers of the right. Again, if the club isn’t held securely, there’s a good chance your shots won’t be solid and consistent.

Whether you’re hitting irons or woods, I recommend that you grip the club the same way for all shots. Overall, I prefer a Stronger Grip for the average golfer where the ‘V’ of the left forefinger and thumb is pointing towards the right shoulder. This automatically allows the wrists to hinge the club naturally.

Watch this video and learn a sure way to hold the club properly.

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Watch This Video And Test Your Shoulder Turn

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TAKE THIS TEST AND SEE HOW FAR YOU CAN ACTUALLY TURN YOUR SHOULDERS.

(Can you get your shoulders ‘In Line with your extended leg? If not, don’t try to make THE BIG TURN!)
 
I’ve been saying for years, that ‘just because you get older, doesn’t mean you have to lose your flexibility’ – at least to the to the degree that our society has brain washed us into believing,  i.e. that once you get on ‘The Back Nine of Life’, it’s all over.
 
The SECRET is maintaining your flexibility, strength, and function, which can be done with a ‘Proper’ Flexibility Program. I’ve seen A LOT of people during my career who maintained their flexibility – and many who have actually INCREASED  IT as they got older!
 
To see  where your shoulder turn is – or isn’t, try the Pretzel Test again.  If you’ve regressed, I highly suggest that you get back on my Flexibility Programs – especially with the Holiday Season coming up.
 
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A SIMPLE WAY TO BALANCE THE BODY BEFORE A ROUND OF GOLF

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Since over 90+% of our population is right handed, the majority of golfers have stronger and tighter right sides, thus weaker left sides. Over time, these Imbalances become quite noticeable, and with the majority of right handed golfers, you’ll see a lower and more forward right shoulder.

Being out of balance wreaks havoc on your body and joints, not only limiting mobility, but also increasing the likelihood of a host of musculoskeletal injuries such as back surgeries, knee or hip replacement, etc. Always remember, that the body conforms to whatever position it’s in for long periods of time.

Again, because we spend nearly all of our time doing everything with just one side of the body. Driving a car… it’s the right leg that’s constantly working the gas and the brake. At a computer… it’s the right hand working the mouse. Baseball, Tennis, and playing a round of Golf… all these movements are predominantly all on the right side for the majority of people.

This results in an overdevelopment of the muscles on the right side and an underdevelopment of the muscles on the left side. Your right bicep is probably bigger than your left. In fact, most of the muscles on your dominant side are bigger and more developed than your non-dominant side. This makes them stronger and tighter, so your right shoulder is lower than your left, and if it’s really pronounced, your head even tilts to the right. This happens to your shoulders and to your hips.

This happens over years, BUT; it doesn’t take years to start to correct it. Proper stretching along with a simple Posture Restoration Program, and doing simple drills using your left side more, and balancing your exercises can make a huge change.

One of my favorite tools for rapid results here is the Power Swing Fan. Swinging the fan left handed just 10 times before or after a round will balance your body. The added resistance through the impact zone will start to build up your left side and will make it stronger faster, which is why it only takes a few swings to overcome an entire round of golf, and/or sitting down at your desk. Being better balanced won’t just help your posture and mobility but it will also help you swing faster, hit longer, straighter, and more consistent drives making golf fun again.

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THE POWER SWING DRILL FOR IMPROVED ROTATION AND SPEED!

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One of the most common swing faults is hitting from the top, or casting, instead of delaying the release of the club into the shot. Releasing the club too early slows down the body, which in turn slows down club head speed, not to mention robs the golfer of power and consistency. THE # 1 CAUSE of an early release is the hands, arms, and shoulders starting down first, instead of beginning the downswing with the LOWER BODY!

Not leading the downswing with the lower body also retards the body of a proper weight shift and rotation. At impact, we want to be able to see those two cheeks and weight off of the right foot, which is a sure sign the body has moved into the ball with power!

Watch the video to see how I help Marty get his hips cleared and rotated out of the way.

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KEEPING EVERYTHING IN ONE PIECE THROUGHOUT YOUR SWING

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By now, you’re familiar with the term One Piece, especially in the Takeaway; and I can assure you that I’m totally on board.  I look at ‘One Piece’ not only as the Arms and Club going back together, but also the Shoulders, and Weight Shift.  I like EVERYTHING going back together!  
I believe that the golf swing is like the set of dominoes, where you get the first one going over properly, then all the rest follow in a chain reaction.
Although in today’s video I’m demonstrating with a smaller physio ball, I’ve come across an excellent training aid developed by my friend Martin Chuck, called the Smart Ball.  
By attaching the Smart Ball to your body, you can maintain a One Piece Motion THROUGHOUT your swing which will allow all of your body parts to move together.